CaldwellCountyJail Songbook
leadsheets & lyrics

In 2010, Texas songwriter Fletcher Clark produced and released on Armadillo Records a collection of twelve of his songs by twelve different artists. A big song swap, he branded it TAKING TURNS. In 2015 he created Flécha3 Music to record and release the CD Open Up the Doors, twelve songs taken from his musical ministry and his Personal Hymnal. In 2017, he released the CD SONGS OF SUSANNA, a collection of twelve original songs based on Texas history, centered around his epic ballad about Messenger of the Alamo Susanna Dickinson, There Must Be a Good Man in Texas. In 2018, Fletcher released MY TURN (singing his own songs while building on the brand and recycling the artwork of gifted pal Guy Juke!).

Now in 2019, Fletcher has released Caldwell County Jail, for which he wrote these liner notes:

Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, I attended college in New England and worked in Boston for a few years afterwards - until this fourth-generation Texan could no longer be away from enchiladas and western swing. So I came to Austin in 1972, just in time for the music scene to rev up, staying there until I experienced burnout in 2005. For a spell I was with a friend on his family spread near the San Marcos in Caldwell County, just down river from the birthplaces of my grandmother and namesake grandfather and father (”senior, junior, I the third”). I later went back to Austin, but in 2008 moved permanently to Lockhart (33 mi. south), the seat of Caldwell County and the official BBQ Capital of Texas.

Since making Lockhart my home, I have written dozens of songs, released four CDs, published a hymnal, created show pieces of Texas history, and hosted nine seasons of Evenings with the Songwriter at the oldest library building in Texas. For three months, I was docent for our Caldwell County Museum, really the old jail, built in 1917 and operated until 1983. A regular stop for the paranormal investigators who commune with the haints and residual spirits of long ago detainees, it was a fertile ground for writing the title cut of this collection.

The other songs in this collection harken to my Texas musical roots in western swing, bluegrass, folk, and honky-tonk country. No latin, no jazz, no pop, no blues. Oh, except for the talkin’ blues - that being the forerunner of rap.

  1. Barbeque, Texas Style Lockhart is the “BBQ Capital of Texas” - not mere hyperbole, since there are four world-class barbeque joints here. Now, folks in different parts have different ideas on what constitutes BBQ. Here in central Texas, we believe it is all about the meat. And a few sides, of course!
  2. Hello, Mom Actually, written for my dear mother-in-law who did not live to see me disappoint her daughter.
  3. Caldwell County Jail During my time as docent, after giving the tour and the spiel about the jail, the muse took over and gave me the refrain. The story has happened recurrently all over the country.
  4. Mellow Times This is an older song from a younger time in my life. Unabashedly and naively wishful, but not because I was young. I was so much older then, I believe it has been said.
  5. Back to Caldwell County An Austin friend backstage at Old Settlers Music Festival wanted to know how I came to be living down down here. My simple response sent me in search of a legal pad so I could write down this history.
  6. Mary Kay's Waltz My recording of this favorite song previously released on my TAKING TURNS CD.
  7. But I Miss My Chickens For a beloved church lady friend who would bring me eggs from her place out in nearby rural Dale, Texas, until she moved into an apartment in town.
  8. Down in the Dumps Oh, that honky-tonk life!
  9. There’s a Mark There on Her Finger Too many women have finally broken away, yet retain the scars of a bad relationship.
  10. We Sure Had 'Em Fooled Symbiosis comes in many forms. Some folks call it co-dependence, but that seems a bit too clinical for a country song.
  11. Jubilee Jake Every county has its moonshiner. Some even with storefronts in a strip mall, pushing “legal” spirits.
  12. Holidays in Texas Every songwriter wants to write a Christmas song.

©2019, Fletcher Clark All Rights Reserved.
rev. 9/3/19