The Man I Am
Life Is A Mystery - Unwind - Wonderin' How Today Is Gonna Go - Old Fashion Makin's - Don't Give A Rip - The Man I Am - My Baby And Me - Poor Man Blues - Wife Of A Cowboy - The Old Narrow Gauge - I Can Only Love You - On My Way Home
Today is my great opportunity to listen to two very distinctive 'kinds' of western music. Bill Clark is a cowboy from Colorado, and his approach to western music, or cowboy music, whatever it might be called, is quite different from New Mexico cowboy songwriter/singer Doug Figg from New Mexico. The amazing thing for me is that I like both of these styles very much. Where Doug's is very western swing, Bill's is very country & western. Bill has been doing this for awhile too. From the mountains of Colorado this very down to earth composer and singer puts his strength in the pen on the paper, and then transferring it to a melody. The result of his methods, even in this age of 'everything' is what we hear on the radio, which of course is totally false. Bill Clark is a retrospective recall of what country and western music was all about in the very beginning of its 'genre' establishment. Bill is carrying on that tradition super well, and he used his own experiences to make it work for him. "Old Fashion Makin's" is the very epitome of what made 'country & western' such a popular genre when it was in its prime. I like the musicians Bill is using on this session, as a matter of fact his fiddler and electric guitar picker Randy Utterback is a good friend of mine. Originally from our own Midwest area, that same musician was the mover and shaker in the music behind the Desparadoes, a band formed by Waterloo, Nebraska, country & western singer Don Rogert. Ken Dravis is on guitar, keyboard, harmonica; Troy Eagle on banjo, mandolin, Dobro; Rob Labig on percussion; Kenny Daniels on bass; Vic Lawson on pedal steel; Mike Johnson on pedal steel; and Chris Nole on piano rounds out a really good session of incredibly good country and western music. I like Bill's philosophy a lot, he 'knows' what's happening in our comfortable world of 'real' cowboys, and horses, and farms, and corn, and small town life, and country cookin', and words that express how we live, what we think, what we see happening in the world of 'media control' in America. Bill knows all about this. He's a witness to the strange happenings that prevent gifted people from being heard. Sometimes the contents of a songwriters body of work tells us who he is. This CD is quite confidently telling us who Bill Clark, "The Man I Am" is really the 'real' Bill Clark and the 'real' man that he is. This CD has to go off to the Rural Roots Music Commission for their appraisal, and I would suggest they find some new ways to honor these gifted artists of the west, since Bill Clark is definitely one of those gifted artists.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, Pres., NTCMA - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International