Dave Clarke

 

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Reviews of Guitar Songs by Dave Clarke

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The Record (Waterloo region), June 21, 2003

"Born of bluegrass and raised on country, Montreal-based acoustic guitarist Dave Clarke spends considerable time backing singer/songwriter David Francey when he isn't performing with the country folk trio Steel Rail. Which brings us to GuitarSongs. Not only is it a collection of 12 original guitar tunes, it is Clarke's solo debut. The album draws on his background in bluegrass, country and folk, with a little Celtic thrown into the mix, but is stamped with Clarke's singular artistry: a blend of gentle humour, melodic reflection and guitar virtuosity, whether fingerstyle or flat-picking.

Recorded last summer in his home studio between touring with Francey and recording Steel Rail's third album, GuitarSongs conveys a sense of what Clarke deems important in life: his love for his wife, with whom he often co-writes; making music; and responding musically to landscapes that touch him in significant ways." 

Robert Reid

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Sing Out! magazine, February 2003

"As a member of various bands, currently Steel Rail, and as accompanist to singers like David Francey, Dave Clarke has earned a well-developed reputation as one of Canada's best acoustic guitarists. That reputation will surely be reinforced with this superbly recorded collection of solo guitar compositions, played in a variety of styles, and capturing a variety of moods."

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Ottawa Citizen, January 11, 2003

"Until now, Montreal's Dave Clarke has been best-known as the unassuming lead guitarist with that city's country/folk trio Steel Rail and accompanist to Juno-winning folk singer David Francey. With GuitarSongs, Clarke finally claims the spotlight that is rightly his. Understated and warm, as befits
Clarke's personality, the twelve tracks are rooted in sweet, original melodies and sparkle with lovely flourishes. Technical virtuosity, of which Clarke is more than capable, plays handmaiden -- never mistress -- to theme and composition. And my, does that 1938 Martin D-18 jump in response to Clarke's fingers! Rounding out the package of folk, Celtic and jazzy tunes are Clarke's succinct liner notes, offering just enough insight into the writing of each song that the listener can complete the story himself."

****  out of five.

Patrick Langston

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Montreal Gazette, December 2002

"An exquisitely executed collection of original solo instrumentals from a Montreal master of the acoustic guitar."

****  out of five.

Mike Regenstreif

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