Clark Colborn special, 2014
Guitar player (and singer) Clark Colborn has been featured here before and it gives me great pleasure to inform you about his current releases.
First is his Frank Made Me Do It album. And as you might guess from the cover art, that Frank is Frank Zappa. Clark choose to cover My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama, (which suits him very well by the way, even if it’s a rather obvious choice) and also wrote 4 songs in a Zappa style. And believe it or not, that is pretty hard, as Zappa is known for impossible time signatures, shredding solos, witty lyrics where often sexual themes are explored without being explicit (nah…) and still the melodies to attract the unknowing listener. And I feel Clark did a remarkable job with his 4 tracks. First being Gimpy The Weasel with a nice Beatleseque reference in the opening lines. And then it’s on to those impossible time signatures. Great skills here from both Clark (guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals) and Joel Baer on drums. By the way, on this album several guest musicians contribute on trumpet, glockenspiel and additional vocals. Elephant Hoosegow has a great groove and a vocal delivery that is testament of Clark’s love for all things Zappa. That love is even more explored in The Stalker Song. It’s hysterical lyric is pure genius and I had no problem envisioning Zappa bringing this! And that is meant as a compliment. I can imagine people asking about this homage, but believe me when I say this is not copying, just writing songs that reflect the style of Zappa. And it is done with great respect and quality. Happy Happy Man Parts concludes the original songs in style, being the heaviest and probably most straightforward of all. Still a song with great soloing and melodies.
Next on offer is Ones And Zeros. Alas only 4 songs here, all covers and previously only digitally available. And if you are anything like me, it is better to have them on disk :). The songs show some love for the Beatles (Eleanor Rigby, instrumental version!), Stevie Wonder (Superstitious, with the wonderful Melissa Ridgeway on vocals) and The Who (Baba O’Riley). Again Joel Baer provided drums and Clark did the rest. All songs are rearranged to fit Clarks’ style and show his technical abilities on multiple instruments and especially the guitar. And as the releases mention, real playing, no auto-tune or sequencing. Awesome. As a bonus a hilarious live version of Fire (Jimi Hendrix) is included.