Bman's Blues Report
www.bmansbluesreport.com Rockfold Records artist: Mick Clarke Band - Ruff 'n' Roar - New Release Review
I just received the newest release, Ruff 'n' Roar from the Mick Clarke Band (Live at Scratchers) and it's hot! From the opening riff on the opening track, Elmore James' Happy Home, this release rips. Mick Clarke (guitar and vocal), joined by Chris Sharley (drums) and Eddie Masters (bass) really know how to crank it up.
This band has the energy of early Savoy Brown or ZZ Top. What that means is endless boogie with flaming hot slide riffs! On Good Morning Blues, Clarke has his amp tuned in just right for that fat saturation and his riffs are thick. Masters keeps the blues vamp going an Sharley sets a tight bottom for a great romp. On Memphis Slim's Rockin' the Blues, MCB gets that Hooker electric boogie really cranking. This track was "made for" Stilladog. Showing his relentless slide attack, Clarke tears it up!
Slowing it down just a little on 9 minute plus, Love Me Or Leave Me, gives the band a breather and solos, including a nice one from Masters and a tense one from Clarke are straightforward and solid. Very nice! Walking Blues, a classic by Mr Son House, gets an update and a solid bottom driver. Clarke blazes a red hot path with his slide guitar. Excellent! Bo Diddley style track, Little Rachel, has the advantage of not only an infectious beat but raw slide work. This is what bands want to sound like live!
Cheap has that gritty early ZZ Top beat and that earthy, fat Billy Gibbons tone on guitar. I gotta tell you, there's hardly a serious guitar player on the planet that won't tell you that he admires Billy Gibbons tone and Clarke has it here. Excellent! Who doesn't love Hound Dog Taylor? Everybody loves Hound Dog Taylor. Give Me Back My Wig is a classic and Clark hits it here. He's not copping HDT's tone but he is tearing up the slide so if you are a slide blues freak like me...eat it up!
Wrapping the release is Willie Dixon's You Need Love starting with a classic Hooker (Boom Boom ) riff and with Masters and Sharley driving like it's Radar Love. Clarke throws down every blue rock riff you've ever heard (and a few you haven't) in this intense 7 plus minute closer. This is one hell of a show and if this three piece band hits this town...I'm there!
Let It Rock
http://dmme.net/the-mick-clarke-band-ruff-n-roar/ Caught red-handed, British bluesman gets down n dirty on a killing floor.
While many artists who emerged in the 60s are content to rest on the blissful side of blues, Mick Clarke is still demonstrating enviable vigor on its raw surface. Even more fierce than a Luxembourg set from 2002 available as a free download this concert album, recorded in Surrey in 2015, finds the veterans trio laying down heavy groove on classic numbers. Its hard to get more gutsy than on the guitarists take on Willie Dixons You Need Love but if thats a finely frenetic finale, theres a roar rolling from Micks rumble on Elmore James Happy Home onward, a seductive slider caressing the fretboard.
With a filigree strum on Good Morning Blues where Eddie Masters bass and Chris Sharleys drums chop a solid bedrock, Clarke turns to a twang to verge on the edge of chaos yet never cross the tuneful line, and the Diddley beat of Little Rachel has a well-measured grace to it. And if the hefty riffs and string pinches of Love Me Or Leave Me unhurriedly, over 9 minutes, pack a powerful punch, Micks own much more playful Rockin The Blues is a great wigout for the ensemble, the veteran wringing a double dose of melody out of his instrument.
So the looking for quantity refrain of Cheap also from 1993s Tell The Truth can hardly be applied here, in the field of bare-nerve quality. Rough: thats how the blues should be delivered, and thats how its done here. An exemplary performance.
https://artistaloud.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/ruff-n-roar-live-at-scratchers-mick-clarke/ Review by Parag Kamani
One musician who faithfully reproduces his brand of blues live too, as I witnessed during his performance at Mumbais St. Andrews Auditorium on October 25th, 2014, is Mick Clarke; all this, even after churning albums out since the 60s, initially as a member of Killing Floor, before going solo.
Accompanied by long-time members Chris Sharley on drums and Eddie Masters on bass, the same line-up that toured India, Ruff n Roar was recorded live last year at Scratchers originally known as The Three Lions a small pub in Surrey, England, and effectively reiterates that Mick likes nothing better than laying out stinging guitar solos over blues, including on standards from Elmore James [Happy Home], on which Mick appropriately plays slide, to Willie Dixons You Need Love which, for the trivia-minded, served as a blueprint for Led Zeppelins Whole Lotta Love as well as Micks very own compositions that display his inherent affection for rocking blues.
This is an effort from a true musical superman that also has Clarke as part of his name!