Mick Clarke - Big Wheel
I've downloaded(!) (thunder and lightning!!!) Mick Clarke's latest opus "Big Wheel". You can get it for free on Bandcamp and he's only asking for your working e-mail address. I know, I know, requests for e-mail addresses are soon followed by spam, but I don't fear the like from Mick Clarke. A message every now and then, that's o.k. with me.
Normally I don't do downloads, I'm old-fashioned this way and I want to hold a physical object in my hand, be it CD or LP (and no, a USB stick doesn't count as physical object where music is concerned). The bad news first, there's no CD available so don't go searching. The good news, it's free, but I hope you retaliate in kind and buy some of his releases.
Of course, I had to download the wav-file and burn it to disc (I'm not seriously listening to some speaker integrated into the laptop-/desktopsystem. I might check a 30 second clip, but that's the extend of my listening online). CDr done and dusted, this is now playing for the second time on my second standalone HiFi setup (this one a smaller Yamaha Network one) on my working station. I've found, however, if I switch to my main one, this is going to be like day and night. A while ago I started on a CD on the Yamaha and halfway through I went over to the living room stereo (because I was done on the laptop) and lo and behold, the sun went up, the curtains were drawn and a former average sounding CD shone bright (and I'm not talking about a cheapo setup on my desk). However, I believe, these Yamaha speakers are not made for nearfield listening. I'm sitting practically inside these things and that's not the pure audiophile idea of HiFi.
The recording sounds a bit muffled on the Yamaha, but I bet it'll all change when I take it to the main stereo. What you get is almost 60 minutes (and exactly 14 tracks) of prime Mick Clarke. Naturally, Mr. Clarke is not going to reinvent the wheel, but he's doing here again what I like him best for, churning out his brand of Rock and Blues. And this is the point, listening to these songs, they are like old acquaintances, the kind you've never really lost sight of. The ones you don't have to ask "Sorry, btw, I forgot your name, who are you?". Fact is, I'm at home (in the proverbial and literal sense) with these songs. Mick Clarke is on my heels for at least a couple of decades. And I'm grateful for guys like him.
I've no intention of analyzing this bunch of songs to death, I'm really enjoying it much too much. Mr. Clarke, keep on going, the world needs people like you.