Anglo/Irish Terry Clarke is from Reading, Berkshire, in the Thames Valley but he sings like his heart belongs in Sligo, Ireland and his bones are happiest in Austin, Texas. He tells stories about loners, freewheelers and passionate home-comings.
Songwriter, singer, producer/arranger and 12 string guitarist Terry has recorded 14 albums to date, featuring literate modern classics that revel in the language of country, rockabilly, blues, folk, Irish laments, poetry and street language.
In Terry's world Dion DiMucci, Eddie Cochran and Johnny Cash and Johnny Mercer, Miles Davis and Laura Nyro share a lofty pedestal, which is perhaps why each new Terry Clarke album is as much of a surprise as it is a gift.
What they say about Terry Clarke:
"... refreshing, earthy, bare-bones blues ... gut-bucket rural rock..."
Johnny Cash sleevenotes for Rhythm Oil
"Terry Clarke is the new Van Morrison."
Nick Dalton, Daily Express
"...he sang like his heart belonged in Sligo, Ireland, and his bones were happiest in Austin, Texas.
"He got you thinking of bloodlines and relations, of epic sessions and shorelines, expanses of space and time."
Stuart Bailie, New Musical Express. Sleevenotes for The Heart Sings.
"Drawing a line directly between Austin and Sligo what followed was one of the most consummate displays of the art of songwriting I have witnessed, bettered only by Townes."
Shaun Belcher, Flyin' Shoes
"Lou Reed wrote love letters to New York and The Clash celebrated London life - but Terry Clarke prefers to sing about Scours Lane and Lyndhurst Road, Reading - the town where he grew up, saw his first heroes play and where he bought his first records - and with a voice that is by turns sorrowful, edgy and rabble-rousing."
Kathryn Lay, Reading Chronicle
Terry Clarke's music is infused with the warm, breezy subtleties of Johnny Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael, the rough-hewn, hard-living country of Johnny Cash, with street poetry and vivid imagery.
Whether he is calling up the spirit of the blues, tearing through a good, honest rock & roll song, introducing you to one of his flesh, blood and bone character studies or breaking your heart with a lonesome lament his work has the weight of history behind it - but it pulses with a contemporary heart that continues to make his music full of surprises.
As well as producing 14 fine albums, which are coloured by his love of the blues, of rock & roll, by his Anglo Irish roots and by his long association with Austin Texas, he has enjoyed the respect of, and collaborations with, some of the best, including Rosie Flores, Flaco Jiménez, Jesse 'guitar' Taylor and Champ Hood.
During his twenty-year writing association with blues slide guitarist Michael Messer, Terry has been responsible for the laments and finely drawn character studies which keep the blues flame burning with Michael.
Clarke's friendship with one of Austin's favourite adopted sons, Wes McGhee, led to the two of them getting together in the studio in recent years to produce Night Ride to Birmingham - a flashing, neon, jukebox of an album full of rockabilly swing, rock & rollers, and homages to Clarke's heroes such as Johnny Burnette, Johnny Cash, Gene Vincent, Elvis and Laura Nyro.
McGhee and Clarke are natural allies both on stage and in the studio, with a shared musical language - and an abiding love of twang guitar.
Other projects in recent years for Clarke have included a tour of North Carolina, West Virginia and Ohio alongside David Childers and the Modern Don Juan's, who tear up the music venues of those states with a potent liquor of rockabilly and rock & roll played with the skill of experience and the heart of a rowdy teenager.