Amazon 5 Star Review - 6 String Guy
Another Home Run Release
Mick Clarke - Stepping Out
2019 release by Mick and I must say this is getting ridiculous. This is the third disc in a trio of spectacular releases from Mick Clarke. How long can this go on? It started with Diggin Deep, followed by Bent Frets and now this one. It should be stated that all 3 of these discs were played by Clarke alone except a little help on harp here. As we heard on the 2 prior discs, this is full of blistering rockin blues that is perhaps best described as grunge blues rock. After 3 discs in the same style I think it’s fair to say that Mick has developed a unique sound which is very hard to do. He has created a distinctive sound with his guitar much like Neil Young, Link Wray or John Lee Hooker. Very few people have been able to do this and I really believe Mick has joined the club. What he is doing is so different, those who know can identify his style very easily.
At the age of 70+ and 50 years after his first recordings with Killing Floor, something has happened here and listeners are advised to pay attention to what Clarke is doing. There is some magic going on in his right hand as he squeezes out the notes that is hard to explain. Buy these discs and listen for yourself. Mick should be on the short list for every musician who wants a hot guitar solo from a guest on their next release. And why is he not playing at the Crossroads Guitar Festivals?? All hail Mick Clarke and may he live and play that guitar forever! Essential recordings for blues rockers.
Blues Magazine, Netherlands www.bluesmagazine.nl/recensie-mick-clarke-steppin-out/
Text: Peter Marinus
You do not have to change what is good. That seems to me the motto of Mick Clarke. This British guitarist has been delivering one exciting blues rock album after another for years. He has been doing this since the 60's, when he was part of the band Killing Floor. I think we are ready for solo album number twenty and this album is also full of delicious raw blues rock.
Yet the album sounds slightly different than its previous work. The songs on this album all seem to be recorded in one take and have a raw, almost lo-fi, sound and that works fine. It has been a long time since I have heard such raw blues rock. The sound takes you back and forth to the exciting times of the British blues rock of the late 70s when artists like Dr. Feelgood and Dave Edmunds came up. The blues rock sounded pretty raw and uncomplicated at the time.
The album opens with the raw blues rock shuffle Backroom Boy in which the burning guitar riffs play an important role, besides the razor sharp piercing soprano sound. Honky Tonk Blues is a cover of the Hank Williams classic. This country song has been cast in a lazy pumping bluesrock sound by Mick, giving it a primitive character. I therefore give this song the predicate "pub blues rock". A song that seems to me very suitable for the club circuit with its raw flaming guitar work and its filthy garage sound.
Nuthin 'Burger Blues is then an instrumental semi-acoustic track with a light jazzy sound. In terms of melody, it is somewhat like "Hit The Road Jack". Mick proves that he can also sound quite intense on the acoustic guitar and even spills some Spanish guitar music through it.
We will stay in the semi-acoustic corner with Spend Your Money. A lazy swinging shuffle that sounds like a languid mix of the Bo Diddley beat and the country sound of J.J. Cale. Musically sparsely but very effectively musically colored. The cover of the Johnny Jones song Big Town Playboy is a filthy lazy boogie with biting guitar work and the burning harmonica of Dangerous Dave Newman. The same harmonica can be heard in the languid funky Whiskey Blues. The guidance is limited to the most elementary funky, and therefore effective, role
Can not Help Myself is an angular pumping rhythm & blues song that goes back to the sound of the early years of Dave Edmunds. An apparently simple rocker. Bobby Parker's classic Watch Your Step is also an exciting funky blues song in Mick's version. Mick has opted for a more primitive garage sound which only benefits the song and, in passing, also delivers a flaming guitar solo.
The slow-moving blues-rock song No Way Back has a Howlin 'Wolf-like rawness and a early 70s hard blues rock sound. Then it is time for the acoustic blues Early Bird. A stamping song in which it seems that Jim Keltner has taken place behind the drum kit in a Ry Cooder-like setting in which Mick secretly again shows some Latin American influences. Tryin 'To Get To You is an Elvis Presley number unknown to me. This has been melted down by Mick into a stubborn rocking Dave Edmunds-like song. Right And Wrong is a light-hearted, rocking rocker with the weeping harmonica of Dangerous Dave Newman and a pruning raw solo guitar.
Mick leaves us with the powerful angular blues rocker 20th Century Man.
Mick Clarke just flicks it again! Another old-fashioned good blues rock album!
Blues Blast Magazine firstname.lastname@example.org
Youre never too old to live the dream, no matter what it is. Mick Clarke, from Surrey, England, proves this on his new album Steppin Out. Reviewers on YouTube have raved, 10 points! (for his cover of Hank Williams Honky Tonk Blues) and Bravooo Mike (for Track 08 on this CD, Watch Your Step). Hes currently touring and headlining at the Karlshamn Baltic Festival in Sweden. Mick is a more than halfway-decent guitarist, and his vocals are gritty but a bit flat. On his latest release, he presents nine original numbers plus four covers. All are solid contemporary tracks, leaning toward the fundamental side of the genre rather than the avant-garde. Clarkes is trucker blues, barroom blues, and live-festival blues for darn sure.
Mick has become an established name on the international touring scene and has played regularly in Europe, Asia and the USA. Praised for his fiery guitar sound, Clarke is the winner of the 2014 Artist Aloud Awards Best International Act and appeared at Sweden Rock Festival in June 2018, sharing the bill with metal legends Iron Maiden.
The Mick Clarke Band was established in the early 80s and has appeared with artists such as Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter and Joe Bonamassa. Recent shows have included festival appearances in Italy, Belgium and India, and in July 2017, Mick appeared at the Mostar Blues & Rock festival in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mick has released nineteen solo albums so far.
Although this is primarily a solo album, Dangerous Dave Newman guest stars on harmonica.
The following tune is not only the best one here, but showcases Clarkes best instrumentation.
Track 03: Nuthinburger Blues – In Millennial parlance, a nuthinburger (also spelled nothingburger) is a nonstarter or non-event, as in Due to the diligence of computer scientists and technicians, Y2K turned out to be a nothingburger. Thats why this instrumental’s title is so ironic. It starts out with some acoustic flair, with electric fire soon added. Melodic and catchy, it will make listeners tap their toes and snap their fingers. It only clocks in at three minutes and eleven seconds, but that’s perfect for a spin around the dance floor – or jumping up and down, as one’s preference may be.
UK blues veteran Mick Clarke is Steppin Out once again, and his guitar possesses much pizzazz!
"10 point ssss!!!!!!! saludos a todos!!!!! c amonnnnnn!!!!!"