Nic Clark – Love Your Life: Songs For the Whole Family
A little different for me. This soulful 11-cut CD is upbeat, friendly & Nic Clark actually has a receptive engaging vocal. The first cut can be construed as educational. Nic introduces different artists to participate & gives examples of what they do & how it all comes together like a “family.” It’s good. He has a few foreign vocalists sing in their language & even has a singer who sings in Norwegian (that’s different). Each vocal fits the tune seamlessly. A good-natured musical lesson in 4 minutes.
Mr. Clark’s forte is Hohner harmonica & he displays his skill vividly. He also plays guitar & ukulele. With unorthodox heroes like Charles Bukowski, Henry Miller, Jonathan Richman, the Staples, Muddy Waters, how could Nic miss?
On ”Dance Party,” & “Brand New Eyes,” you hear the potential in Clark’s vocalizing. He falls comfortably between vintage Taj Mahal & Keb’Mo with a warm, experienced voice with all the necessary homespun sincerity between his lyrics, guitar picking & salient style. It’s relaxing. The expertise slides through the ears like a sled downhill.
Now I’m not an expert on children’s music but this isn’t your baby boomer children’s songs. Ric’s ingenious “Dinosaurs (Where Did You Go)?” has charm. The piano & organ tied to his wonderful lyric is an exceptional children’s song. He adds an attractive backup vocal that’s mindful of Johnny Clegg’s Julukka (“Scatterlings of Africa”). This should be added to songs children can sing to in school. It coasts along with a cheery ambiance.
The harmonica, acoustic guitar-driven “Love Your Life!” — is another clever lesson & impressive children’s tune. Tailored with slinky female backup vocal. I’ve seldom heard children’s songs of this quality. They are not silly or juvenile. There are lessons in each. This material was not just knocked off to produce a few songs for an LP. Clark gave this thought.
Love Your Life: Songs For The Whole Family (Drops July 15 – Little Village) & was produced by Kid Andersen (bass/electric guitar/synth/backup vocals). Joining: Gino Matteo & Bob Pellegrino (electric guitars), Jim Pugh (organ/Wurlitzer/piano), Andy Sydow (piano), Jerry Jemmott & Curtis Hawkins (bass), Lionel Young (violin – “I Love Music”), Derrick Martin & Stefan Flores (drums), Vicki Randle (percussion), Charlie Hunter (guitar/bass/percussion/drums), with some others on backup vocals throughout.
The hilarious “Everybody Poops,” is an energetic shredding rocker & done with…class & finesse. Yes, I said it. Class & finesse. I love it. “Everybody poops, everybody poops…including you.” Yes! The musicians perform skillfully & with expertise. You’ll set it on repeat all day. The addition of children’s voices to personalize cuts was also a significant stroke. Clark adds reggae flavors, calypso on “The Hungry Dog,” that Harry Belafonte would envy. “Things to Learn,” is a poignant cut.
One of the best CDs of the year – no doubt. Fulfillment achieved Mr. Clark.
The 42-minute CD is available @ Apple Music + http://www.gratefulweb.com/articles/nic-clarks-love-your-life-songs-whole-family