Local CD Review: Jay Clark

I'm Confused (Moon Eagle Music)

Singer/songwriter Jay Clark, who splits his time between Knoxville and Hazel Green, Ala., mixes it up musically on I'm Confused, his third album. Backed by Cruz Contreras and the CC Stringband, with additional support from a long list of local luminaries including Wade Hill, Robinella, and Sarah Pirkle, Clark starts the disc off with the gentle, folky bluegrass on "Unheard (The Redbird Song)." But I'm Confused quickly veers into classic hardcore honky tonk ("Another Round," "Lifetime of Drinkin'") and dark mountain ballads ("Third Shift in the Coal Mines"), which better suit Clark's graveled voice. The title track, subtitled "A Christian's Lament of How the Right Wing of the Republican Party Has Distorted My Faith," even though its topical lyrics lean toward the polemic, is a funny and politically outraged pop bluegrass anthem with a fully formed gospel crescendo. You don't hear that much.