eye (2006-05)

Local CD Review

Jay Clark

Bonnaroo-bastic

I, Audience

Local CD Review

Clark pretty much covers familiar territory on his sophomore release—traditional country takes on old-time religion and family values, drinking and regret. However, the album’s title track tackles civil disobedience, protesting land development with a painfully catchy anthem that resonates in its chorus, “Why can’t they all just let it be/ ‘Cause it don’t look like progress to me.”

Tender and full of warmth, Clark’s strength lies in his voice, bringing sincerity to the somber “Hard Life” and charm to “When I Get to Drinking,” a lovely song for functioning alcoholics—both co-written with Jeff Barbra . Former bandmates Cruz and Robinella Contreras (it’s damn near impossible to talk about Clark without that pair coming up) and a handful of other local Americana stalwarts give the CD a sound more full and well-rounded than his first release.

Progress is nothing short of what’s to be expected, but while what Clark offers is always the same, it’s always the best.

(Catch a preview of the album Friday, Feb. 3 at noon on WDVX’s Blue Plate Special and Saturday, Feb. 4 at 9 p.m. at the Corner Lounge with the Drunk Uncles and Tim Lee Band.)

Bonnaroo-bastic

I, Audience

Friday night gave us a Salvation Army benefit show at the Corner Lounge, which began with the southern flair of Mule Face , a metal band with a slight, lackadaisical Southern twang. It’s not the most full throttle metal ever to be onstage here; it’s slowmetal. Or, perhaps more precisely, southernslowmetal, with the ghost of Hank Williams floating around, aimlessly, looking for a comfortable barstool. Other sundry metal bands played that night, too. Pick Up the Snake , Serene Scream and The American Plague rocked out for what may go down as pound for pound the heaviest crowd in Knoxville history. Metal heads ain’t wont to hit the gym as much as the bottle. It was a long night, bursting at the seams with four hours of straight metal, which no longer seemed like the greatest idea when 3 a.m. rolled around. Metropulsians can rock, but only periodically.

Next night, at Barley’s, the crowd patiently waited for the Memphis troupe Snowglobe. No one got rowdy in anticipation, as the doorman, surprisingly, didn’t charge a cover. After several rounds of PBR tallboys and many announcements saying that the bulk of the band was still en route from Memphis, Tim Regan, Snowglobe’s co-frontman, staged an impromptu session with his other band, Raygun , because the bassist and drummer just happened to be sitting around, doing nothing. As an alt-country appetizer for the main event, Raygun played well, not bad for a spur-of-the-moment gig.

Snowglobe, around midnight, gave us a taste of the group’s mastery of multiple instruments. The rhythm section played just about every doo-dad I can remember from my 5th grade music class. The sound was smooth, controlled, and powerful, with some clean trumpet virtuosity filling in the slack spaces. With every note balanced, it was loud, but totally together; absolutely zero off key. The time spent waiting for Snowglobe really made the show, as everyone was ready to get out of their seats to progressively knot together in front of the stage.