Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nashville via Chicago: Clark Paterson

Posted by Bobby

I recently attended an excellent in store performance at the very cool Hard Boiled Records on Roscoe. It was an intimate song sharing session with emerging folk country Chicago artist Mark Minelli (more on him coming soon) and Nashville singer-songwriter Clark Paterson. Clark went to Loyola and frequently returns to Chicago to play for friends and a growing fanbase. While having a few PBRs and perusing the vinyl I asked Clark if he'd answer a few questions for the ole blog. Clark's no bullshit earnestness and appreciation for listeners are very becoming in the oh-so-fashionable indie scene and he was more than happy to oblige.

Bobby: You went to school here in Chicago and then music took you to Nashville. What has been your experience in the two cities? Did you play any music here in Chicago before you left?

Clark: Nashville is a mid-sized city that is full of musicians, music fans and music-related businesses. It's a funky little town that has some great people and some southern charm. Chicago, on other hand, is a big city with a Midwestern charm. Chicago is a great town and has very mild summers which are very enjoyable to me now! The summers are rough in Nashville. Both are my favorite towns in America.

I played some small shows in Chicago but never really hit my stride with writing and performing until i moved down to Nashville. Nashville just makes you up your game! You are constantly exposed to people who are really talented and it pushes you to deliver the goods.

We're both big fans of the Boss. When you're writing, how present are your influences? I heard you and others say at shows, "this is me tryin' to be..." Do you hope to get there or is trying good enough?

As far as musical influences there are three dudes who make me want to make good, honest music. One is Bruce Springsteen. He is the most consistent and talented dude in the game. He is the musical equivalent to Brett Favre. You can't stop him and he always shows up and delivers. The Boss has so many sides to his music. It's an American stew mixed with rock, country, folk, and soul music. He is the cat's ass as far as music goes. The other two dudes who make me wanna make better music are Steve Earle and Dwight Yoakam. Both were cats who had their own styles and stuck to their guns.

As far as writing better music and trying to be as good as my influences, I would like to be as good as them, but on their worst days (laughs)...but I would like to get better and better and keep pushin' on.

You have toured a lot recently - best story?

I have many funny stories. This year I was touring through Japan and there were days that I wouldn't speak any English. It was strange, but the people there were very kind to me. I wanted to sample a lot of the Japanese food. The only problem is when the club owners and bartenders would take me to dinner before the show they always ordered for me because I couldn't read the menu. It was very kind of them to take me out for supper, but they always ordered the same two things for me. It was kinda funny. I think I had every variation of hamburger steak and salisbury steak the country has to offer. Just struck me as such a funny coincendence.

What can we expect in the future?

I am touring thru Sweden/Finland in August and I am very excited about that. I am playing a lot of shows in the Midwest this fall so that will be a treat to catch up with old friends, too! I just made my first T-shirt this weekend and that's always fun to make more merchandise because it's cool to make new things that say your name on 'em! I am also cutting two new tracks this Fall and putting out a 7" recording.

Nice, Clark. I'll keep an eye out for it.

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