Since the early ‘70s Jon Clark has been writing his own brand of folk/rock but it wasn’t till recently that some of that material got to see the light of day. Clark recently released One Long Skid Vol.1 and Vol.2, which contain songs that were written decades ago as well as some that were written just a few years ago. Taking a listen to the music it’s impossible to differentiate between what was written in what decade as it all has a similar feel. I had an opportunity to delve into Vol.2, which will resonate with fans of The Grateful Dead (in particular Jerry Garcia), Neil Young and generally most Americana folk/rock from the ‘60s.
The music on One Long Skid Vol.2 is mellow, loose and psychedelic - basically all the adjectives you might use to describe the feelings you probably will have after smoking a joint. It’s an easy listen that should relax you and let you chill out. The music isn’t intense but it is engaging. Clark’s music utilizes rich instrumentation into technically well-written songs.
The album opens with one of the highlights entitled “Mr. Fix-It Man,” which combines a warm rock organ, bass, horns and electric lead guitar with very subtle distortion. Clark’s voice sounds undeniably aligned with ‘60s Americana and definitely has traces of Jerry Garcia as well as Bob Dylan. It’s a style of singing you don’t find too often in this day and age. The song’s climax for me was the excellent, blaring horn section that was pure ear candy.
“Trip the Wire” contains some guitar solos you won’t want to miss while “Better Take Cover” was an instantly catchy melody that will easily get stuck in your head. That horn section in “Better Take Cover” is spot on. You can’t help but think of “Ripple” by the Grateful Dead when you hear “Nobody Special” if only because of a similarly played mandolin.
Clark breaks out a harmonica for “Road Crew Lover” as well as on the closer “Many Friends.” ”Many Friends” is rather sparse and emits emotions such as nostalgia and melancholy.
One Long Skid Vol. 2 contains ten songs and most of the songs eclipse the five-minute mark. The album does take some time to get through but don’t think you will be disappointed if you take the journey.
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