Steal This Track: The Ghost of Michael Clark - Reverb

Steal This Track: The Ghost of Michael Clark

Pueblo-based singer-songwriter Mike Clark is the Ghost of Michael Clark. Photo by Holly Garlow.

Pueblo-based singer-songwriter Mike Clark is the Ghost of Michael Clark. Photo by Holly Garlow.

Some musical forces are just too big to be contained by a single band, project or identity. Such is the case for Mr. Mike Clark of Pueblo, Colorado. The multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter first kicked up dust with the bluesy, lo-fi roots music of the Jack Trades, then stripped the sound down even further with Crow Flies. Most recently, Clark has provided mandolin, harmonica and a host of other instrumental colors for down-home folk-rockers the Haunted Windchimes. Tomorrow night, the multi-talented artist will reveal yet another musical side of himself with the release of “Bound to Break,” his first solo CD, under the name the Ghost of Michael Clark. Read on to learn more, steal a track from this remarkable debut and see Clark playing a song while riding a bicycle.

If the Haunted Windchimes showcases Mike Clark’s ego — the stunningly talented and crowd-pleasing performer — then the Ghost of Michael Clark is his id. Dark, brooding and naked, the songs on “Bound to Break” are deceptively simple and decidedly depressing. Clark brings dusty life to observations from his own life, as well as fictional stories of love and loss, with the sparsest of instrumentation and an aching, soulful voice that could only come from gargling tears of regret and whiskey.

“Bound to Break” also includes contributions from a host of talented Colorado musicians, including Chela Lujan, Joe Johnson, and Conor and Ian Bourgal of the Changing Colors and Blank Tape Records.

Music like this is not about surprises, originality or innovation. Instead, is about sincerity, rawness and a reverence for the ways in which musical styles of the past can be leveraged to vividly illuminate the struggles, strife and sadness of the present.

For a suggested donation of five to seven dollars, you can catch Mike Clark in action at S.P.Q.R. Gallery (17B East Bijou, Colorado Springs) on Friday night. Why a gallery? Well, Clark also invited eight artists to create works inspired by the new album, so pieces by a number of local artists will be shown in conjunction with his performance. You can also pick up your very own copy of “Bound to Break” at the show. To prepare yourself, steal “Carry Me Safely,” and then take a peek at Kevin Ihle’s innovative video for Clark’s “Hey Daisy.”

Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.

If you’re a band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Eryc Eyl for consideration.

Eryc Eyl is a veteran music journalist, critic and Colorado native who has been neck-deep in local music for many years. Check out Steal This Track for local music you can HEAR, and the Mile High Makeout for stories about Denver musicians doing extraordinary things. Against his mother’s advice, Eryc has also been known to tweet. You can also follow Steal This Track on Twitter. Sorry, Mom.