The Cat's Meow/The Acousticats

This second CD from the Acousticats contains thirteen gems including ten tunes from western songsmith, Cyrus Clarke. The Clarke tunes comprise some of his best work and include "Along The Rio Grande", "Mud and Dust and Blood and Silver", and "Ruidoso Blue", all reminiscent of big sky and wide open spaces. Also, there is a song which Kate Wolf covered in performance but did not record, "Black Lung." This album is widely heralded for the very cool rendition of the Allman Brothers chestnut, "In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed."

California Stories/The Cyrus Clarke Band

The first of a trilogy of recordings which depict Clarke’s influences throughout his 35 year career playing, performing, and pioneering California Americana music. This disc features wondrous covers of Kate Wolf’s "Safe At Anchor", "New Speedway Boogie" by the Dead, and Woody Guthrie’s haunting waltz, "Deportee (Plane Wreck At Los Gatos Canyon)". The recording takes the listener through a variety of styles honed by Clarke’s band; a virtual romp through the Golden State featuring Barney Tower on ripping telecaster and Tom Corbett shredding on the mandolin.

The Road To California/The Cyrus Clarke Expedition

The second in the California trilogy highlights the roads, highways, and byways in and out of California. This fine recording includes three great California road songs, "Route 66", "Do Re Mi", and Chuck Berry’s rocking chestnut, "The Promised Land." Cyrus also reprises a few of his own classics such as "Springfield Mountain Coalminer" and "Kern County Fandango." Rounding out this beautiful disc are songs by Kate Wolf and the Grateful Dead as well as newer compositions by Clarke. The Expedition is Clarke’s acoustic band and features Jack Joshua on double bass and mandolin wizard, Cache Valley Drifter, and Acousticat alumnus, Mike Mullins.

Calsong/Cyrus Clarke

This is the third and final work in the California trilogy Cyrus started in 2000. This fine disc contains songs by Lowell George (“Willin’”), Lyle Lovett, and Kate Wolf. The disc also contains music by celebrated Los Angeles artist, Steve DeGroodt and San Luis Obispo songsmith, Wendy Liepman. Clarke has also recorded a clutch of his own cool Calsongs, to include "The Hymn Of Robert Clarke", a story of Cyrus' great uncle Robert's demise in a Colorado silver mine in the 1880's, "Red Car", and "Bonita Marie." The Expedition is in fine form and features Jack Joshua playing double bass and Telecaster man, Barney Tower. Great songs, wondrous mandolin, innovative arrangements, and fine, hot solos earmark this recording as a classic.

Down At Evangelina's/The Acousticats

The debut CD from the Acousticats, one the west coast's premier acoustic bands. This disc features thirteen tunes and includes Hey Hey Evangelina, My Daddy's Watch, Rhode Island Bride, a classic Oscar Petersen piece, Come To The Mardi Gras, and the California bluegrass classics Joanne and California Republic. Also incuded are two Cyrus Clarke songs which were also recorded by Kate Wolf, Telluride and Springfield Mountain Coalminer. A ripping debut full of great songs, subtle nuances, and hot solos!

Vintage Drifter/The Cache Valley Drifters - CD

Ranch Recording is pleased to announce the release of VINTAGE DRIFTER, the only digital recording of the original group consisting of Cyrus Clarke, Bill Griffin, and David West with Tom Lee on bass. It is a live set recorded at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, Fall of 1979. This recording captures the energy, style, and grooves of one of California’s finest acoustic bands…..even more so than their three LPs released by Flying Fish!

The set was recorded from the mixing board by Alan Kantor and Peter Cutler, engineers for KPFK’s FolkScene Radio Show and is beautifully mastered by Lurssen Mastering in LA. This disc features many band favorites as well as four unreleased songs, including the show stopping, “Limehouse Blues”.

 

LINER NOTES FROM THE DISC:

The Cache Valley Drifters started their life together in the summer of 1972 as a band of buskers, folksingers, deadheads, trekkies, and aficionados of bluegrass; the perfect modern acoustic ensemble looking for a place to exist....

 IN THE BEGINNING....it started as a friendship between David West and myself. The genesis began at the Bluebird Cafe on Anapamu street in Santa Barbara, but we first met at a bar in a hotel near East Beach, Santa Barbara on a fateful summer night.

 There were two clubs in that hotel; a hippie beer bar, The Brewery, and a mellow acoustic room the size of a shoe known as Blackbeards West. Blackbeard’s featured music six nights a week. David and his partner, Chris Clayton played three and Steve DeGroodt and I played the other three.

 One night I decided to wander down to the bar to check out Dave and Chris. David was handling the night without his partner and in a moment of pure serendipity, he invited me to sit in. We played the night, mined each other’s song lists and after the gig, hightailed it up Highway 101 to Atascadero to meet aone of Dave’s friends who worked at the State Hospital.

 It was a crazy thing to do, but we were getting to know each other, becoming buddies and starting a discussion of the universe.

 That discussion continued for the next twelve years and formed the basis of our careers as friends,  players, and Drifters. As the next few months progressed, we started gigging and busking, and things started sounding quite good. We loved what we were doing together, but realized we needed another voice, another ingredient. Within a year we picked up a partner; mandolinist and vocalist, Bill Griffin, and the die was cast for one of the great acoustic bands of all time.

 The essence of the group was a deep appreciation for acoustic music. The style didn’t really matter; our specialty was putting modern treatments (long arrangements, jamming) to contemporary music. The band loved bluegrass, swing, folk, blues, rock and we played it all without reservation.

 A component which made this a special group was a solid respect for each other. This was reflected in our work and music. We three boys lived, ate, drank, and played Drifter music for twelve years nonstop. We managed the band, recorded three LPs for Flying Fish, coined concepts of contemporary acoustic music, and performed thousands of gigs throughout California and across the country. It took an enormous amount of time, patience, and camaradrerie to pull it off, but we had plenty of all three.

 The material on this recording was gratefully sourced from a compact disk copy of a tape recording done at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in late 1979 by Alan Kantor and Peter Cutler. It is not a fine audiophile quality recording of the group, but the disk captures the essence and energy of the Drifters as we make our way through a genre busting set. 

 The Cache Valley Drifters is one of the great things in my life. We were a group of friends bound by fellowship, music, excellence, respect, and a willingness to climb the mountain everyday (even though some days we were kinda stoned). Those who knew us in those days would also know that throughout our history we maintained our respect, fellowship, and music until we just couldn't do it anymore...it  actually takes quite a bit of energy to keep this sort of thing going.

 Twelve years after we started the group, Dave, Bill, and myself, along with Tom Lee, our bass player, mutually decided to retire our band, our name, and our music to move into different aspects of what we had learned as Drifters. We left the band behind but not our friendships and legacy.

 LOOKING BACK.....whatever incarnations or reincarnations our incredible energy may have spawned, it is the result and design of an amazing band, made by hand, a long time ago, with an incredible spirit that was well played, hard-working, and proper.

 Cyrus Clarke, Maui, 2015

Upcountry Skies/Cyrus Clarke

Cyrus Clarke's sixth solo effort.

An acoustic assortment of great songs and sounds flying from the south coast of California to the slopes of Haleakala on Maui.

Cyrus has been an Allman Brothers fan forever. On this CD he covers his second AB instrumental, "Jessica" (the Acoustics covered "In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed."

The set also includes Tom Russell's "Spanish Burgundy" and "Uncle John's Band."

There are eight Cyrus Clarke gems in this constellation of songs as well as "Kind Woman", the Springfield classic.

Sunrise On The Radio Remastered/The Cyrus Clarke Band - CD

Cyrus Clarke, founding member of the Cache Valley Drifters and Acousticats, has also recorded six solo projects. His first CD, “Sunrise On The Radio”, was released in 1997. The newly remastered disc features nine original songs plus “Red Tail Hawk”, a Kate Wolf classic. The title song is Clarke’s homage to Wolf, a friend for many years. 

Mandolin and Telecaster form the basis of sound for Clarke’s bands throughout his solo career and was coined on this record. To make this sound real, Cyrus tapped mando wizard, Tom Corbett and Telecaster ace, Barney Tower. Also rounding out the outfit are Rosie Tower, harmony vocals, Tom Lackner on drums, and Gary Sangenitto playing bass. Guest Nashville artist and old friend, Mark Morell, plays slide and keyboards.