New Music Monday: Jeremiah Clark

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By Nick Mattos, PQ Monthly

In today's New Music Monday, PQ presents Portland's own out alt-country crooner Jeremiah Clark. Growing up in a small town outside Memphis, Tennessee, Clark was reared in an musical environment suffused with bluegrass, rock, gospel, and soul. “Music surrounded me from my very first memories," Clark explains. "The joy, the drive, the love of music and making it was always celebrated in our home.†Clark first went the classical route, quickly gaining acclaim for his vocal work in local, regional, and state choirs; however, the Americana sound ran deep, compelling him to teach himself piano and guitar, cut his first demo at the age of fourteen, and self-produce three albums before leaving for college. Since then, Clark has become a consummate folk troubadour, playing over 250 shows in sixty different cities as both a headliner and a supporting act for the likes of fellow out folksinger Tom Goss. Jeremiah Clark relocated to the Rose City in late 2012; upon arrival, he set out to actualize his long-held dream of establishing his own independent label. Mariposa Records' first release, due this Spring, is a reworking of Clark's debut studio album Just Another Sad Song. As clever as the title may be, it's not totally accurate — Clark's works aren't "just another sad song" as much as they are a dispatch from a unique and talented young performer, evoking the maudlin theatricality of Rufus Wainwright and the unassumingly homespun qualities of Ray LaMontagne in equal measure. It's a sweet, generous, unpretentious sound that has garnered grassroots attention nationwide for a reason: it's just that damn good. Listen to live clips of "Practicing Lines," "Come On Autumn," and "Understood," then, head over to Jeremiah Clark's Bandcamp page to stream more tracks. If you find yourself enraptured by Clark's sound, think about marking your calendar for one of his upcoming shows in Memphis, Portland, Astoria, Santa Monica, or Pittsburgh — like we said, this guy definitely gets around. BlogTail_NickMattos