JR Clark is a guitarist / singer-songwriter from Michigan. He has already recorded several studio albums with his band The Allstar Blues Mob. You can call them "Allstars", because this is about Alligator Records artist and bassist Johnny B. Gayden (he played with Albert Collins on the Grammy-winning album 'Showdown!' In 1985 with Robert Cray and Johnny Clyde Copeland) . Drummers are drummer Jerry “Bam Bam” Porter (Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Magic Slim) & Randall Willis (Artie "Bluesboy" White, Joe Murray, Tyrone Davis, Mississippi Heat) and Willie Styles strums the keys. Styles briefly toured with Robert Ward and is one of the most important and in-demand keyboardists in West Michigan. JR Clark himself is responsible for vocals, lead and rhythm guitar. The wind players who joined them in the studio are Johnny Cotton (trombone) and Kenny Anderson (trumpet). Solo this year, JR Clark released "Wishing Well". He recorded the album with pretty much the core of The Allstar Blues Mob (Johnny B. Gayden, Jerry "Bam Bam" Porter, Randal Willis & Willie Styles. JR wrote (except for one cover, "I Wouldn't Treat a Dog ( The Way You Treated Me) ") all the songs. The content of the songs are very diverse and go from homages from the 70s (the funky opener with piano reminiscent of The Doors," Stop On a Dime ") to soulful ballads (“Heart Too Broke to Mend” and “Your Love”), rockers (“Billy D's Demise”) and bluesy shuffles (“When She Starts Walkin '”) to reflective melodies (the closing track, “Wishing Well”). Old Blues Song ”he could count on Christina Clark. The most striking (and also the longest) tracks are the intriguing shuffle“ 38 Blues ”and especially“ Internet Prison ”. The last one is a five-minute account of - since the late years' 90 a fixed value in our lives - the worldwide public network (www), the internet Since the expansion of the military network to the world, the According to Clark, monsters are created. “It's a whole new way we live in this world. This is a brand new day: all take and not give. Everyone wants to be the center of attention. Envy, jealousy, this is what we see in this internet prison… ”and, he continues,“ The web should connect and free us from the previous limitations of the analog media, and not entangle us in a web of our own devices… ”. “We have to stop this madness and this hatred and embrace each other…” Clark urges us. JR Clark and his buddies again guarantee variety and reliability with "Wishing Well". Never change a winning team and certainly not The Allstar Blues Mob !. With "Wishing Well" JR Clark and his mates once again guarantee variety and reliability. Never change a winning team and certainly not The Allstar Blues Mob! ... “(ESC for Rootstime.be)
J R Clark and the All Star Blues Mob explore all styles of Blues including Chicago Blues / Soul / Rock / Regae and Country on this critically acclaimed album! Showing a wide range of versatility and original song writing… “ JR Clark, a guitarist / singer-songwriter from Michigan, recorded a fourth studio album with his band The Allstar Blues Mob. You can call them "Allstars", because these are bassist Johnny B Gayden (Albert Collins), Buddy Guy / Magic Slim's drummer Jerry "Bam Bam" Porter and keyboard player Willie Styles. The wind players who joined them in the studio are Johnny Cotton (trombone) and Kenny Anderson (trumpet). JR wrote all the songs (except for one cover by James Brown) and Johnny B the arrangements of three songs. "January Rain", as the album is called, was recorded by Blaise Barton and Brian Leach (also does the percussion on "Shakin 'Margaritas") at Joy Ride Studios in Chicago. "January Rain" opens strongly (under the impulse of the wind section) with the title track. We immediately hear that JR is an excellent singer and guitarist. Bassist Johnny B provides the funky touch in the song. It ends with the moral in the story of the girl staying out late, triggering JR's suspicions. After that, for fans of classic soul there is “It's A Big Old World”. JR sets the rhythm here, which is the basis of Willie Styles' solo, followed by JR's solo and a Barry White-esque outro. “Today I Fell In Love All Over Again” is typical Philly soul, with again an important role for the wind section. JR's solo goes well here with Styles' handsome piano solo. Two tracks are dedicated to deceased guitarists. “Train” is a tribute to Luther Allison (1939-1997) and “Still My Baby” is dedicated to Morris Holt, better known as Magic Slim (1937-2013). JR gets pissed off in “Something Funny”, a song with reggae influences, about apparently sensitive items like hunger, homelessness and unemployment. With the rocking “Hard Workin '” the tempo goes up. Styles' boogie piano supports the (probably autobiographical) story of a bluesman's hard life. In "Storm Blowin", JR compares it to a storm ("I'll pick you up when you fall down, will you do the same? ..."). In this lyrical song, Styles' organ churns and JR's long solo sounds dramatic. The same atmosphere hangs over “After Midnight”, in which JR talks about drugs and racism, social problems, which are “standard” part of the community. Your Good Loving rocks à la ZZ Top and, in the finale, Johnny Cotton (trombone) and Kenny Anderson (trumpet) shine one more time. James Brown's “It's A Man's World” is a successful cover, very close to the original. I haven't mentioned two numbers yet. They are very funny songs. In "Shakin 'Margaritas" (watch Leach's percussion!) You can feel the pleasure JR has when Maria shakes the cocktails in the bar. And, in “Hot Lunch Mama”, JR beckons at an attractive lady on her way to her regular lunch date. The song is full of ambiguities, but luckily there is also Styles' rolling piano. "January Rain" is a successful album, with only excellent songs. The Allstar Mob is a strong band and the horns are great. This was my first JR Clark's album, call it a “pleasant surprise”! Eric Schuurmans
POSTED ONJUNE 20, 2020 BY RAINEY WETNIGHT JR Clark – Wishing Well | Album Review JR Clark – Wishing Well Self-Produced www.jrcblues.com CD: 10 Songs, 57 Minutes Styles: Ensemble Blues, Soul, Funk, R&B Why do consumers so often grab a Big Mac, read the latest John Grisham novel, or watch yet another episode of The Simpsons? They’re looking for a certain reliable sort of entertainment, one they can always count on no matter how hard times get. The blues of JR Clark, on his new album Wishing Well, falls into such a category. Innovation takes a back seat to tradition here, but listeners will know three things right off the bat: 1) This ensemble knows how to party; 2) they also know how to make slow selections as gripping as fast ones; and 3) their songwriting skills are above average. They present nine original tunes and one cover, “I Wouldn’t Treat a Dog (The Way You Treated Me).” Collectively, these run the gamut from ‘70s homages (the opening number) to gritty stomps (“When She Starts Walkin’”) to reflective melodies (the title track and closer). Clark’s vocals are conversational, but when he lets his guitar do the talking, a powerful exchange ensues between performers and listeners. This is real-deal blues, soul, funk and R&B. This act consists of national talents, including Johnny B. Gayden, Alligator Records recording artist and bass player for Albert Collins and the Ice Breakers. Johnny played on the Grammy- winning album Showdown! with Albert Collins, Robert Cray, and Johnny Clyde Copeland. Drummer Randal Willis has worked with the likes of Artie “Bluesboy” White, Joe Murray, Tyrone Davis and Mississippi Heat, to name a few. Drummer Jerry “Bam Bam” Porter has toured with Buddy Guy, James Cotton and Magic Slim. Rounding out the lineup is Willie Styles on keys. Willie briefly toured with Robert Ward and is one of the premier and most sought-out keyboard players in West Michigan. JR Clark fronts the band on vocals, lead and rhythm guitar. One standout track is “Internet Prison,” a five-minute takedown of a permanent fixture in our lives since the late 1990s. Technology’s fantastic, but what kind of monsters has it created? “It’s a brand new way in this world that we’re living. This is a brand new day: all taking and no giving. Everybody wants to be the center of attention. Envy, jealousy, this is what we see, living in this Internet prison.” Oof. The World Wide Web (yes, I’m old enough to still call it that) is supposed to connect and free us from the earlier constraints of analog media, not ensnare us in a cell (pun intended) of our own devices. Nevertheless, that’s what has happened, for better or worse. “We got to stop this madness and this hate, and embrace one another,” Clark exhorts us. In the mood for some solid blues you can depend upon to entertain, if not to reach avant-garde horizons? Then drop Wishing Well into your CD player! Email this pagePlease follow and like us:50 CATEGORIESALBUM REVIEWS TAGSENSEMBLE BLUES, FUNK, JERRY "BAM BAM" PORTER, JOHNNY B. GAYDEN, JR CLARK, R&B, RAINEY WETNIGHT, RANDAL WILLIS, SOUL, WILLIE STYLES, WISHING WELL Post navigation Previous Post PREVIOUS Featured Interview – Jim PughNext Post NEXT Harper And Midwest Kind – Rise Up | Album Review
POSTED ONAUGUST 27, 2017 BY JOHN MITCHELL JR Clark – January Rain | Album Review JR Clark – January Rain Self-Release – 2017 13 tracks; 64 minutes www.jrcblues.com JR Clark is a guitarist, singer and songwriter from Michigan and this is his fourth studio album. His band bears the impressive title of ‘The Allstar Blues Mob’ and bassist Johnny B Gayden (Albert Collins) and Buddy Guy/Magic Slim drummer Jerry ‘Bam Bam’ Porter are certainly very experienced musicians, alongside keyboard player Willie Styles. A horn section of Johnny Cotton (trombone) and Kenny Anderson (trumpet) add additional firepower to five tracks. JR wrote all the material bar one track and Johnny B had a hand in three arrangements. The album was recorded at JoyRide Studios in Chicago by Blaise Barton and Brian Leach who adds egg shaker, tambourine and ‘Fish’ on “Shakin’ Margaritas”. The CD opens strongly with the power of the horns driving the title track “January Rain”. JR has a good voice and plays some striking guitar, very much in the Larry McCray, Michael Burks mould. Johnny B’s bass is right up in the mix and adds a funky bottom end to the tale of the girl who is staying out late, arousing JR’s suspicion. Fans of classic soul music will love “It’s A Big Old World” with JR’s rhythm work underpinning a fine keyboard solo before JR brings out a nicely rounded solo that fits the soulful vibe perfectly (though for this reviewer the Barry White-style spoken section could have been dropped). Similarly “I Fell In Love All Over Again” is classic Philly soul material which JR sings well in a slightly lighter voice, the horns adding to the chorus and JR’s solo fitting well with the mood created by Willie’s excellent electric piano solo. Two tracks are dedicated to departed guitarists: “Train” is dedicated to Luther Allison and features some appropriately tough guitar and “Still My Baby” thunders along in a good imitation of Magic Slim, JR singing in a harder voice. “Something Funny” discusses hunger, homelessness and unemployment on a tune with a reggae influence. JR ups the tempo on the rocking “Hard Workin’” which has plenty of boogie piano on an autobiographical song about life as a bluesman – broken down van, late arrival at the gig, etc. “Storm Blowin’” equates relationships to storms (“I’ll pick you up when you fall down, will you do the same?”) and is a lyrical song with swirling organ and an extended and dramatic solo from JR, a definite highlight. Similarly exciting guitar embellishes “After Midnight” as JR reflects on some of the worrying features of our society such as drugs on the streets and racism. Ringing guitars that sound a little like ZZ Top and solid rocking accompaniment feature on “Your Good Loving”. The horns return on the final track, the only cover here, James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s World”, which JR delivers well, sticking reasonably close to the original and giving us one more fine solo before the album ends. Two comic songs lighten the serious mood of some of the songs here: on “Shakin’ Margaritas” JR has lots of fun with rhymes as Maria works her cocktail magic in the bar, watched by all the guys as uncredited flute and shakers add a different feel; “Hot Lunch Mama” finds JR admiring an attractive lady heading for her regular lunch date with some some double meaning lyrics and fine rolling piano work. Overall this is an impressive album with no weak tracks. The horns are superb on the tracks on which they feature but the band is strong enough to entertain us throughout the album. This was the first this reviewer had heard of JR Clark but he someone to watch out for. This CD is available from CD Baby and comes recommended! Email this pagePlease follow and like us:49 CATEGORIESALBUM REVIEWS TAGSALBERT COLLINS, BARRY WHITE, BLAISE BARTON, BRIAN LEACH, BUDDY GUY, CHICAGO, JAMES BROWN, JERRY "BAM BAM" PORTER, JOHN MITCHELL, JOHNNY B. GAYDEN, JOHNNY COTTON, JR CLARK, KENNY ANDERSON, LARRY MCCRAY, LUTHER ALLISON, MAGIC SLIM, MICHAEL BURKS, PHILLY SOUL, THE ALLSTAR BLUES MOB, WILLIE STYLES, ZZ TOP Post navigation Previous Post PREVIOUS Guitar Slim Jr – The Story Of My Life | Album ReviewNext Post NEXT Bobby G with Curtis Grant Jr. and the Midnight Rockers – Still Standing | Album Review
BER 16, 2014 BY RAINEY WETNIGHT JR Clark and the Allstar Blues Mob – When It All Comes Down | Album Review jrclarkcdJR Clark and the Allstar Blues Mob – When It All Comes Down Human Juke Joint Productions/BMI http://www.jrcblues.com CD: 12 Songs; 66:45 Minutes Styles: Blues Rock, Blues Covers, Ensemble Blues Let’s say there’s a blues festival coming up in a good-sized city. There are a lot of people, especially those who crave live shows, but there’s one big problem. The household-name band scheduled to be the headliner has cancelled at the last minute. Readers, if you were the organizers of such an event, whom would you hire in order to fill the hole in the schedule? Even better, whom would you have hired in the first place? Consider JR Clark and the Allstar Blues Mob, originating in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Their lead guitarist/vocalist, JR Clark, and organ/piano/keyboard player Willie Styles have joined up with legendary bassist Johnny B. Gayden, from Albert Collins and the Ice Breakers, on their latest album, When It All Comes Down. Finishing out the quartet is drummer and percussionist Jerry “Bam Bam” Porter, who toured with Buddy Guy for 14 years. He also toured with Magic Slim and the Teardrops, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and is currently fresh off tour with the James Cotton Band. Together, these four have performed at several festivals like South Bend Blues and Ribs Festival at Coveleski Stadium, the Kalamazoo Blues Festival, and several other regional venues in Indiana and Michigan. Here they launch into twelve songs showcasing their high energy level and addictive instrumental prowess. Nine are covers, but these three display their blossoming songwriting skills: Track 02: “Inner City” – This funky number, with its take-no-prisoners baseline, presents a possibly-perennial scene: “Body laying on the ground; there’s a crowd gathered round. Blood running from his head from a flying, hot piece of lead. Sirens start to howl; it’s a deafening sound. It’s just another day in the inner city. Will it ever change, or will it stay the same?” Clark’s guitar refrain falls into a slight rut, but that underscores the song’s point. Track 06: “A Little Bit Older” – Who says that one must age gracefully? Not our narrator in this Chicago blues ballad: “I might be getting older, but I’m no less bolder,” he assures everyone – especially the ladies. “I can still make the women a little weak in the knees. I’ve got a whole lot of experience, and I aim to please.” So does Willie Styles on his rollicking piano solo. Track 08: “Clean Getaway” – Many say that dogs are man’s best friend, but Clark knows the ones in this rocker are his mortal enemies: “I’ve got to make a clean getaway. Hell hound’s on my trail, trying to take me away…He’ll never slow down ‘til he has his prey.” Repentance isn’t easy, however, unlike JR’s hot electric guitar groove. One other critique of Clark and the Mob’s style is that their vocals run to the talk-singing side, but that’s a minor flaw. “When It All Comes Down,” they know how to play boisterous blues! Email this pagePlease follow and like us:50 CATEGORIESALBUM REVIEWS TAGSJERRY "BAM BAM" PORTER, JOHNNY B. GAYDEN, JR CLARK, JR CLARK AND THE ALLSTAR BLUES MOB, KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN, WHEN IT ALL COMES DOWN, WILLIE STYLES Post navigation Previous Post PREVIOUS B.B. and the Blues Shacks – Businessmen | Album ReviewNext Post NEXT Sunny Lowdown – The Blues Volume Low | Album Review
What a pleasant acquaintance with JR Clark And The All Star Blues Mob is this "When It All Comes Down" has become! The quartet consists alongside singer / guitarist JR Clark from some experienced musical rats. What do you think of Johnny B. Gayden still played bass nij Albert Collins And The Ice Breakers? or how about a drummer Jerry "Bam Bam" Porter, who many years toured with Buddy Guy, Magic Slim and The James Cotton Band? If that is not enough, you also have the fantastic keyboard player Willie Styles! Well, these guys together form an excellent Blues band who have admired songs brought excellent twelve on this release. There is something for everyone to enjoy on this album. Eight covers, three songs written by Clark and a number of the band that vary in style but the plate captivates from beginning to end.The title track was written by Jennings / Sample but will sound familiar by BB King. It is a very worthy aftrapper service. The following, "Inner City" is a fantastic pounding rocking blues blemish excellent guitar work of Clark, also writer who works extremely contagious in the lower limbs. We blink away a tear of emotion as then Michael Burks' "Can You Feel It" blares through the speakers. By us so lamented artist gets a sublime tribute given here with an almost perfect version of his classic.Also known by Albert King 'Cross Cut Saw "can count here at the home on more than nodding approvingly. Totally excited Clark's own straightforward Blue Number "A Little Bit Older". The Chicago Blues ballad arouses deep respect for us. The searing solo piano makes the song also one of our favorites. JR shows what further anyway again what a brilliant songwriter he is on the rocking "Clean Getaway"! Of why still so many covers on this album we have to guess but if that results in a fine job here as it can make us really care.Clark's some more narrative style of singing knows us indeed tempt and fits perfectly with the songs that they bring. The men are indeed experienced enough songs to play after not indiscriminately but there respectfully to indicate its own toetsje. The least successful version, and even then, we perceive at Johnny Guitar Watson's "I Want To Ta Ta You Baby" but they regroup themselves entirely with "Can I Change My Mind", once a hit for Tyrone Davis. In any case, JR Clark and his band managed to convince me all of their abilities. On the next release we want to hear some more songs zelfgepende because here they stand upright effortlessly between the famous Blue Classics and that says enough already! Let's now look for previously released albums of this exciting band.Luc Meert”

http://www.rootstime.be/CD REVIEUW/2015/JAN1/CD65.html

By JEFF HARRELL South Bend TribuneIt’s fair to say the blues just kind of fell into JR Clark’s lap.“OK, maybe a little,” the Kalamazoo bluesman admits, recalling the first time the blues bug bit him square in his guitar-playing soul.“Seeing Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials open for George Thorogood at the Kalamazoo Fair,” Clark says. “I was honing my skills with rock ’n’ roll, and Lil’ Ed walks out and I was like, ‘Holy crap, who is this guy?’ He really inspired me. I remember thinking, I’ll never be able to get this good, but I feel like I’ve come along a bit.”Yes, JR Clark’s blues have come along quite a bit.Anybody who witnessed the 47-year-old guitar slinger’s wicked set that boogied tribute to Freddie King and John Lee Hooker at last year’s Blues and Ribs Fest at Coveleski Stadium can attest to Clark’s authentic blues spirit.That Lil’ Ed Williams’ move Clark busted during one extended song walking through the crowd blistering the air with a ferocious guitar solo? Yeah, Clark is applying the lessons he picked up from the masters. Don’t be surprised if he takes his guitar to the people when he hits the stage today for a Meet Me on the Island show at downtown South Bend’s Century Center.“That’s something a lot of the blues guys do,” he says. “Lil’ Ed inspired me to do that. … That’s not something I do every time, but if I feel the crowd’s into that, I’ll get out off the stage and mingle with the crowd.”Born in Texas to a musician father who played “old-school” country music and a mother who loved Elvis Presley, Clark moved with his mom to the small Michigan town of Covert at a young age. There, he found a racially diverse town that listened to rock ’n’ roll, soul and R&B.“I like all music, but I never went out and bought albums,” Clark says. “I was into Chuck Berry, Little Richard, most of the artists that I heard growing up, they’re influences.”But it wasn’t until he got married and moved back to Texas to be closer with his father that he got his first guitar — a Gibson bought for him by his dad.“I just made an oath with myself that I’m going to learn to play it,” Clark says.By the time he returned to Michigan, this time Kalamazoo, Clark had familiarized himself with his guitar well enough to start hammering out the blues he absorbed from such musicians as Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials, Luther Allison, Magic Slim, Larry McCray and fellow Michigander Michael Burks, who Clark befriended and covered musically on record.And he hung out at local jam sessions, where he met musicians that the average blues fan paid to see.“I parted ways with one of my keyboard players, and my drummer at the time had seen Willie come to a jam session in Kalamazoo,” Clark says of keyboardist Willie Styles, who had toured with blues and Motown guitarist Robert Ward. “I just stopped in to hang out one night and Willie popped in, and now we’ve been together for a few years.”The rhythm section of bassist Johnny B. Gayden and drummer Jerry “Bam Bam” Porter were already acclaimed backup musicians in their own right. Gayden, an Alligator Records recording artist, had toured extensively with blues legend Albert Collins and also is a member of South Bend’s Whistle Pigs. Porter held down the beat for Buddy Guy for several years, as well as Magic Slim and the Tear Drops, and the drummer continues to tour with The James Cotton Band when he isn’t working with Clark.“Jerry Porter,” Clark says, “I met him in Indiana at a jam session. I needed a drummer for a New Year’s show, and I called Kenny Kinsey (bassist with The Kinsey Report) and got Jerry’s number, thinking this guy’s got to be booked.”Porter, to Clark’s surprise, was open. “I was kind of honored that he would even consider playing with me.”Just this month, JR Clark and the All Star Blues Mob released “When It All Comes Down.” Clark’s fifth recorded offering is a heady, hard-driving exploration of Chicago blues that includes Clark originals — “Inner City,” “A Little Bit Older” and “Clean Getaway” — covers of Michael Burks’ “Can You Feel It” and Robert Ward’s “Peace of Mind,” and a surprisingly fresh, worldly percussive version of the old Donny Hathaway burner “The Ghetto” that conjures more of a War “Low Rider” street detour away from the blues.Clark is quick to credit his band for putting the R and the B into his brand of soul.“I play with guys that I feel so at home with,” he says. “They’re loving what they do, they’re not just playing the blues.“Of course,” Clark adds, “they want to get paid, too, but that love of the music is there.”There is one bluesman that Clark channels with his guitar on the new record, although being spoken in the same breath as B.B. King is a humbling prospect.“That’s all I’ve ever wanted,” Clark says. “I want somebody to say he’s the real deal. I want my peers to say that.“That,” he says, “means more to me than anything, even more than, ‘Come along and play a gig and we’ll go into the studio.’”” - Jeff Harrel

South Bend Tribune

Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association Web Page Mark Patrick/Special Tribute To “Iron Man” Michael Burks Held at 411 Club

Spark catches fire for high-energy bandNovember 09, 2007|ANDREW S. HUGHES Tribune Staff Writer Clark has been "asked a million times" why his blues band doesn't have a harmonica player in it. "I don't think there would be room for that," he says by cell phone from a gas station in Benton Harbor. He has no need for one, and in fact, produces a refreshing, varied take on the blues without one. With "Sweet" Ray Burke on Hammond B-3 organ, "Boogie Woogie" Bob Peters on piano and Tim King on saxophone, the JR Clark Band has both a big sound and a big presence on stage. Led by Clark on guitar, Timson Taliaferro on drums and Denny Love on bass round out the six-piece band. "It's a little tough sometimes," Clark says of traveling with such a large band -- and an instrument as heavy as a B-3 organ. "It's nice to play places that have roadies, sometimes, but you've got to do what you've got to do. We just deal with it." Based on the band's two albums, "I Shoulda Listened to My Conscience" and "Getaway," Clark and his band "deal with it" quite well musically. Clark specializes in slide guitar, and he unleashes his technique with a roar on "Heartbreaker," "Goin' to Chicago" and "Last Call Boogie." Clark's cover of Luther Allison's "You Don't Know" features a fat tone from his guitar laid over a boogie-woogie rhythm, and the blues-soul seduction song "Let's Go Out Tonight (Revisited)" has a jazz underpinning to its sax solo. "Trouble" even opens with an Allman Brothers-tinged Southern rock riff that reaches fruition on Clark's guitar solo, while the melancholy "Get What She Needs" spotlights Clark's single note playing above a solid base from the organ. Clark engages in social commentary with his lyrics on the groovin' jazz-based "Bring Our Children Home" and the grungy, fuzz-toned "Promised Land." Clark can sing, too: His voice imbues the cheatin' song "Lady of the Night" with pain and "I Shoulda Listened to My Conscience" with regret. "I'm not a big conversationalist, but I do observe," Clark says of writing lyrics. "I guess that's the way a lot of artists do (it). You can get things out with your art." The 40-year-old guitarist says he isn't a "technical player" and plays strictly by ear. "I just want to get across something -- the energy, the stage presence, the feel of the music," he says. "In fact, I don't even know what I'm playing. I have to ask the bass player, 'What key is this in? What chord is this?' But we make it work." Clark's two albums give no reason to doubt his description of the band's live show as "high-energy" as he and his band offer up a selection of originals and covers of songs by Michael Burkes, Luther Allison, Muddy Waters and, of course, his mentor, Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials. "It's just my influences coming out," he says. "I never have a set list, and the guys are on me for that, but I do so much better just whipping them out and going by instinct about what the audience will want. ... There will be some strings broken, I'm sure. There usually is.” - Andy Hughes

South Bend Tribune

J.R. Clark BandIt's a fair bet that during his set, J.R. Clark is gonna walk on tables, do a few back bends while he's playing his guitar and head out into the crowd.He's a natural showman.I just connect with the people. You get out there close to the people and it does something. When I'm feeling good and the energy is there, I go out. It just comes over me," he said.Clark - a protege of guitarist "Lil'" Ed Williams from Chicago - started his band about 20 years ago. He said Williams taught him showmanship, but he already had the energy. His six-member band features a Hammond B-3 organ and a piano, so it has a juke joint-type of vibe.Having you come to the show and hearing sad blues isn't a part of Clark's plan. His brand of rockin' blues doesn't include anything about worrying over your woman leaving you or the house burning down.When someone goes to see a blues show, I want them to realize blues is pretty high-energy stuff. You can dance to it and it's not always about sad things," Clark said.Just like Frog, Clark doesn't see the blues scene diminishing any time soon. Sure, it takes a step back, but it always rebounds.The live music scene is where it's at. Your DJs are only gonna go so far," he said.Music has to come from somewhere.” - Christian Czerwinski

Lansing State Journal