Album Review: Dane Clark – “Postcards from the Hard Road”

Dane Clark
Postcards From the Hard Road

Make no mistake, there is a sound of Indiana. A Mellencamp-influenced sound, and any Hoosier musician around long enough to have played during 1980s heartland rock heydey must find the stuff thick in their veins.

For Dane Clark, who has worked as John Mellencamp‘s drummer for the past 16 years, his new album Postcards from the Hard Road brings together many branches from that Indiana heartland rock tree, through direct ties to Mellencamp (current bandmembers), or by way of Larry Crane, John’s guitar player throughout the 1980s. Twenty years ago, Clark played drums in Crane’s band when the guitar player first split with his former boss.

When Jennie DeVoe joins in on “I Wouldn’t Be Me Without U,” it is the magic of two seasoned Americana performers having fun. “Sweet Temptation ” cuts through with lyrics about opportunities to stray, matched to a blues-rock sound. “Waylon and Willie” is a Steve Earle/Joe Ely redux. The mid-tempo “Down in the Goldmine” – – with Clark working on the downbeat, beautifully dragging the snare just behind the vocals – recreates the Waylon vibe. Continue reading “Album Review: Dane Clark – “Postcards from the Hard Road””

Review – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in Louisville

After his last trip to Indianapolis in 2008, and only drawing 12,000 or so fans to his show at Conseco Fieldhouse on his “Magic” tour, it was pretty clear Bruce Springsteen would not be making a return appearance in Indy.

And that has, sadly, been the case.

While he’s playing nearby Midwest cities (Chicago, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Detroit, Omaha, Neb.) on the current tour promoting the Wrecking Ball album, Indiana fans of the Boss found Louisville to be the closest stop.

On Saturday night, he brought his 17-piece E Street Band to Kentucky’s largest city, and was met by a full house, and gave back with a 26-song, three-hour performance equal parts gospel music, bone-crunching rock and loose-limbed rock and soul. In his first six songs, he and the band played four songs from the new album, including an explosive “Shackled and Drawn” as the opener.

Making his first appearance at the new downtown KFC Yum Center, Bruce was greeted by a boisterous, ready-to-participate crowd.  He and the band rewarded them with no less than five tunes not on the printed setlist, and invited fans on four different occasions to jump, sing, dance on stage and bask in the once-in-a-lifetime thrill of being under the lights with the band. Continue reading “Review – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in Louisville”