Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers
Gig Seeker Pro

Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers

Lompoc, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2019 | INDIE

Lompoc, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2019
Band Americana Acoustic

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
10
Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers @ Hilton Garden Inn Santa Barbara/Goleta

Goleta, California, United States

Goleta, California, United States

Aug
04
Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers @ Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.

Los Olivos, California, United States

Los Olivos, California, United States

Aug
03
Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers @ Pali Wine Co.

Lompoc, California, United States

Lompoc, California, United States

Jul
27
Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers @ Fat Fry at Tan Oak Park

Laytonville, California, United States

Laytonville, California, United States

Jun
30
Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers @ Island Brewing Company

Carpinteria, California, United States

Carpinteria, California, United States

Jun
14
Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers @ Hangar 7 Lompoc

Lompoc, California, United States

Lompoc, California, United States

May
24
Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers @ Hangar 7 Lompoc

Lompoc, California, United States

Lompoc, California, United States

May
03
Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers @ Vino Et Amici's

Orcutt, California, United States

Orcutt, California, United States

Apr
27
Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers @ Pali Wine Co.

Lompoc, California, United States

Lompoc, California, United States

Apr
27
Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers @ Pali Wine Co.

Lompoc, California, United States

Lompoc, California, United States

Apr
21
Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers @ Hilton Garden Inn Santa Barbara/Goleta

Goleta, California, United States

Goleta, California, United States

Apr
14
Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers @ Figueroa Mountain Brewing Buellton

California, United States

California, United States

Apr
05
Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers @ Hangar 7 Lompoc

Lompoc, California, United States

Lompoc, California, United States

Music

Press


"Cyrus Clarke and Barney Tower kick off Summer Garden Party at Fig Mountain Brewery"

Cyrus Clarke, noted California songwriter, spent thirty six years playing music in Santa Barbara and throughout California. He is the founding member of the Cache Valley Drifters and the Acousticats.

In 2007 he moved to Hawai’i and worked in the music scene on Maui for eleven years. At the end of 2018, Clarke moved back to Santa Barbara county.

Ranch Recording is pleased to announce that Clarke is back home playing music, teaching, and performing in California.

His first performance takes place at Figueroa Mountain Brewing, 45 Industrial Way, Buellton, California, Sunday, April 14, 2019, 2-5 PM.

Cyrus will be performing with long time partner, telecaster whiz, and multi-instrumentalist, Barney Tower for this and many more dates. Clarke and Tower are in the process of forming their newest amalgamation, Motherball, and will play tunes from the band’s repertoire as well as music from California.

Clarke’s label, Ranch Recording, has produced eleven CD recordings of Cyrus’ music; available on I-Tunes, Spotify, cyrusclarke.com, and all the usual outlets.

For more information, please call or email:

805.863.3300

ranchomaui@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/ranchomaui - Santa Maria Times


"California Stories"

DIRTY LINEN

Cyrus Clarke Band/California Stories Throughout all of his work with the Cache Valley Drifters, the Acousticats, and his own band, guitarist/songwriter Cyrus Clarke has used his native state as a tableau against which to paint his country rock originals.

The second Cyrus Clarke Band release, "California Stories", takes this on as an explicit theme, featuring eleven Cyrus Clarke originals set in the golden state, topped off with Woody Guthrie's "Deportee," Kate Wolf's "Safe At Anchor," and the Grateful Dead's "New Speedway Boogie." Clarke's California is populated by a motley crew of lovers, outlaws, and drifters and his expressive lyrics give them life, as does the country rock kick of his six-piece band.

This being America, second best gets short shrift, and nowhere more so than here in California as Silicon Valley's procession of ones and zeroes embodies what seems to be the only possible destinies: Sutter's gold success or Marie Prevost (a fallen Hollywood starlet who became the doggie's dinner). The Cyrus Clarke Band tends to bust up that neat dichotomy in numerous ways.

The subject matter of their latest CD, "California Stories" elevates those considered zeroes-desperadoes and deportees, wanderers and waitresses-into significant ones by simply relating their tales. Perhaps the disc's most telling lines are "Love don't ride in a Mercedes-Benz or a big, black Cadillac. It rides an El Camino with two kids in the back."

Clarke's easy voice, a kind of cross between Lowell George's and Raul Malo's, leads the band down lonely sunset highways, looking for love in all the wrong places that can still end up right, like border radio suddenly breaking through the static. As one would expect from Clarke, A Santa Barbara stalwart and founding member of both the Cache Valley Drifters and the Acousticats, each song leaves plenty of room for the band to do its stuff. In particular, the mandolin work of Tom Corbett stands out. Although his playing is too joyful to be called work and if claiming that it stands out sounds like he's showing off, well, that's wrong too.

So the disc ends up a few grams short of Parsons. So Clarke fails to dethrone Dave Alvin as the King of California. There are thirty-five million stories after all, and ending up in the top five percent musically is nothing to sing the blues about. Or perhaps it is, if they are blues as Fresno true, Woody Guthrie loving, and life-pumped-into-old-genres new as these. Georg Yatchisin - Dirty Linen


"Sunrise On The Radio"

SING OUT!

As a founding member of the Cache Valley Drifters and one of the Acousticats, Cyrus Clarke has had a long, illustrious career helping to forge a distinctive style of West Coast acoustic music.

This is his first recording as leader of his own smooth, six-piece, country-inflected electric band, which retains Tom Corbett from the Acousticats and features the twangy lead picking of guitarist Barney Tower. Clarke's music embodies the bright sunlight, aridity and isolation of his central California home, blending naturalistic lyrical themes with a hybrid of bluegrass, Bakersfield country, and Mexican melodic textures. Clarke's historical link with Kate Wolf is emphasized with the one cover, a spare version of George Shroeder's "Red Tail Hawk," which was one of Wolf's signature pieces.

Clarke's own writing is better than ever, particularly on the loping country rocker "Across The Borderline" and the cinematic period piece "Stand And Deliver." The ominously bluesy "The Shape I'm In" and the plaintive "Night Train To Paris" are welcome lyrical and musical departures on the tasty and consistently listenable recording. - Sing Out!


"Sunrisen"

MICHAEL PARRISH: SUNRISEN

Ubiquitous song man Cyrus Clarke, a hard working musician at home and on the road, has added another fine CD to his growing discography; it's called Sunrise on the Radio (Ranch Records).

The Cyrus Clarke Band is a solid unit, including trusty Telecasterman Barney Tower, mandolinist Tom Corbett, bassist Gary Sangenitto, drummer Tommy Lackner, and Rosie Tower on vocal harmonies. Clarke also went to Nashville to layer parts by utility man Mark Morell on dobro, keyboards, and bottleneck guitar.

Clarke works in an electro-acoustic, country-folk-rock hybrid, singing with a polished leather wail that, when we're pressed for comparisons, can suggest Dwight Yokum, Chris Isaaks, or Bob Weir. Most of the songs were written on Clarke's travels, and they spin drifter's tales and a project a romantic view of life on the road versus the tug of family and home.

Check it out.

Michael Parrish - Tha Santa Barbara Independent


"Sunrise On The Radio"

STEVE LIBOWITZ/SANTA BARBARA NEWS-PRESS

Interested in a family vacation where you can learn about California? You could bundle up the kids, load up the wagon, put the dog in the kennel and head out on the road. Or, you just pop "Sunrise on the Radio," the new record from the Cyrus Clarke Band, into your CD player.

Clarke has already made the journey. The result is the new CD, which serves as a personal musical travelogue of times passed and open spaces of California and the West, from Bakersfield to Taos, N.M. "I think I've been on every highway in the state at least five times," Clarke says, relaxing at the dinning table at his home. "I feel attached to the West, like I'm somehow a part of it... There's a beauty in California that gets missed by the media. They talk about O.J., fires, earthquakes, floods, the beach and the mountains. But there's another side in the small towns and the lost highways." (Even when Clarke's not on the road, he's doing research into California history. The living room we're sitting in was once the ballroom of the venerable Chancellor house, built in 1916. It's the house with the face on the outside fireplace, at Mission and Anacapa streets.)

Clarke- who considers himself a classic Californian "because I came from somewhere else" - grew up in a musical family that migrated from Boston to New Your and Florida. His mother was a nightclub singer, his father a newspaper entertainment writer-editor who was such good friends with Danny Thomas that the entertainer became Clarke's godfather.

After moving to Santa Barbara 25 years ago this month, Clarke, who plays guitar and sings, immediately formed the Cache Valley Drifters with guitarist David West, mandolinist Bill Griffin, and bassist Tom Lee, all of whom still live in town.

The seminal group became an integral part of the progressive bluegrass movement in the West, touring the country's folk/bluegrass festivals, playing behind the late Kate Wolf and releasing three highly regarded albums on Flying Fish, then the nation's premier acoustic label, before drifting away in 1985.

Clarke spent the next five years close to home, raising his two children and focusing on honing his songwriting craft. Then, with mandolinist Mike Mullins (whose older brother had once been a member of the Drifters), he created the Acousticats, an even more progressive bluegrass band that used a twin fiddle attack as it's signature sound, tackling old time Appalachian songs along with the Allman Brother's "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed."

Despite wide praise, the Acousticats unraveled after the death of Bruce Kaplan, the president of Flying Fish, a strong supporter of the band and whose company distributed their first album. When other acoustic-music oriented labels passed on the group's second disc, "The Cat's Meow," the band decided to put it out themselves to universal accolades. But the step down was disappointing given the high expectations. We felt like we had given it our best shot, but it just wasn't moving ahead on a national level the way we wanted it to," Clarke says. "It was an enormous amount of work, which I realized I would rather have put into my own project."

Clarke returned to his solo career. He started teaching music in public schools through the Children's Creative Project, played countless solo gigs throughout the tri-county area and, most assuredly, traveled for inspiration. Song-writing jaunts took him to all over the West, from Petaluma to Flagstaff, Ariz., where, sitting in his car on the side of the road, or holed up in a hotel room, Clarke wrote most of the songs that appear on the new record.

The locations are noted on the album sleeve right next to the lyrics. "I derive a great deal from both the scenery and the history," Clarke says. "Any work of art has to have a sense of place, and actually going to visit them is an important part of the process for me. Take Taos, which has an incredible library. I just go there, sit among the books, soak up the atmosphere and write. The muse always comes. When I'm looking to write a song, I always find what I'm looking for."

To flesh out the songs, Clarke put together a band comprised of old colleagues and other veteran local players with whom he has long wanted to work. Mandolinist Tom Corbett was an Acousticat. Mark Morell, who contributed his dobro and bottleneck guitar parts via satellite from Nashville, has known Clarke since fifth grade. Bassist Gary Sangenitto and drummer Tom Lackner are Santa Barbara stalwarts. But the band's defining sound comes courtesy of electric guitarist Barney Tower, leader of the Twangin' Iguanas, who lends his trademark Telecaster sound to the project.

It's the first time Clarke has worked with a plugged-in band, complete with a drummer. "This is something I've always wanted to do, even back in the Drifters days," Clarke says, his excitement evident as he leans forward in his chair. "My writing doesn't fit neatly within the confines of a bluegrass group. I needed to pay attention to where it was going, which dictated a more contemporary sound. The mandolin in the rhythm section and a twangin' Telecaster are real indigenous California sounds." The group more that does justice to Clarke's material, which, true to his sensibilities, traverses a path between Wolf's sweet melodies, plaintively optimistic lyrics and gentle rhythms (represented by "Red Tail Hawk" and the title song, which is about and dedicated to Wolf) and the more hard-driven', twanging, honky-tonk country associated with Merle Haggard, another of Clarke's heroes (evident in "Honky Tonk Moon.") In the middle ground are love songs ("The Shape I'm In," "Love Is Sure"), an epic ballad called "Stand and Deliver" that addresses the range wars in New Mexico as a metaphor for internal struggles gripping much of the world today, and the waltz, "Another Pretty Day (In Cow Country)," which sounds like a classic oaf of Bakersfield in the '40's. (It was written, says Clarke, on a "perfect windblown crisp California day on a little road between Salinas and San Juan Bautista.')

"This is the project I've been waiting all my life for," Clarke says. "I'm trying to carry on Kate's tradition, which was all about stimulating the cultural identity through music. I believe very strongly in the California connection and I've noticed in my travels that people all across the state want to feel that identity." Meanwhile, Haggard, says Clarke, is the "undisputed King of California song."

The new sound is an attempt to move beyond the limiting scope of a bluegrass band, even a progressive one. "I'm trying to glean what's going on in California here and now, rather than trying to replicate some style that originated decades ago in Tennessee."

Clarke is releasing "Sunrise on the Radio" on his own label, Ranch Recording, which put out the 'Cats second album, part of an attempt to establish a beachhead as a viable independent as a viable independent acoustic label in Santa Barbara. He hasn't ruled out a return to an outside label, perhaps heavyweight indies Rounder or Sugar Hill, both based on the East Coast, or blues/roots-oriented High Tone, with offices in Northern California. "But for now," he says, " having my own label means I can own my material. And I've staked my claim out here in the West." - Santa Barbara News-Press


Discography

Sunrise On The Radio Remastered/The Cyrus Clarke Band/Ranch Recording 2018


Vintage Drifter/The Cache Valley Drifters/Ranch Recording 2017


Upcountry Skies/Cyrus Clarke/Ranch Recording 2008


Calsong/Cyrus Clarke/Ranch Recording 2006


The Road To California/The Cyrus Clarke Expedition/Ranch Recording 2003


California Stories/The Cyrus Clarke Band/Ranch Recording 2001


Sunrise On The Radio/The Cyrus Clarke Band/Ranch Recording 1999


The Cat's Meow/The Acousticats/Ranch Recording 1996


Down At Evangelina's/The Acousticats/Flying Fish 1994


Songs Of A Common Mind/Cyrus Clarke/Ranch Recording 1990


Tools Of The Trade/Live At McCabe's/The Cache Valley Drifters/Flying Fish 1984


Step Up To Big Pay/The Cache Valley Drifters/Flying Fish/1979


The Brand New Cache Valley Drifters/Flying Fish 1977

Photos

Bio

Cyrus Clarke is a songwriter and guitarist.

He has been touring and performing in California for almost 50 years.

He is a founding member of The Cache Valley Drifters, The Acousticats, and The Cyrus Clarke Band. He also performs as a solo artist.

His latest venture, the Blue Sky Flyers, taps Cyrus Clarke Band veterans Rosie and Barney Tower.

Cyrus has recorded over a dozen albums and plays a vast amount of material. The band performs many of his songs and interprets music from California songwriters; a group including Lowell George, Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter, Wendy Liepman, Mary McCaslin, and Kate Wolf.

Guitarist Barney Tower is synonymous with the sound of twang. Born and raised in Southern California during the golden era of SoCal western music, he has mastered the tone and tactics of the telecaster like no other.

Rosie Tower is a songbird. Her vocals blend beautifully in the trio. She is a perfect compliment to the songs, the strum, and the twang.

Cyrus Clarke and the Blue Sky Flyers celebrate and play the music of California Americana and beyond.

CONTACT:

805-863-3300

rancholompoc@gmail.com


Band Members