Dirty Revival
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Dirty Revival

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band R&B


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Dirty Revival shakes up the Hotel Cafe with a Magnitude 8 Music Quake"

(Hollywood, CA) The Hotel Café may never be the same again. I am not referring to recent remodeling which added a second room, but to the magnitude 8 vibrations let loose by the Portland band Dirty Revival in its set Monday night. Lead vocalist Sarah Clarke lead her very, very tight six-piece band through a nine-song set that sent out sparks like the Tesla coil at the Griffith Observatory.

After conquering the most sought after stages in their home town of Portland, Dirty Revival is bringing their nuclear-powered “Soul-Hop” sound to California with concerts in San Diego, Chico Hollywood, and Long Beach before they head out to the mountain west. Even without their usual backup singers, The Soul Collective, they had folks up dancing and rockin’, a not a common scene at the table-based showcase club. From the first song, “Make It” to wrapping up the night with a fabulous take on the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends,” the band poured electricity into the room.

The seven members of Dirty Revival have all known each other from childhood, but it wasn’t until recently that the band came together as Clarke realized the power of her voice. She and the band practice and rehearse constantly, never fully satisfied with their performances (although the audiences are!), which accounts for how tight the percussion, two horns (sax and trumpet) bass and lead guitar and double keyboard work together and with Clarke’s unbelievable voice.

Dirty Rival is touring in support of the release of their new, self-titled album Dirty Revival. The band has also just released a video, “Dirty Love” in support of the 11-song CD, many of which were heard on stage Monday night. The album itself is a masterpiece of perfection, with the backup singers, violins, a cello and added percussion bringing a richness to the rawer sounds we heard at the Hotel Café. But it cannot transmit Clarke’s ability to connect with an audience. Most songs were prefaced with a personal story or just a conversation with the audience. Despite the relative newness of the band, Clarke has a professional ease with both the audience and her band members…it felt like family.

Dirty Revival has the talent, the energy and the determination to succeed both on the road and in the recording studio. If all their performances are as phenomenal as the Hotel Café show, they will take the west by storm – lightning storm. - Shutter 16

"No Time For Sittin'"

IN A COMMUNITY that gets worked up by the dreaded "transplant" quotient, a band like Dirty Revival is a flag-bearer for Portland's native eclectic nature. Raised in the Rose City, vocalist Sarah Clarke attended Grant High School, along with guitarist/emcee Evan "evv'n'flo" Simko and drummer Terry Drysdale. Blue Cranes bassist Jon Shaw joined on bass, and keyboardist Karl Ludwigsen was added to the fold as well. The core band performs with a revolving cast of horn players and backup singers, many of whom Clarke, Simko, and Drysdale played with in high school jazz band, or are friends of friends—a regional stew that's yielded a fun-loving explosion of feel-good tunes in the form of the self-described "soul-hop" band's debut album.

"We weren't really sure what the music was supposed to be or what we wanted to do with it," says Clarke. "That really came together with us experiencing each other's tastes."

During this year's PDX Pop Now!, Dirty Revival's festival-opening performance set a high standard for those to follow, as Clarke's booming vocal range matched the tightness of the ensemble's rhythm and groove, setting the scene for an obviously well-matched musical and personal chemistry.

"We hit a stride kind of recently, to be honest," says Clarke. "The last month or two, every player is getting better and better."

The self-titled album's opening song, "Dirty Love," is indicative of the band's directness. In a high-energy romp, Clarke's sultry vocals soar over a groove of Roots-inspired hip-hop and soul that more or less introduces the band's ethos: They're here to make you move. Clarke's R&B chops and Simko's rapid-fire rhymes volley over lines like, "We're here for enjoyment, no time for no sittin'/Get on your feet while we deliver."

Dirty Revival's passion for the music is addictive, and even if Portland's summer has overstayed its welcome, at least there's a monster of a sunny funk/soul/groove band with which to enjoy its last gasps.

"We accidentally created this set of songs that expresses who we are as people," says Clarke of the roundabout way the album unfolded. "When you sit down to play with people you love so much who make the music you love so much, it's really hard not to be thrilled with every second of it." - The Mercury

"Before the Dock Concert: An interview with Dirty Revival’s Sarah Clarke"

To think that Sarah Clarke’s voice almost languished away in obscurity in a Portland karaoke bar is an unsettling thought.

Since emerging as the lead singer of Portland’s Dirty Revival, Clark’s vocals have been compared to those of Aretha Franklin’s. After the seven-piece band released its eponymous first album last year, Clarke discovered a music career she didn’t think possible.
While ‘70s soul is at the heart of Dirty Revival’s sound, layers of funk, hip hop and rap make for a blend that stands firmly in 2016. Featured at Seattle’s 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival and on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, Dirty Revival headlines Friday’s Capital Street Dock Concert. Before the show, Inland 360 talked to Clarke about the band’s path.

360: What was Dirty Revival like when the band first convened in a Portland basement in 2013?

Clarke: “At that time it was not what it is now. It was more of a jam band idea. All of us went to highschool together and Terry Drysdale hit me up as someone to sing with them. My son was two, and I was not sure. I had done choral work in high school and karaoke work as a 20-something (she laughs). … It was this unruly, large group and no one was really in charge. We were doing a lot of cover tunes but we knew we wanted to do something different. … Our bass player left and we were joined by Jon Shaw, one of the better bass players in the city with an extensive jazz background and love for funk. His presence glued the group together. We stripped down in size, figured out the sound and started adding elements back in.”

360: What is your sound?

Clarke: “We describe our sound as soul, funk, hip hop but even that has changed a lot. We have a lot of heavy rap elements that have appeared in the last six months. We’re still evolving, as I think bands are supposed to.”

360: Your voice is a big part of that. What is your musical background?

Clarke: “In high school I had dreams of being a musician but didn’t pursue anything after that. …
It just didn’t work out that way for me. I needed more assurance than a dream that it was going to work out. Recently, I’ve been able to step away from my day job and focus more on music. My son, Donovan George, he’s 5 years old, he was part of the (decision to do this). I wanted my son to know it’s OK to do something you love; don’t give up before you try. I just wanted to be able to tell him I tried when he got older. It’s something to know about life. It’s worked out better than I could have imagined.”

360: You’re a Portland native and so are most of the other band members. How has this affected the way you’ve come together as a group?

Clarke: “Five out of the seven of us went to highschool together. We actually grew up in the same neighborhood. We’re best friends. We’re family. We’re so close. They’re the most important people, besides my son, in the whole world. We share a lot together and feel a lot together.”

360: You write your own melodies and lyrics. Do you aim to send a message in your work?

Clarke: “It’s so funny, we never really talked about that. I felt 100 percent comfortable speaking on behalf of the group writing lyrics. We didn’t have to talk about if we all agree we’re against racism. We all share the same core values and beliefs. It’s not something we ever have to go over. (Our song) “Lay Me Down” is about heroin addiction and what that does to people and how terrible that can be on the family, and the addict, and the people who love that addict. They didn’t question that at all. … We all just think that love is the way to go.”

360: You’re busy this year touring the West Coast promoting your first album. What does the future hold?

Clarke: “We’re aggressively touring the album hoping that 2017 takes us to East Coast or further south. We’re not the youngest people; we’re all in our mid 30s. Without sounding too full of ourselves, we know this is really special and the intent is to push it as far as it can go. I think people can tap into the relationship we have together. That doesn’t just happen. We have every intent of taking advantage of it and just seeing what we can do with it. There’s just so much talent there.” - inland360


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy



Led by the soulful vocals of Sarah Clarke, Dirty Revival has made their mark on the
Pacific Northwest music scene. The unique ensemble delivers powerful original tracks
and superbly arranged classics with a resounding presence, delivering passionate
performances from dimly lit dive bars to crowded concert halls and open festival skies.

The dynamic, seven-piece soul outfit shines on stage, and defines influences from funk-
and soul-infused icons of the past. Dirty Revival has shared the stages with musical
heavy-hitters such as Michael Franti, George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic, Sir
Mix-A-Lot, Slick Rick, Nappy Roots and Gift of Gab, and have several multi-regional
tours already under their belt.

The band has been actively touring in support of their debut album, the self titled, Dirty
Revival, release in September of 2015.

The release was marked by a sold out CD release party at one of Portland’s premier
venues, Mississippi Studios. Driven by the warm reception of their freshman album,
Dirty Revival has the heart and mind behind the music and the unyielding drive to share
their soul. 

Band Members