Tigger Clarkson Band
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Tigger Clarkson Band

Wilmington, North Carolina, United States

Wilmington, North Carolina, United States
Alternative Soul

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There are probably very few musicians who can say they finished recording songs for an album, left the studio and then found themselves on a naval vessel deployed overseas so they can pilot helicopters.

Tigger Clarkson has followed a curious path to making music. A knee injury playing football at the U.S. Naval Academy led him to the guitar. Later, he would make albums between deployments to Africa, Haiti and Afghanistan. Clarkson served in the Marine Corps for eight years and spent time in Wilmington while stationed in Jacksonville.

He now calls Wilmington home, and he and his band will perform twice this week – Friday at The Whiskey in downtown Wilmington and Saturday at The Palm Room in Wrightsville Beach.

"Two weeks before I blew out my knee, I bought an acoustic guitar, thinking I'd just tinker with it," Clarkson said. "I dedicated myself to learn(ing) it while I couldn't play football. I don't think I would have had the attention span to teach myself had I not had to put my leg up for six months."

After college, Clarkson entered the U.S. Marine Corps, intending to become an officer. With multiple wars happening, there was need for pilots. Clarkson passed flight school and became a helicopter pilot. He would later deploy for humanitarian assistance after the earthquake in Haiti and fly support for troops in Afghanistan, both experiences he calls humbling.

"These 18- and 19-year-old kids in Afghanistan putting their lives on the line for people they don't even know because it's the right thing to do, it's pretty inspiring," Clarkson said.

Many of the songs on Clarkson's first EP were written while he was in Djibouti, Africa. After recording them in California (his brother lives in Los Angeles), Clarkson left for Haiti.

While on a ship, he tried to download sound mixes for the songs he'd just finished, but the bandwidth was so slow it took nearly an hour per song. Clarkson would listen and then email notes about the tunes. He finished his second EP before a deployment to Afghanistan.

"The whole duality (of a life as a musician and a pilot), usually I just kept (the music) part of my life quiet," Clarkson said. "I wanted to stay focused on what I was doing while serving in the Marine Corps. It's important when you're doing those missions to stay focused. I didn't want anybody to think I was distracted by anything else."

Clarkson kept a notebook and a digital recorder to capture ideas that he'd revisit once he was home. It might be recorded in a studio a year after he first made note of an idea. Some found their way onto his EPs, songs that were done in a compressed amount of time yet resulted in a lush tapestry of husky vocals and gentle, danceable grooves. The songs bear a '70s soul vibe mixed with a guitar style similar to that of Stevie Ray Vaughan.

"There's a certain way to do stuff – record to tape if you have the ability – certain instruments, certain microphones," Clarkson said. "I'll always want it to sound like it's influenced by '60s and '70s soul. Those records have more of a live feel to them. The term I wear out in the band is when you record to have things perfectly imperfect."

- Wilmington Star-News


There are probably very few musicians who can say they finished recording songs for an album, left the studio and then found themselves on a naval vessel deployed overseas so they can pilot helicopters.

Tigger Clarkson has followed a curious path to making music. A knee injury playing football at the U.S. Naval Academy led him to the guitar. Later, he would make albums between deployments to Africa, Haiti and Afghanistan. Clarkson served in the Marine Corps for eight years and spent time in Wilmington while stationed in Jacksonville.

He now calls Wilmington home, and he and his band will perform twice this week – Friday at The Whiskey in downtown Wilmington and Saturday at The Palm Room in Wrightsville Beach.

"Two weeks before I blew out my knee, I bought an acoustic guitar, thinking I'd just tinker with it," Clarkson said. "I dedicated myself to learn(ing) it while I couldn't play football. I don't think I would have had the attention span to teach myself had I not had to put my leg up for six months."

After college, Clarkson entered the U.S. Marine Corps, intending to become an officer. With multiple wars happening, there was need for pilots. Clarkson passed flight school and became a helicopter pilot. He would later deploy for humanitarian assistance after the earthquake in Haiti and fly support for troops in Afghanistan, both experiences he calls humbling.

"These 18- and 19-year-old kids in Afghanistan putting their lives on the line for people they don't even know because it's the right thing to do, it's pretty inspiring," Clarkson said.

Many of the songs on Clarkson's first EP were written while he was in Djibouti, Africa. After recording them in California (his brother lives in Los Angeles), Clarkson left for Haiti.

While on a ship, he tried to download sound mixes for the songs he'd just finished, but the bandwidth was so slow it took nearly an hour per song. Clarkson would listen and then email notes about the tunes. He finished his second EP before a deployment to Afghanistan.

"The whole duality (of a life as a musician and a pilot), usually I just kept (the music) part of my life quiet," Clarkson said. "I wanted to stay focused on what I was doing while serving in the Marine Corps. It's important when you're doing those missions to stay focused. I didn't want anybody to think I was distracted by anything else."

Clarkson kept a notebook and a digital recorder to capture ideas that he'd revisit once he was home. It might be recorded in a studio a year after he first made note of an idea. Some found their way onto his EPs, songs that were done in a compressed amount of time yet resulted in a lush tapestry of husky vocals and gentle, danceable grooves. The songs bear a '70s soul vibe mixed with a guitar style similar to that of Stevie Ray Vaughan.

"There's a certain way to do stuff – record to tape if you have the ability – certain instruments, certain microphones," Clarkson said. "I'll always want it to sound like it's influenced by '60s and '70s soul. Those records have more of a live feel to them. The term I wear out in the band is when you record to have things perfectly imperfect."

- Wilmington Star-News


There are probably very few musicians who can say they finished recording songs for an album, left the studio and then found themselves on a naval vessel deployed overseas so they can pilot helicopters.

Tigger Clarkson has followed a curious path to making music. A knee injury playing football at the U.S. Naval Academy led him to the guitar. Later, he would make albums between deployments to Africa, Haiti and Afghanistan. Clarkson served in the Marine Corps for eight years and spent time in Wilmington while stationed in Jacksonville.

He now calls Wilmington home, and he and his band will perform twice this week – Friday at The Whiskey in downtown Wilmington and Saturday at The Palm Room in Wrightsville Beach.

"Two weeks before I blew out my knee, I bought an acoustic guitar, thinking I'd just tinker with it," Clarkson said. "I dedicated myself to learn(ing) it while I couldn't play football. I don't think I would have had the attention span to teach myself had I not had to put my leg up for six months."

After college, Clarkson entered the U.S. Marine Corps, intending to become an officer. With multiple wars happening, there was need for pilots. Clarkson passed flight school and became a helicopter pilot. He would later deploy for humanitarian assistance after the earthquake in Haiti and fly support for troops in Afghanistan, both experiences he calls humbling.

"These 18- and 19-year-old kids in Afghanistan putting their lives on the line for people they don't even know because it's the right thing to do, it's pretty inspiring," Clarkson said.

Many of the songs on Clarkson's first EP were written while he was in Djibouti, Africa. After recording them in California (his brother lives in Los Angeles), Clarkson left for Haiti.

While on a ship, he tried to download sound mixes for the songs he'd just finished, but the bandwidth was so slow it took nearly an hour per song. Clarkson would listen and then email notes about the tunes. He finished his second EP before a deployment to Afghanistan.

"The whole duality (of a life as a musician and a pilot), usually I just kept (the music) part of my life quiet," Clarkson said. "I wanted to stay focused on what I was doing while serving in the Marine Corps. It's important when you're doing those missions to stay focused. I didn't want anybody to think I was distracted by anything else."

Clarkson kept a notebook and a digital recorder to capture ideas that he'd revisit once he was home. It might be recorded in a studio a year after he first made note of an idea. Some found their way onto his EPs, songs that were done in a compressed amount of time yet resulted in a lush tapestry of husky vocals and gentle, danceable grooves. The songs bear a '70s soul vibe mixed with a guitar style similar to that of Stevie Ray Vaughan.

"There's a certain way to do stuff – record to tape if you have the ability – certain instruments, certain microphones," Clarkson said. "I'll always want it to sound like it's influenced by '60s and '70s soul. Those records have more of a live feel to them. The term I wear out in the band is when you record to have things perfectly imperfect."

- Wilmington Star-News


There are probably very few musicians who can say they finished recording songs for an album, left the studio and then found themselves on a naval vessel deployed overseas so they can pilot helicopters.

Tigger Clarkson has followed a curious path to making music. A knee injury playing football at the U.S. Naval Academy led him to the guitar. Later, he would make albums between deployments to Africa, Haiti and Afghanistan. Clarkson served in the Marine Corps for eight years and spent time in Wilmington while stationed in Jacksonville.

He now calls Wilmington home, and he and his band will perform twice this week – Friday at The Whiskey in downtown Wilmington and Saturday at The Palm Room in Wrightsville Beach.

"Two weeks before I blew out my knee, I bought an acoustic guitar, thinking I'd just tinker with it," Clarkson said. "I dedicated myself to learn(ing) it while I couldn't play football. I don't think I would have had the attention span to teach myself had I not had to put my leg up for six months."

After college, Clarkson entered the U.S. Marine Corps, intending to become an officer. With multiple wars happening, there was need for pilots. Clarkson passed flight school and became a helicopter pilot. He would later deploy for humanitarian assistance after the earthquake in Haiti and fly support for troops in Afghanistan, both experiences he calls humbling.

"These 18- and 19-year-old kids in Afghanistan putting their lives on the line for people they don't even know because it's the right thing to do, it's pretty inspiring," Clarkson said.

Many of the songs on Clarkson's first EP were written while he was in Djibouti, Africa. After recording them in California (his brother lives in Los Angeles), Clarkson left for Haiti.

While on a ship, he tried to download sound mixes for the songs he'd just finished, but the bandwidth was so slow it took nearly an hour per song. Clarkson would listen and then email notes about the tunes. He finished his second EP before a deployment to Afghanistan.

"The whole duality (of a life as a musician and a pilot), usually I just kept (the music) part of my life quiet," Clarkson said. "I wanted to stay focused on what I was doing while serving in the Marine Corps. It's important when you're doing those missions to stay focused. I didn't want anybody to think I was distracted by anything else."

Clarkson kept a notebook and a digital recorder to capture ideas that he'd revisit once he was home. It might be recorded in a studio a year after he first made note of an idea. Some found their way onto his EPs, songs that were done in a compressed amount of time yet resulted in a lush tapestry of husky vocals and gentle, danceable grooves. The songs bear a '70s soul vibe mixed with a guitar style similar to that of Stevie Ray Vaughan.

"There's a certain way to do stuff – record to tape if you have the ability – certain instruments, certain microphones," Clarkson said. "I'll always want it to sound like it's influenced by '60s and '70s soul. Those records have more of a live feel to them. The term I wear out in the band is when you record to have things perfectly imperfect."

- Wilmington Star-News


Clarkson is a man that refuses to be pinned down to just one genre. The singer-songwriter leaps from various genres, such as Black Keys-ish rock, blues, and funk, making groovy rock sound easy. Clarkson's crisp voice lulls over tracks about losing women, one night stands, and trying to forget those bad moments (and women) in life, just to name a few.

Clarkson has released two EPs, 'The Balance,' which experiments with funk and pop rock, and 'Forget You,' that delves into grimier blues rock and the haunting ambient organ of Radiohead's 'OK Computer.' Each EP is a breezy, twenty-minute ride through different musical territories that keep the listener on their toes with guessing where the song will go next.

This isn't to say Clarkson's music is experimental or in-your-face. On the contrary, Clarkson swings for radio-friendly rock and scores. By taking the basis of a standard radio jam and adding a bit of his musical genre influences, the result is an utter treat to the ears. Clarkson knows that a radio jam can appeal to most people, but to be safe, his inclusion of blues, hip-hop melodies, and reggae is a home run.

The slick production, toe-tapping grooves, and raspy voice that is Tigger Clarkson makes him an artist that you need to know, and for all of our Wilmington readers, an artist you need to get out and support! - Port City Music


Tigger Clarkson looks to be calling Wilmington his base for now after spending time abroad in Africa and living in Los Angeles where he recorded a previous EP (“The Balance”). “Forget You” is his follow-up EP that’s due mid-2011 and will be released on indie label Autokinetic Records.

The five songs on “Forget You” show Clarkson as a singer serious about bridging styles on some tracks and dumping them in a blender on others. His raspy, whispered vocal quality is a polar opposite to the energetic music he’s making. Its delivery is not capricious or shy by any stretch; it’s more like a tease, like the deference for when the tiger will jump. The band-heavy mainstream R&B music Clarkson is making is a style that’s sort of been ignored for a while. Imagine if Justin Timerlake threw out the computers and recorded like someone well-known as Jack Johnson or as lesser known as Kurt Reifler on his first album.

As an EP “Forget You” feels like half of something bigger. EP’s tend to be about showing off a band, an appetizer. “Forget You” doesn’t, its more like half an album, unconcerned with selling itself because it knows what it is and speaks for itself. The EP is tempered and soulful, built on quality instrumentation, not tech, to deliver compositions. It’s slick, but doesn’t sound overly machine-made. And its not music about lifestyles built on night club activities on and off the dance floor. Danceable though some of the songs are (“Forget You,” “Long Since”) he’s not singing about all the ladies he’s taking down.

“Forget You” mixes up dance aesthetics with funk and jazz and on “Better Them Than You” the funk flavors are sultry where the guitar wanders just outside a Louisiana swamp and drives fast past the local church. The funk of “Long Since” is held in check one moment and then stomps away the next. The song by its very production feels held back by being on an album, the type of song that begs to be played live with a horn section. It has a subtle stomp to it that will sound familiar to Sly Stone fans or The Black Crowes’ “P.25 London.” The album’s only stranger is “If and When” which is more reserved than other songs, a ballad where old school guitar riffs mesh nicely with Djembe percussion.

Tigger Clarkson has a nice take on R&B, mixing traditional aesthetics while playing in a way that appeals to the crowds digging Jack Johnson, Xavier Rudd or John Mayer. “Forget You” doesn’t disappoint for what it is, radio-friendly accessible music that isn’t contrived. Should Clarkson decided to let loose and amp up the singing it will be interesting to see where the energy takes him. “Forget You” is an EP of songs that will only be improved by lighting them on fire onstage. - Wilmington Star-News


Pulling this EP from the stack and reading the artist name immediately conjured up some joke about Winnie the Pooh, but all humor was thrown out the window as I listened to this guys soulful approach on this four song mini epic. The first thing to know is that Tigger Clarkson can’t be pigeonholed into any particular genre. He uses elements of soulful R&B in his particular brand of rock n’ roll, but slips in little flourishes of jazz and funk, some heavy swamp blues, some alt-rock . . . mixing everything together to create one of the more enjoyable, and surprising, releases of the year. Opening track “Get Back To Me” refuses to have the listener walk away without swaying the hips or tapping the toes. Reminding me of later era Duran Duran with the soulful exuberance of Hall n’ Oates and sung by Seal, this song has all of those aforementioned elements screaming to be heard. It has a bit of a techno/electric feel to the drums, but the guitars mixed in have a touch of alternative distortion, which helps to give the sound some edge. Then, with the vocal performance, Tigger adds a vibe of that classic Philly soul sound. This is an addictive song and one that simply can’t be listened to more than once.

On the other side of Tigger’s songwriting spectrum, we have “Lies and Confessions” that I swear is a missing track from the latest Black Bone Child album. Stripped down and filled with a sludge-y swamp blues sound, this song is a rip roarin’ jamboree in some backwoods juke joint. Listen closely and you’ll hear the rain pitter-pattering one a hot tin roof while all inside the club are glistening in a coat of sweat. The bass drum is like thunder cracking in rhythmic time, the stuttering guitar lines like the rain crashing against the structure, the voice . . . oh Crom, that voice, is pure sexuality. Hot . . . steamy . . . filled with sultry swagger. “Blind Eye” and “Autokinesis” incorporate more of the 90’s alternative rock sounds, but Tigger does an excellent job of mixing in that rhythm and blues, and stuns the listener to comatose obedience with his voice. Can’t wait to hear a full length offering from this guy! - Pope - The Ripple Effect


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

"Sultry, slinky music.... Short of Elvis and Michael Jackson showing up it can’t get any better." -Star News Online

This is just an example of the overwhelming buzz that was created for the Tigger Clarkson Band's first live show. The band delivered on the anticipation and excitement and has crowds itching for more. Check the footage in the video links to hear two live tracks from the show.

The Tigger Clarkson Band is the realization of many years of writing, traveling, and the search for answers. What started as a vessel to bring Tigger's music to the stage has rapidly evolved into a no compromise collaborative song writing machine. From the first few rehearsals a chemistry was evident that shows in the performances of all material new and old.

Tigger Clarkson spent the majority of his youth on the move. Many of his songs were written in austere locations all over the world, from extended stays living in a trailer in Africa, to a ship off the coast of Haiti, and a wood hut in the high desert of Afghanistan.

There was always room for a guitar and a notebook to capture the fleeting moments of inspiration. His songs are inspired by the experiences and the relationships that bloomed or fractured while enduring the distance and isolation.

These songs demonstrate Tigger’s talents as a songwriter, storyteller and guitarist ... with smooth, soulful vocals, and identifiable lyrics that create a unique blend of alternative rock, blues, and soul.

Joining Tigger on stage as the Tigger Clarkson Band is keyboardist, Harley Blasingame, Bassist, Daniel Pesavento, and a rotating cast of talented musicians. Based out of Wilmington, NC, these talented musicians and artists bring new life to these songs when they join Tigger on stage.

A Tigger Clarkson Band LP is expected in 2013 that will take the sound to a whole new level. Until then, catch them live at select venues and keep an eye on AutokineticRecords YouTube for live recording posts.