You know that scene in That Thing You Do, when The Wonders (Oneders) hear their song on the radio for the first time and everyone stops and turns up their radio and starts to dance and whoop? When I first heard the uber-catchy opening track “Burn You Up” off Mike Clark & The Sugar Sounds‘ new album Round and Round on KRCC radio, I did the same thing. Except I was at work, so minus the whooping. For your Friday joy:
Burn You Up – Mike Clark & The Sugar Sounds
I grew up listening to oldies all the time (KFRC: San Franciscooo); I have an encyclopedic ability to sing, hum, and snap along with a huge variety of songs from the classic foundations of rock and roll. This record hits every single one of those sweet spots for me, in a current way. I hear Otis Redding, I hear Roy Orbison — yet as Josh at the Denver Post so perfectly wrote, “There is no revival, no costume play, no irony. These are brand-new, honest songs that resonate as classics.”
Mike is my same age, and I get the feeling he loves all those old songs as much as I do. This record is an unabashed celebration of music from the 1950s and ’60s, but done with clean urgency. Mike also plays in one of the best-known Americana bands from Colorado, The Haunted Windchimes (who you may have heard on A Prairie Home Companion), but this is a total departure; these songs kept coming into his songwriting brain but not fitting with what the Windchimes were recording. These are songs that evoke a whole other landscape of glowing yellow radio dials, and a time when rock and roll was the rebellious domain of young people, and not the safe “oldies” you now hear in the dentist’s chair. Mike does it with so much joy.
Spurred by the tremendous chapel session we recorded with Mike last week, I have been listening to this album pretty much non-stop for the last two weeks on my big kitchen stereo. Sometimes, at home, I dance. The record is another fine Blank Tape Records release, the same folks who donate their magic skills to producing each and every one of the Chapel Sessions. Hear one more song off the record, the irresistible “Summer Girls.” There is a 100% chance this will make the Fuel/Friends Summer 2013 mix, the way “Smooth Sailin’,” also on this record, made (and titled) my Summer 2012 mix.
TOUR: Mike is playing his Denver album release show tonight at the intimate, awesome Deer Pile (above City O’ City), with R.L. Cole and Joe Sampson. Then he sets off on a West Coast tour for the next month; if you go, I bet you’ll like it.
You might even dance.
MIKE CLARK & THE SUGAR SOUNDS TOUR
Feb 4 – Cavalcade – Fruita, CO
Feb 5 – Soul Poles – Park City, UT
Feb 7 – Jones Radiator – Spokane, WA
Feb 8 – Caffe Mela – Wenatchee, WA
Feb 10 – Huck Notari Springville House – Portland, OR
Feb 13 – The Horned Hand – Bend, OR
Feb 14 – Axe and Fiddle – Cottage Grove, OR
Feb 23 – Crepe Place – Santa Cruz, CA
Feb 24 – Mercury Lounge – Santa Barbara, CA
[picture credit: Kevin Ihle. Of course]