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Listen for Clyde Wrenn on 98 Rock (98.5FM) in Harrisonburg, VA.

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Clyde Wrenn comes to us from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where his curious gift for songwriting first made itself known. He acquired there the arcane, mysterious wisdoms of the Wiccan hillbilly forest cults as well as the erudition and sophistication that is Thomas Jefferson's South. These elements of Clyde's person are the pillars from which he strings his distinctive songs of love, despair, violence, ennui and everything related.

The sound of these songs certainly reveals the Appalachian roots of the author, but this music would not be classified as folk, country or bluegrass. There are traditional components here as well as current and maybe futuristic ones. The result is work that is timeless in its relevancy, rich in style, devoid of any apparent awareness of today's trends, tomorrow's garbage. The material is uncompromisingly pure. Many of the songs are as terrifying in their subtext as they are sublime in their sonic compositions. Clyde's matchless voice soars beautifully through tales of star-crossed lovers, betrayal, ghosts, suicide, murder. The effect is at once mesmerizing and a little uncomfortable. Attempts at comparison have included mention of Wilco, Nick Drake, Paul Westerberg, and the late Jeff Buckley.

The two men who consistently play with Clyde have proven to be crucial aspects of the development of this music. The group's live show is wrought with intensity and sincerity that are simply unrivaled. Michael Minori (The Container) plays bass and is an accomplished electronic musician and composer in his own right. His Queens, NY upbringing led him to appreciate artists as diverse as The Ramones, the Beastie Boys, and Herbie Hancock. Chris Kirshbaum (The Container, April After All) is the drummer in the combo. His drumming style most closely resembles that of Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction).

The list of other artists to collaborate here is a long one, vacuum-packed with talent and imagination. To name a few: Jonathan Segel (Sparklehorse, Camper Van Beethoven), Scott McPherson (Elliott Smith, Sensefield), Lee Popa (Ministry, Tool, Phantom Planet), Steve Refling (Martin Luther Lennon, Cockeyed Ghost), John Wolf (Math & Science, PJ Olsson, Crumb), Bobby Alt (Crumb, The Devil Roosevelt), Stevie Blacke (Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks), Beth Bergman (W.A.C.O, Woven), Phil Cobb (Moth), and Timothy Maloof (The Space Twins, Lumirova). This list continues to grow.

The final and only real summation of Clyde Wrenn's music is the music itself. Find the right time and place to hear one of the records or go to a show. Then, given your own willingness, you will experience yourself in the vibrance of these profoundly poignant songs. The experience may be sadness, ecstasy, frustration or some other arousal. Who knows? But something will happen. In Clyde Wrenn's world something always happens.

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Last Updated: Monday, June 25, 2007 9:53 PM