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MP3 David Clark - Ten

Folk music with a Porsche engine.

12 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Modern Folk, COUNTRY: Country Blues

David Clark sings and ignites his guitar with fiery precision. Fingerpicks on all five fingers bare the soul of everything he plays, from country to blues to Bach.

"I grew up in the shadows of the Allman Brothers Band in Macon, Georgia," Clark explained. "Around my hometown, you better burn up those guitar strings or sit quiet for the musician who can. After 35 years of playing, I''m not one to sit quiet."

No, for a Southern gentleman and an all-American farmer, David Clark is hardly quiet.

Think Will Rogers with a spiritual kick in the ass.

His powerful music and probing stories captivate audiences-young rockers to old folks in rockers. On , Clark delivers his one-man show to the as part of "The Passion Tour 2005."

The tour name resulted from experiences during last year''s "Shaking Hands Tour." Clark wrangled 31,000 miles of 41 states in a 1964 GM bus dubbed The Blessed Donkey.

"After one of my shows last year, a well-heeled elderly lady came straight up to me said, ''I watched your hands on that guitar. There''s passion in your fingers, young man,''" Clark recounted. "Then she smiled knowingly and said, ''Yes, sir, you make love to that guitar.'' She didn''t blush a pink petal. For once, I almost did."

Passion, it turned out, was sorely missing among the audiences he encountered.

"I''m convinced too many Americans don''t give a damn. They hide behind fear. They''re drugged junkies. A nice, middle-aged woman said to me, ''I feel much more peaceful now. No ups and downs. Life''s just a flat line.''

"Flatline-that''s what doctors call dead people," Clark said, adding that she never caught the connection. "So, I''ve got this guitar, my songs, and my stories. And I''m sounding the warnings. We''re dying of comfort. You gotta be careful when the eatin'' is good. That''s about the time the hogs are fixin'' to go to the slaughter house."

Clark recently released his tenth album in eight years. His weekly newspaper and Web columns, read across America, and his NPR essays share lessons he''s heard chewed over in diners, factories, and front porches. Clark''s purpose is focused, but his work dodges definition. He quotes from the Bible, the I Ching, Carl Jung, African stories, Native American legends, and his daddy.

A Minnesota theatre manager described him as a huge tree with tire swings swaying from lots of branches. Everyone in the audience just picks a swing to ride, and there''s plenty of room so no one bumps into each other.

Why does he go on the road to play and sing and talk, when he could just stay home and get a job and forget it?

"I have to stand," Clark answered plainly. "God hears our prayers and moves in our lives. I talk about faith from my own perspective. I don''t claim my way''s right. When I go and do, there''s a power that comes into play, and things work out."

For David Clark, it''s all about stoking the fire-challenging one audience at a time to find the passion. And that''s hardly a quiet task.

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