Power trio stays positive | SteamboatToday.com

Power trio stays positive

The Matt Clark Band brings uplifting lyrics, reggae and rock rhythm to OTP

Margaret Hair

Denver-based trio The Matt Clark Band plays at 10 p.m. today at Old Town Pub. The group plays rock and reggae music with world beat influences.

— Growing up in California, Denver guitarist, singer and songwriter Matt Clark listened mostly to classic rock, reggae and blues.

When he met and started playing music with bassist Berenger Ouedraogo, a bass player who grew up in West Africa, a new kind of rhythm worked its way into Clark's original music. The duo added Chicago-bred drummer Sherman Arnold to the mix, and they started touring Colorado and the West as The Matt Clark Band.

The trio plays at 10 p.m. today at Old Town Pub. A cover charge is to be determined.

The Matt Clark Band's collage of music styles and upbringings produce original rock sounds with blues elements and island sounds, Clark said during a phone interview Thursday.

"As a power trio, we really pride ourselves in each member giving it their all and providing a lot of energy and having as big a sound as a group of three people can have," Clark said.

The band has been together for fewer than two years but in 2009 played extensively, racking up about 80 shows, including an October stop at The Boathouse Pub. Clark also has done solo sets in town under his own name and with the music-making name REL-I.

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"I feel lucky to be playing with Berenger and Sherman, and they definitely raise me to a higher level," Clark said. "I think there is a little of that all the way around, with each of us kind of pushing each other to do a little better, so I feel that helps me."

Clark's songs touch on love, day-to-day life, natural food and living, and societal issues, with the goal of keeping things light, happy and dance-worthy for club audiences.

"Our mission overall is to uplift a global audience with powerful sounds. So whatever a certain person may be experiencing in their life, they come to one of our shows, and we hope to uplift them in some way," Clark said.

Clark plans to head to California next month to work out the logistics of recording the band's second album there, he said. He hopes the new record will be a marriage of the band's debut release and the feel of its live shows.