Live Review: Clutch’s ClutchMas at Starland Ballroom in New Jersey, Dec. 30, 2019

Posted in Reviews on December 31st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Clutch (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Saw a high-speed chase between a sedan of some sort and a NJ State Trooper on my way to the show, and the guy actually got away, so it seemed fated that Clutch would play “Crucial Velocity.” Clutch are, of course, an institution. Clutch at Starland Ballroom, likewise, and that’s actually an institution that pre-dates the Sayreville venue itself, going back to the Birch Hill Night Club in Old Bridge. I suspect I wasn’t the only one thinking of those days last night as the Maryland groove overlords broke out “Passive Restraints” at the start of their set and followed up later with other nods to their pre-turn-of-the-century catalog in “A Shogun Named Marcus” from 1993’s debut album, Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes and Undeniable Truths, “Escape From the Prison Planet,” “Spacegrass” and “Texan Book of the Dead” from their landmark 1995 self-titled, and the title-track and “The Soapmakers” from 1998’s third LP, The Elephant Riders.

Spliced in among these and the aforementioned “Crucial Velocity,” from the more recent Earth Rocker (review here), were “The Wolfman Kindly Requests” and “Earth Rocker” from that same 2013 album — which I think it’s fair to say at this point defined their sound for this decade — and “X-Ray Visions,” “Firebirds,” “A Quick Death in Texas” from its 2015 follow-up, Psychic Warfare (review here), “Willie Nelson,” which appeared on 2003’s Slow Hole to China, “Burning Beard” from 2005’s Robot Hive/Exodus (reissue review here), the just-about-have-to-play-at-every-show “Electric Worry” from 2007’s From Beale Street to Oblivion (reissue review here). The older material was welcome, and the crowd, likewise older, was certainly able to keep up as drummer Jean-Paul Gaster, bassist “Crucial” Dan Maines (who doesn’t actually have that nickname, but nonetheless deserves it), guitarist Tim Sult and vocalist Neil Fallon bounced around their discography. But 2018’s Book of Bad Decisions (review here) was given some representation as well in “H.B. is in Control,” though perhaps that full-length was edged out in favor of 2019 singles “Evil” and “Fortunate Son” — covers of Willie Dixon and Creedence Clearwater Revival, respectively — the latter of which finished the set after “Electric Worry” in the encore and was listed as “John Fogerty’s Mosh Pit,” because, well, you’re in Central Jersey. That’s gonna happen.

The room was filled with familiar faces, from the Clutch crew to the longtime denizens in the crowd, and even the bright-eyed kids from WSOU — still too young and perennially bright-eyed to sue their dogshit host university for decades of discrimination and mismanagement — knew that they were in for a good night, whether it was their first experience seeing the band or not. As regards rock shows, you’re going to have a hard time getting better than Clutch, in any case, and the traditional holiday tour, which wraps tonight in Philly for New Year’s Eve, was given a special subsection this year called ‘ClutchMas.’ Three shows in Washington, D.C., New Jersey and Philadelphia, with three sets and no repeat songs between them — with the presumed exception of “Electric Worry,” which, again, they play at just about every gig. With a backlog of records as deep as Clutch have amassed over the better part of the last 30 years, I have a hard time imagining it was even really a challenge for them to put three such setlists together for 54 total songs, but a holiday celebration is a holiday celebration. You go and you celebrate. If you’re feeling saucy, as I was, you buy the t-shirt with the crab on it.

It was something of a long haul to get to the point where Clutch actually took the stage, with local openers Bound Alive, who played a style I can best describe as “Jersey metal,” followed by Damon Johnson, who under the stage lights kind of looked like an alternate reality healthy-living version of Matt Pike and went out of his way on stage to explain that he toured with Clutch as a part of Thin Lizzy and, in addition to his solo work, was in Brother Cane in the long, long ago. Those two were followed by Nashville’s The Steel Woods, whose twangy country rock stylings made their Allman Bros. cover — was it “Whipping Post?” well of course it was — seem somewhat inevitable. A smorgasbord of not-my-thing, and I was reminded that last year at this time, Clutch were touring with The Obsessed and Devin Townsend. My fault for moving back to New Jersey too late to take advantage of that, but I’ll take what I can get.

And the goal of the night was seeing Clutch, so you know, worthy cause and whatnot. There was a bit of a stumble as “Firebirds” got going, but they smoothed it out, and though I’m always a little surprised at how fast they play “Spacegrass” on the occasions they do it live, I’m also always surprised when I listen to the self-titled and it’s more uptempo than when I hear it in my head. I have a tendency to slow things down. I chalk it up to being old and more than a bit slow myself. But I recall the last time I was at a Clutch holiday show at Starland was maybe 2008, and it was a much different vibe than that, the band having morphed out of their organ-laced blues-heavy leanings in favor of a more pointed and rocking approach on the whole — more a balance shifted than the abandonment of the blues altogether, certainly — and they simply dig what they do, which is offer an utterly essential vision of what heavy rock and roll can and should be on a professional level, marked by classic songcraft and righteous performances that, in terms of playing the game they play, there isn’t another act out there to match them. Clutch do their own thing, on their own terms, and their accomplishments over the course of their career speak for themselves. All you have to do is show up to listen to them do that.

I left Starland fat and happy as one should be after a good holiday meal and made my way back north on wet roads that before climate change would’ve probably been frozen, “The Soapmakers” still reeling on the mental jukebox. Especially for a Monday night, they made it a party, and there was never a doubt it would be anything but. It’s Clutch, being Clutch. I dare you to find me a better way to cap a year than that.

Thanks for reading.

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Friday Full-Length: Clutch, Strange Cousins from the West

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Clutch, Strange Cousins from the West (2009)

It’s been 10 years since Clutch released Strange Cousins from the West (also discussed here), which for a few reasons represents a pivotal moment in their catalog, despite being what some might consider a “lesser” Clutch album compared to some of their other genre-defining work. Their ninth studio full-length, it was the second release through their own Weathermaker Music imprint after their 2008 Full Fathom Five live record and DVD, and it followed a stint on DRT Entertainment that resulted in arguably the most successful three-album stretch of the Maryland outfit’s career to-date, bringing forth 2004’s Blast Tyrant, 2005’s Robot Hive/Exodus and 2007’s From Beale Street to Oblivion (reissues reviewed here) making for a groove triumvirate that found the band successfully and increasingly dipping into blues influences and incorporating them with their well established funk-infused heavy rock and roll, rooted in punk and even at that point already long since distinctly their own.

They were touring hard at this point as well. They’ve never been shy, but the beginning of the Weathermaker era meant Clutch were all-in in terms of the band being their livelihood as well as their passion, so along with the aforementioned Full Fathom Five and 2010’s Live at the 9:30 (review here) live offerings, that meant they were on the road even more. At the same time, the makeup of the band itself was undergoing a rare change. It was something of a surprise when organist Mick Schauer joined the core four-piece of bassist Dan Maines, drummer Jean Paul Gaster, guitarist Tim Sult and vocalist/guitarist Neil Fallon, as the band had never shown much interest in fleshing out arrangements beyond the occasional flourish of percussion or whatever else, but the massive and enduring success of Robot Hive/Exodus and From Beale Street to Oblivion both on tour and in the spread of the songs — seems like “Electric Worry” still shows up in random places over a decade later — is testament to the reception Clutch‘s bluesier stylistic turn and the collaboration with Schauer, shortlived though it was on the grander scale of the band’s almost-30-year career.

Schauer passed away earlier this year, with the awkward timing of being roughly concurrent to Clutch releasing a re-recorded version of “Electric Worry” without keys as a single for their Weathermaker Vault series. He was out of the band by the time they set to putting together Strange Cousins from the West, and though momentum was on Clutch‘s side, there are times on the album where his absence is felt, even as Fallon stepped up the amount of time he was playing guitar and the sound went to arguably its bluesiest degree. Make no mistake, the songs are there. Opener “Motherless Child” puts them in immediate blues communication, and “Struck Down” follows suit while transitioning into the pure-Clutch mega-hook that is “50,000 Unstoppable Watts” — which even a decade later continues to duke it out with the later “Let a Poor Man Be” for the catchiest song on the record in my mind — to round out an initial salvo that plays to the band’s strengths without outright repeating what they’ve done in the past. “Abraham Lincoln” takes a moodier turn, bringing in some more subdued Americana and Southern heavy, and is perhaps the first point at which Schauer seems to be missing, as some of the spaces and crescendos have room for where the organ might’ve been just a couple years earlier. Though the subsequent “Minotaur” is funkier and more uptempo and would certainly host keys as well if they’d been there to be hosted, the mid-album pair of “The Amazing Kreskin” and “Witchdoctor” represent to my mind the place where Clutch‘s transitional state is most apparent.

It’s not that there’s something wrong with clutch strange cousins from the westeither song, structurally or in execution, but in “The Amazing Kreskin,” as Sult‘s guitar noodles through the verse atop Maines‘ always-crucial/always-reliable foundation of bass, one can almost hear how Schauer might’ve played off of it in complementing and filling out the sound, and all the more so in the jam and build in the track’s second half. “Witchdoctor,” no slouch either in the hook department, goes a step further and weaves a line of sustained guitar throughout different parts, actually filling that open space as the keys otherwise would. As a fan of the band, I have a hard time critiquing Clutch — I love seeing them live and though when Strange Cousins From the West came out I thought it didn’t necessarily have the same vibrancy as Robot Hive/Exodus, which was also produced by J. Robbins, I think this record holds up 10 years after the fact — but as much as every Clutch record is different from the one before it, sometimes in direct response to the one before it, as 2013’s landmark Earth Rocker (review here) would be to Strange Cousins, the change they were dealing with at the time seems to be audible here as they were feeling their way through writing out these blues influences without having the organ, electric piano, and so on, as a part of the process at whatever stage it was.

That said, you’ll never hear me take away from “Let a Poor Man Be” on any level except perhaps gender politics, and “Freakonomics,” the Pappo’s Blues cover “Algo Ha Cambiado” and “Sleestak Lightning” do fine in filling out the end of the album, the first of them undeniably the most memorable — “Only the freaks have all the answers!” — and the Spanish-language push of “Algo Ha Cambiado” a welcome uptempo twist ahead of the finale, on which Gaster breaks out a bit of cowbell but is otherwise somewhat understated. It’s a fair-enough ending to an album that has a deceptively broad dynamic and as-ever-rock-solid-rock songcraft and performance, and it was the point at which Clutch pushed the blues as far as they would on the trajectory they’d followed for the latter half of the aughts. It would be a long stretch for them, four years, before Earth Rocker showed up, and when it did, the reunion with producer Machine essentially reset their course along a more straight-ahead heavy rock path, not forgetting the lessons of Robot Hive, Beale Street or Strange Cousins, but laying claim with renewed vigor to the driving, ultra-grooving rock and roll that made them the absolutely essential band they were and are in the first place.

Of course, their forever-tour continues and their studio work continues. The aforementioned Weathermaker Vault series has resulted in four singles this year, they released Book of Bad Decisions (review here) in 2018 as a follow-up to 2015’s Psychic Warfare (review here), and just this week, they announced that as part of their annual holiday tour, they’ll play three special sets in Washington D.C., New Jersey and Philadelphia comprising a total of 54 songs and, on the latter night — also New Year’s Eve — they’ll also do Blast Tyrant in full for the first and hopefully not last time. Also, they’re calling it ClutchMas, which is adorable. One expects 2020 tour dates to be announced in January, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they had new material in the works they’ll set to hammering out on the road soon enough (if they’re not yet). Train don’t stop.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Another week. The Patient Mrs.’ first semester teaching at William Paterson University ended yesterday — at least classes did — so congratulations to her on making it through what was a pretty rough schedule, and being one chunk closer to reclaiming the tenure she gave up in Massachusetts to move us back to New Jersey earlier this year. Last night, we talked about how we didn’t really miss being up there for the most part. She and I both had friends — her more than me, it should go without saying — but being so far from family and so on was hard. I’ve seen my two NJ-based nephews more in the last eight months than in the six years prior. You can’t replace that kind of time.

I’m exhausted, and it’s going to be a long winter of “WTF do we do with this kid?” since things like freezing temperatures, darkness and snow on the ground preclude hours-at-a-time of being outside. The Pecan is a goer. He goes. He’s taken to “flying,” whereby he basically throws his arms out to his sides and runs in circles around the living room. He wants The Patient Mrs. and I to join in, and we do, because he so clearly, clearly needs that running to keep him even. I feel like I should start investing in ritalin now, but I know damn well that if I had a stockpile going, I’d just end up taking it myself. Which might be fun, come to think of it.

This week… was a week. I’ve been in a deep-dive funk of don’t want to do anything, don’t want to move or leave the house, which is not conducive to the needs of a two year old. He keeps my ass in gear. Otherwise, I think it’d be way more couch time, which, while we’re talking about needs, is probably not conducive to my own. Being people is hard.

But hey, next week is a thing that’s happening. I’ll be putting the finishing touches on my top 30 — by which I mean actually making the list — and it’ll probably take me three days to actually write it, so that takes care of next weekend. This weekend I’m writing a new bio for Geezer and apparently trying to figure out how to get a newsletter going, since when I asked on social media yesterday, the response was pretty positive to the idea. Next week though has a review long overdue for Caustic Casanova and premieres for CB3 and (shhh… don’t tell anyone) Yatra, so it’s gonna be good. I was kind of overwhelmed this week at the responses to the news stories about Wino and Sasquatch. Nice to know people are out there and give a crap about this stuff. I know it’s not my writing drawing anyone to those news stories, it’s the music, but frankly, that’s how it should be.

I hope you’re getting through the holiday season. I hate the holidays. So much. Fuck Xmas. Fuck New Year’s. Fuck the faux ‘meaning’ of it all, the vulgar commerce, the weather, the elf, the shelf, the Jesus and the Santa Claus and the ball dropping and the lights. Even Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” isn’t worth that shit. I’d trade it happily. But I hope you’re coming through it okay, anyhow. It ain’t easy.

That should just about do it for me. It’s time for me to go try and bury my head and listen to music. Like, just for pleasure. There’s a thought. Friday’s usually my chance to do that. Maybe Thursday during nap too if I’m lucky, as I was yesterday. The real test this weekend will be if I can motivate my ass to do any work tomorrow or if I just sink back in bed after the alarm goes off and pile it all on Sunday, thereby wrecking my day entirely, stressing out myself and The Patient Mrs. and, by extension/osmosis, The Pecan, who invariably feeds off the emotions we give him.

Which is why I’m a bad parent. Because I have nothing good to give him.

I could go on, but I think you probably get the gist of how the next couple days are going to play out over here. Great and safe weekend. See you Monday for more good times.

FRM. Forum, Radio, Merch.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk merch

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Clutch Announce ‘ClutchMas’ Special Shows on Holiday Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

What the gosh darn heck is ‘ClutchMas,’ you ask? First of all, thanks for watching your language. Second, it’s a three-night mini-stint worked into their annual holiday tour whereby they’ll perform three different sets in Washington, D.C., Sayreville, NJ, and Philadephia, PA. The latter is where they’ll spend New Year’s Eve itself, and that night they’ll play 2004’s Blast Tyrant (reissue review here, also discussed here) in full for the first time ever. Never heard Clutch play “Subtle Hustle” before? Well, there’s still time to book your travel, because let me tell you, that’s a party you want to be at. I mean it. I haven’t been to Philly in a long while, but this one is tempting, even though there’s no way that show’s gonna end before like 1:30 in the morning and I’m pretty sure I’ll actually die if I am awake such an hour.

I also feel that way about, like, 10PM though, so maybe take that with a grain of whatever you take grains of.

Anyway, as Bender might tell you, it’ll be fun on a bun.

Dig:

clutch clutchmas

CLUTCH ANNOUNCE CLUTCHMAS!

Clutch will perform some very special sets on their annual run of dates between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The upcoming dates in D.C., Sayreville, and Philly will feature 3 completely different sets, 54 songs total. In addition, the band will play Blast Tyrant in its entirety for the first time ever on New Year’s Eve at Union Transfer in Philadelphia, PA. Tickets are on sale now: http://www.pro-rock.com

ClutchMas Shows:
December 29 – 9:30 Club Washington DC
December 30 – Starland Ballroom Sayreville NJ
December 31 – Union Transfer Philadelphia

“We’ve been having a blast over here in Europe playing a ton of songs spanning our 28 year career” states drummer Jean-Paul Gaster. “Nuremberg marks the 4th night of the tour and so far we’ve played 62 different songs. It is for this reason we’ve decided to play three completely different sets for the final three Clutch shows of 2019. For those folks who have already bought tickets to one of these shows but have been thinking about attending a second or third, know that you’ll be seeing totally different set each night. The New Year’s gig is gonna be extra fun as we’ll be playing the Blast Tyrant record in its entirety. Please come celebrate ClutchMas! with us!”

Clutch Full Annual Holiday Tour Dates:
Fri/Dec-27 Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
Sat/Dec-28 Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel (support from Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown)
Sun/Dec-29 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Mon/Dec-30 Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
Tue/Dec-31 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer (New Years Eve Show)

CLUTCH:
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion

www.facebook.com/clutchband
www.instagram.com/clutchofficial
www.twitter.com/clutchofficial
www.pro-rock.com
www.youtube.com/user/officialclutch

Clutch, “Fortunate Son” official video

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Clutch Post Creedence Clearwater Revival Cover “Fortunate Son”; Share Video

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Cheers to long-running Maryland groove rockers Clutch for finding and realizing perhaps the most appropriate cover ever. I mean, Jimi Hendrix did a number on “All Along the Watchtower,” don’t get me wrong, but Clutch taking on CCR‘s “Fortunate Son?” Talk about doing the planet a favor.

I knew what it sounded like before I listened, but of course listened anyway. You should too, even though you can already hear it in your head as well.

Clutch recently announced a December European tour that will precede their annual pre-New Year’s holiday run. They’re giving themselves a whole week to celebrate the holidays, so yeah, really getting lazy these days, fellas. What’s that about?

Oh, and since they brought it up, I mentioned it as well on social media but didn’t post here, but rest in peace Jack Flanagan. I can’t claim to have known him well, but he was nothing but a sweetheart every time we spoke.

Info courtesy of the PR wire:

Clutch fortunate son

CLUTCH RELEASE BRAND NEW STUDIO RECORDING OF CLASSIC CCR SONG “FORTUNATE SON” AS PART OF THE “WEATHERMAKER VAULT SERIES”

Clutch announce the release of “Fortunate Son”. The single is the fourth in a series of new studio recordings that comprise the newly launched Weathermaker Vault Series.

Available on all digital outlets here: https://orcd.co/dlrxa4p.

“Growing up it was hard not to hear CCR’s Fortunate Son on the radio, on TV or even at the county fair. The groovy backbeat and sloshy hi hats that introduces John Fogerty’s timeless lyrics written so many years ago could be found everywhere. While it may be true to say that Fortunate Son could be seen as a political song we think it’s bigger than that. For us Fortunate Son is an inspirational song. For that reason we’d like to dedicate the song to the most inspirational person we’ve ever had in our lives, our late manager Jack Flanagan. Jack Flanagan was no Fortunate son. He worked tirelessly and passionately all the while keeping a razor sharp sense of humor until his last days. Thank you Jack for making us better than we ever thought we could be.” Jean-Paul Gaster

“Fortunate Son” was mixed by 6X Grammy Award winner and Clutch collaborator, Vance Powell (Wolfmother, The Raconteurs, Arctic Monkeys).

In the video that accompanies this release Tim Sult pays homage to Jack Flanagan by playing Jack’s beloved 90’s Les Paul. The video was shot at J Robbins’ Magpie Cage Recording Studio in Baltimore, MD. J Robbins produced the Clutch albums “Robot Hive/Exodus” and “Strange Cousins From The West” and he recorded all of the WM Vault Series singles.

On Monday, December 2nd, Clutch will embark on a European headline tour with Graveyard and Kamchatka as support.

Tickets available here.

2 Dec (Mon) – Wiesbaden, GER @ Kulturzentrum Schlachthof
3 Dec (Tue) – Oberhausen, GER @ Turbinenhalle
5 Dec (Thu) – Bremen, GER @ Aladin Music Hall
6 Dec (Fri) – Nuremberg, GER @ Löwensaal
*7 Dec (Sat) – Strasbourg, FRA @ La Laiterie
8 Dec (Sun) – Villeurbanne, FRA @ Transbordeur
10 Dec (Tue) – Barcelona, ESP @ Sala Apolo
*11 Dec (Wed) – Madrid, ESP @ Sala But
13 Dec (Fri) – Madrid, ESP @ Sala But
14 Dec (Sat) – Bilbao, ESP @ Santana 27
15 Dec (Sun) – Bordeaux, FRA @ Le Rocher de Palmer
17 Dec (Tue) – Southampton, GBR @ O2 Guildhall
18 Dec (Wed) – London, GBR @ Roundhouse
19 Dec (Thu) – Leeds, GBR @ O2 Academy
*20 Dec (Fri) – Nottingham, GBR @ Rock City

Clutch Annual Holiday Tour Dates:

Fri/Dec-27 Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
Sat/Dec-28 Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel (support from Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown)
Sun/Dec-29 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Mon/Dec-30 Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
Tue/Dec-31 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer (New Years Eve Show)

CLUTCH:
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion

www.facebook.com/clutchband
www.instagram.com/clutchofficial
www.twitter.com/clutchofficial
www.pro-rock.com
www.youtube.com/user/officialclutch

Clutch, “Fortunate Son” official video

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Clutch Announce Annual Holiday Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 30th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

You think by the time Clutch get to Starland Ballroom on Dec. 30 they’ll have any of those vinyl singles left from the Weathermaker Vault Series they’ve been doing? Could go either way, right? I wouldn’t mind finding out though. It’s been a minute since I saw Clutch on one of their annual holiday tours — my fault, not theirs; they do it every year — and as I haven’t gone to pay homage to the groove masters in a little while, it seems only fair to think of myself as due for a good Clutch gig. Might be fun. Philly on New Year’s Eve might be fun too, as I recall it was in 2011 when they rung in 2012 with Earthride and the trio incarnation of Corrosion of Conformity supporting. This time around it’ll be The Steel Woods and Damon Johnson, so yes, a different vibe, but as has been well established, Clutch have no trouble crossing over from one audience to another. They seem to be welcome wherever they go, and for good reason.

The PR wire has the dates:

clutch holiday tour poster

CLUTCH ANNOUNCE ANNUAL US HOLIDAY RUN TOUR DATES

DECEMBER 27th – DECEMBER 31st 2019

Clutch announce December 2019 tour dates for their annual US Holiday Run Tour. The tour kicks off December 27th at Bogarts in Cincinnati, OH and ends with a special New Years Eve show at Union Transfer in Philadelphia, PA. Main support on all dates will be The Steel Woods from Nashville, TN. Damon Johnson, guitarist/singer songwriter will open all shows except Asheville, NC. Our good friends Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown will open the Asheville, NC show.

Tickets go on sale this Saturday, September 28th at noon ET via www.pro-rock.com.

Clutch Annual Holiday Tour Dates:

Fri/Dec-27 Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
Sat/Dec-28 Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel (support from Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown)
Sun/Dec-29 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Mon/Dec-30 Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
Tue/Dec-31 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer (New Years Eve Show)

Over the past few months, the band has been releasing a series of new studio recordings that comprise the newly launched Weathermaker Vault Series. This is the first new official music Clutch is making available since the release of their critically acclaimed album, Book Of Bad Decisions.

The first three singles (Evil, Precious And Grace, and Electric Worry) were mixed by 6X Grammy Award winner and Clutch collaborator, Vance Powell (Wolfmother, The Raconteurs, Arctic Monkeys) and are available now on all digital platforms.

Clutch is currently on a US Fall Tour with Dropkick Murphys along with metalcore veterans Hatebreed as direct support.

Clutch Fall Tour with Dropkick Murphys:
(headline** and festival* dates) = no Dropkick Murphys.
Clutch headline ** show support below.

Mon/Sep-30 Chicago, IL @ Aragon
Tue/Oct-01 Minneapolis, MN @ The Myth
Thu/Oct-03 Moorhead, MN @ Bluestem Center For The Arts
Fri/Oct-04 Council Bluffs, IA @ Westfair Amphitheatre
Sat/Oct-05 Broomfield, CO @ FirstBank Center
Sun/Oct-06 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Union
Tue/Oct-08 Los Angeles, CA @ The Palladium
Wed/Oct-09 San Diego, CA @ Park at the Park
*Fri/Oct-11 Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival
**Sat/Oct-12 Bend, OR @ Midtown Theater (support: Red Fang, Mos Generator)
**Sun/Oct-13 Eugene, OR @ McDonald Theater (support: Red Fang, Mos Generator)
Mon/Oct-14 Boise, ID @ Outlaw Field at Idaho Botanic Gardens
Tue/Oct-15 Seattle, WA @ WAMU Theatre

** = HEADLINE SHOW
* = FESTIVAL

CLUTCH:
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion

www.facebook.com/clutchband
www.instagram.com/clutchofficial
www.twitter.com/clutchofficial
www.pro-rock.com
www.youtube.com/user/officialclutch

Clutch, “Electric Worry (2019)” official video

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Clutch Release New Recording of “Electric Worry” for Weathermaker Vault Series; Confirm Passing of Former Keyboardist

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

‘Doctor or lawyer, I’ll never be/Life of a drifter, only life for me/You can have your riches, all the gold you saved/Ain’t room for one thing in everybody’s grave.’ Tattoo it on every Clutch fan’s forehead. The new studio-recorded version of “Electric Worry” is more akin to how they’ve been doing the song live for the last however many years. Vocalist Neil Fallon calls it “leaner, meaner,” which is fair enough since the original had organ and blues harp on it, but really, if they wanted to do this song with an orchestra I think they could pull it off. Some things just work and this track is one of them. Got a new version? Yeah, I’ll take that. Put one out every other year from now until forever and I don’t imagine anyone would get tired of it, or if they did, that someone else wouldn’t pick up the slack. It’s that hook, man. Vamanos.

As it works out, the timing on the release of the single and video is a little awkward, as the press release below came in on Friday, tour dates rockin’ and all that, and then yesterday the band posted word that keyboardist Mick Schauer, whose contribution to the original “Electric Worry” helped make it such a landmark for the band, has died. Schauer had been out of the band for a decade at this point, but still.

The video, which you can see below, was filmed in Europe this summer. You can see the Hellfest crowd and a bunch of others. And of course Clutch are starting another tour this week, this time headed out with Dropkick Murphys, I guess because why not.

From the PR wire:

clutch electric worry

CLUTCH RELEASE BRAND NEW 2019 STUDIO RECORDING OF CLASSIC SINGLE “ELECTRIC WORRY” IN ITS PUREST FORM AS PART OF THE “WEATHERMAKER VAULT SERIES”

Clutch announce the release of “Electric Worry.” The single is the third in a series of new studio recordings that comprise the newly launched Weathermaker Vault Series and the first new official music Clutch is making available since the release of their critically acclaimed album, Book Of Bad Decisions.

When “Electric Worry” was released in 2007 on the album “From Beale Street To Oblivion” nobody knew that this track would turn into one of Clutch’s most recognizable songs. It is a fan favorite and a staple at live shows. Over the course of time, the song went through changes. What you are listening to here is a brand new studio recording of the 2019 live version of the song without the keyboards and harmonica that are on the 2007 rendition. This is “Electric Worry” in its purest form.

“Electric Worry” was mixed by 6X Grammy Award winner and Clutch collaborator, Vance Powell (Wolfmother, The Raconteurs, Arctic Monkeys).

“All in all it’s just a leaner, meaner song” states vocalist Neil Fallon. “We wanted to put something out there that was representative of what we do these days since it happens to be one of our most popular songs.”

Clutch has curated their own Spotify playlist “Clutch’s Heavy Rotation” at this location: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3NlZsjNNOoCvwjCv58mcNR

On Friday, September 20th, Clutch will embark on a Fall tour of the US with Dropkick Murphys along with metalcore veterans Hatebreed as direct support.

Clutch Fall Tour with Dropkick Murphys:
Tickets available here.
(headline** and festival* dates) = no Dropkick Murphys

Fri/Sep-20 Springfield, MA MassMutual @ Center Arena
Sat/Sep-21 Erie, PA Erie @ Insurance Arena
**Sun/Sep-22 Wilmington, DE @ The Queen (support: Lionize, Kingsnake)
Tue/Sep-24 Raleigh, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheatre
Wed/Sep-25 Charlotte, NC Charlotte @ Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
Thu/Sep-26 Birmingham, AL @ Avondale Brewery
**Fri/Sep-27 Clarksville, TN O’Connors Outdoor Stage (support: Hatebreed, Cane Hill)
Sun/Sep-29 Detroit, MI @ Masonic Temple Theatre
Mon/Sep-30 Chicago, IL @ Aragon
Tue/Oct-01 Minneapolis, MN @ The Myth
Thu/Oct-03 Moorhead, MN @ Bluestem Center For The Arts
Fri/Oct-04 Council Bluffs, IA @ Westfair Amphitheatre
Sat/Oct-05 Broomfield, CO @ FirstBank Center
Sun/Oct-06 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Union
Tue/Oct-08 Los Angeles, CA @ The Palladium
Wed/Oct-09 San Diego, CA @ Park at the Park
*Fri/Oct-11 Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Festival
**Sat/Oct-12 Bend, OR @ Midtown Theater (support: Red Fang, Mos Generator)
**Sun/Oct-13 Eugene, OR @ McDonald Theater (support: Red Fang, Mos Generator)
Mon/Oct-14 Boise, ID @ Outlaw Field at Idaho Botanic Gardens
Tue/Oct-15 Seattle, WA @ WAMU Theatre

** = HEADLINE SHOW
* = FESTIVAL

Says the band on the death of Mick Schauer: “We are saddened to hear the news of Mick Schauer’s passing. Mick was an incredible talent and he will be missed. His contribution to the albums Robot Hive Exodus and From Beale Street to Oblivion brought a new sound to the band at a time when the band sought to stretch into new territory. Mick helped us to achieve those goals and more. He was also a powerful force at our live shows. His natural ability was unmatched and his love for the music made us all play better. We are grateful for having had the opportunity to make music with you Mick!”

CLUTCH:
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion

www.facebook.com/clutchband
www.instagram.com/clutchofficial
www.twitter.com/clutchofficial
www.pro-rock.com
www.youtube.com/user/officialclutch

Clutch, “Electric Worry (2019)”

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Clutch Release ZZ Top Cover “Precious & Grace”; Tour Starts Friday

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

If you’ve ever wondered what Clutch mean by ‘pro-rock,’ aside from the literal fact that it’s what they do for a living, consider that last month they launched their Weathermaker Vault Series of singles by unveiling a take on Willie Dixon‘s “Evil” just before heading abroad for a round of UK and EU appearances. The second in the series, a corresponding cover of ZZ Top‘s “Precious and Grace,” is out just days ahead of the beginning of their co-headlining tour with Killswitch Engage. This is not a coincidence. This is professional coordination in rock and roll. Pro-rock.

One would expect nothing less from them.

Some might recall Queens of the Stone Age also took on “Precious and Grace” circa Lullabies to Paralyze — some might not — but of course Clutch put their stamp on the boogie swagger of the original, and I don’t know if they’re playing any of this stuff live, but it seems to me that it’s worth showing up even for the possibility. Worst that happens? You see Clutch. Also the best that happens.

From the PR wire:

clutch precious and grace

CLUTCH RELEASE NEW SINGLE “PRECIOUS AND GRACE” AS PART OF THE “WEATHERMAKER VAULT SERIES”

Clutch announce the release of “Precious And Grace”. The single is the second in a series of new studio recordings that comprise the newly launched Weathermaker Vault Series and the first new official music Clutch is making available since the release of their critically acclaimed album, Book Of Bad Decisions.

Future tracks will follow as part of the new series throughout the 2nd half of 2019. These songs are bound to become another classic milestone in the band’s stellar career. “Precious And Grace” was mixed by 6X Grammy Award winner and Clutch collaborator, Vance Powell (Wolfmother, The Raconteurs,Arctic Monkeys).

A video for the song can be viewed at this location: https://youtu.be/9RvJt7MGziM

“It should be fairly obvious by now that Clutch are huge fans of ZZ Top” states vocalist Neil Fallon. “They’re a band that we grew up listening to – and we still listen to them to this day. ‘Precious & Grace’, from their classic Tres Hombres LP, is easily one of our favorite ZZ Top songs and that’s really the only story behind the choice.”

Clutch has curated their own Spotify playlist “Clutch’s Heavy Rotation” at this location: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3NlZsjNNOoCvwjCv58mcNR

On Friday, Clutch will embark on a co-headlining tour of the US with Killswitch Engage that also includes Clutch’s curated Earth Rocker Festival in Inwood WV.

Clutch & Killswitch Engage Co-Headline US Dates:
Tickets available here.
Fri/Jul 12th Syracuse, NY at SI Hall
Sat/Jul 13th Inwood, WV at Earth Rocker Festival @ Shiley Acres
Sun/Jul 14th Myrtle Beach, SC at House Of Blues
Tue/Jul 16th Fort Wayne, IN at The Clyde
Thu/Jul 18th Sioux City, IA at Hard Rock Casino
Fri/Jul 19th Cadott, WI at Rock USA Festival
Sat/Jul 20th Peoria, Il at Tailgate N’ Tallboys Festival
Mon/Jul 22nd Tulsa, OK at The Brady Theater
Tue/Jul 23rd St. Louis, MO at The Pageant
Thu/Jul 25th Bethlehem, PA at Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Fri/Jul 26th Asbury Park, NJ at Stone Pony (Outdoors)
Sat/Jul 27th Bangor, ME at Impact Music Festival
Sun/Jul 28th Montreal, QC at Heavy Montreal Festival
Tue/Jul 30th Huntington, NY at The Paramount
Thu/Aug 1st Columbus, OH at Express Live (Outdoors)
Fri/Aug 2nd Pittsburgh, PA at Stage AE (Outdoors)
Sat/Aug 3rd Port Chester, NY at The Capitol Theater
Sun/Aug 4th Worcester, MA at Palladium (Outdoors)

CLUTCH:
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion

www.facebook.com/clutchband
www.instagram.com/clutchofficial
www.twitter.com/clutchofficial
www.pro-rock.com
www.youtube.com/user/officialclutch

Clutch, “Precious and Grace” official video

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Clutch Launch ‘Weathermaker Vault Series’ with “Evil” Single

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Clutch about to launch a swing through Europe playing festivals, unveiling a new singles series with a cover of a song that Willie Dixon wrote and Cactus took on at the dawn of the heavy ’70s? Yeah, that sounds about right. The Maryland stalwarts go abroad this week for your Downloads, your Copenhells, your Graspops and your Hellfests, etc., before coming back next month for a co-headline swing with Killswitch Engage to I guess get a jump on aughts nostalgia for people who were in college at the same time I was. That tour has indoor and outdoor shows, which is nifty, it being summertime and all, and is noteworthy as well for the stop at their own Earth Rocker Festival on July 13 in West Virginia.

And yes, at the same time, they’re kicking off the Weathermaker Vault Series — seriously, just take my money — with a cover of “Evil,” a song that, even if you don’t know it, you already know it. Others are reportedly to follow — hence “series” — but as the video at the bottom of this post portrays, it’s a righteous take and a hell of a start for whatever will follow.

And I was thinking not too long ago that it’s been too damn long since Clutch banged out one of their limited-as-hell live albums, so hopefully some such thing makes its way through their new Vault as well sooner or later.

From the PR wire:

clutch evil

CLUTCH RELEASE NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO FOR “EVIL”

BAND LAUNCHES THE “WEATHERMAKER VAULT SERIES”
“EVIL” LYRIC VIDEO AVAILABLE NOW

Clutch announce the release of “Evil.” The single is the first in a series of new studio recordings that will comprise the newly launched Weathermaker Vault Series and the first new official music Clutch is making available since the release of their critically acclaimed album, Book Of Bad Decisions.

Future tracks will follow as part of the new series throughout the 2nd half of 2019. These songs are bound to become another classic milestone in the band’s stellar career.

“Evil” was mixed by 6X Grammy Award winner and Clutch collaborator, Vance Powell (Wolfmother, The Raconteurs, Arctic Monkeys).

A lyric video for “Evil” accompanies the release and can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/RDehbNb4Q1Y

“We’ve had a good amount of downtime since our last tour. And since the devil finds work for idle hands, we kept ourselves busy by recording some tunes. “Evil” is the first of them, a song we’ve loved for many, many years.” Neil Fallon

Later this week, Clutch will embark on a tour of European festivals and headline dates, followed by a July 12th-August 4th co-headline US tour with Killswitch Engage that also includes Clutch’s curated Earth Rocker Festival in Inwood WV.

European Dates: June 14th-June 23rd.

Fri/Jun 14th UK, Castle Donington, Download Festival
Sun/Jun 16th UK, Cardiff, Great Hall
Tue/Jun 18th GR, Thessaloniki, Fix Factory of Sound
Wed/Jun 19th GR, Athens, Release Athens Festival
Fri/Jun 21st DK, Copenhagen, Copenhell
Sat/Jun 22nd BE, Dessel, Graspop Metal Meeting
Sun/Jun 23rd FR, St.-Hilaire-De-Clisson, Hellfest

Clutch-Killswitch Engage Co-Headline US Dates: July 12-August 4th.

Fri/Jul 12th Syracuse, NY at SI Hall
Sat/Jul 13th Inwood, WV at Earth Rocker Festival @ Shiley Acres
Sun/Jul 14th Myrtle Beach, SC at House Of Blues
Tue/Jul 16th Fort Wayne, IN at The Clyde
Thu/Jul 18th Sioux City, IA at Hard Rock Casino
Fri/Jul 19th Cadott, WI at Rock USA Festival
Sat/Jul 20th Peoria, Il at Tailgate N’ Tallboys Festival
Mon/Jul 22nd Tulsa, OK at The Brady Theater
Tue/Jul 23rd St. Louis, MO at The Pageant
Thu/Jul 25th Bethlehem, PA at Sands Bethlehem Event Center
Fri/Jul 26th Asbury Park, NJ at Stone Pony (Outdoors)
Sat/Jul 27th Bangor, ME at Impact Music Festival
Sun/Jul 28th Montreal, QC at Heavy Montreal Festival
Tue/Jul 30th Huntington, NY at The Paramount
Thu/Aug 1st Columbus, OH at Express Live (Outdoors)
Fri/Aug 2nd Pittsburgh, PA at Stage AE (Outdoors)
Sat/Aug 3rd Port Chester, NY at The Capitol Theater
Sun/Aug 4th Worcester, MA at Palladium (Outdoors)

CLUTCH:
Neil Fallon – Vocals/Guitar
Tim Sult – Guitar
Dan Maines – Bass
Jean-Paul Gaster – Drums/Percussion

www.facebook.com/clutchband
www.instagram.com/clutchofficial
www.twitter.com/clutchofficial
www.pro-rock.com
www.youtube.com/user/officialclutch

Clutch, “Evil” official lyric video

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