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Cyrus Clarke: Bio

Cyrus Clarke - Songwriter/Guitarist

Cyrus Clarke's music finds its sense of place in a sound best described as acoustic Americana. He has been a progressive acoustic music pioneer as a founding member and writer for The Cache Valley Drifters and The Acousticats. His compositions have been recorded by Kate Wolf, David West, Mike Mullins, and Phil Salazar, as well as on many of his own recordings. Honeyboy's inventive flatpicking guitar style is at home with fiddle tunes and rock-grass improvisations ala The Grateful Dead, or slow, soft waltzes and ballads. He is a western artist who has traveled the highways and back roads of California for over thirty years, defying categorization while defining a sound that can only be found in the golden rolling hills and mountains of the west.

Cy comes from solid showbiz stock. His mom was a successful regional artist in the Boston area after WWII. She entertained thousands of troops at the USO and had a wonderful career as a singer in the finest nightclubs in the area. A greater calling as the loving mother of seven children became her greatest and most successful endeavor.

Clarke's father, George, was a celebrated nightlife columnist for the Boston Record for over thirty years. Prior to the move to Boston in the late nineteen-thirties, Pere Clarke was the city editor for the New York Daily Mirror, an illustrious and important city tabloid. There he worked with Walter Winchell, Sophie Tucker, Paul Whiteman, the Gershwins, Ferde Grofe, and a galaxy of other greats from the golden era of entertainment.

Cyrus' story continues to unfold as he has recently expanded his territory and moved to the beautiful island of Maui. He believes this will be the best place to love the acoustic guitar sound that has become his trademark.

Phil Salazar/The Acousticats - Master Fiddler

Phil Salazar is a master fiddler who straddles the borders between traditional bluegrass and contemporary sound. He is a southern California veteran who has fielded his own band, produced several recordings, and created the blazing twin fiddle sound of the Acousticats.

Charl Ann Gastineau/The Acousticats - Violin

Charl Ann Gastineau has had a long career in musical settings such as the “Rat Pack” orchestra in 1960’s Las Vegas, the Ventura County Symphony, and bluegrass outfits such as the Phil Salazar Band and the Acousticats. She is a journeyman musician capable of creating truth and beauty whenever she plays.

Rick Borella/The Acousticats - Bass

Rick Borella holds down the bottom line in this modern bluegrass ensemble. A quiet and unassuming player, his style provides fine counterpoint for the rhythm and roll of the Acousticats.

Mike Mullins/The Acousticats and Cyrus Clarke & the Expedition - Mandolin

Mandolin expert Mike Mullins has been a fixed player in the California acoustic music scene for three decades. An artist whose chosen instrument has seen him share the stage with the Cache Valley Drifters and David Grisman, he is also an amazing songwriter who stirs the soul with tunes like the poignant Civil War ballad “Rhode Island Bride”.

Tom Corbett/The Acousticats and The Cyrus Clarke Band - Mandolin

Mandolinist Tom Corbett's credentials read like a who's who of acousticana in Southern California. He has made serious waves in the pond as the mandolin man for the Cyrus Clarke Band as well as John McCuen's String Wizards.

Tom Lackner/The Cyrus Clarke Band - Drums and Percussion

Drummer and percussionist Tom Lackner has performed and recorded with diverse artists such as Eddie Harris, Laurindo Almeida, Kate Wolf, Flora Purim, and Airto. Recent projects have produced generous collaborations with Toad the Wet Sprocketeer, Glenn Phillips and writer Josef Woodard.

Gary Sangenitto/The Cyrus Clarke Band - Electric Bass

Bass player Sangenitto blames the Beatles for his interest in music. In 1964 Gary's grandmother took him to San Francisco for the fab four's first stateside concert and he's been a player ever since.

Barney Tower/The Cyrus Clarke Band and Cyrus Clarke & the Expedition - Telecaster

Telecaster man Barney Tower is master at the art of strum and twang. He is the latest installment in a long line of tele-kings originating from California.

Jack Joshua/Cyrus Clarke and the Expedition - Double Bass

Jack Joshua was first exposed to the idea of playing music by his grandfather, Lawrence Dudley. After 20-plus years of playing bass in contexts of contemporary music, Jack believes he is being brought "back to the basics". "Over the last few years I've found myself drawn to and playing more folk music, delta blues, New Orleans jazz, traditional country, western swing, Irish jigs, and reels, Negro spirituals, the real roots of American music."