King Khan’s artist recommendation: “There are often many unsung musical heroes who never seem to get the credit that they deserve. Jeff Clarke is one of those heroes. During the past 15 years he has branded his own type of psychedelic country rock n’ roll such that world has never heard before.
I remember meeting Jeff Clarke in 2002 in Montreal when the Demon’s Claws first shared the stage with King Khan & BBQ. Watching them play made my mouth drop, it felt like discovering the Rolling Stones! They managed to capture the raw power of pure unhinged rock ‘n’ roll and add to it a gunslingin’, whiskey drinkin, severed-head-on-a-stake kinda swagger the likes of Merle Haggard, Billy the Kid and Conan the Barbarian all in one!!!
The reign of the Demon’s Claws was one that was wrought with many accidents and bumps along the road but what they left was a huge stain across North America and Europe. They were a part of the origins of the “Death Cult” along the likes of the Black Lips, Jay Reatard, King Khan & BBQ, the Gris Gris and the Spits. In fact in many ways they were the outlaws amongst the outlaws. Their unruly hedonistic behaviour was stuff that legends were made of and subsequently had them banned from many clubs and feared by many promoters. The truth of the matter is that the sound that Jeff Clarke “not-so-innocently” unearthed nearly a decade ago has influenced so many of the young groups of today. There would be no Acid Baby Jesus if Jeff Clarke hadn’t inseminated rock n roll with his fertile seed.
His new incarnation goes by the name of Hellshovel where he has teamed up with an international team of players. Their sound invokes both demons and angels. This time around Jeff Clarke’s songwriting has truly evolved and embraced a new level of fiction. Imagine Walyon Jennings being sucked up into an orgasmatronic UFO and surrounded by light beings that poked and prodded him.
Could Jeff Clarke be the Arthur C. Clarke of modern Rock n Roll? Is Hellshovel that great black monolith in the sky that will have all the primates crushing each others bones over? All that can be really done is celebrate that we are amidst a true living legend in his prime. If his music isn’t enough to draw you into his world then try his avant-garde paintings or perhaps his incredible comic art. Whatever form of Jeff Clarke you chose to try it will leave you with a very strong taste in your mouth and might change your life forever.”
About our guest author, King Khan: Spy the image of King Khan in his wacky merman warrior helmet on the front page of his website or read about how he mooned Lindsay Lohan and it’s easy to think of the guy as some sort of camp novelty act. Don’t be misled. Khan, born Arish Ahmad Khan, has been creating great garage-funk-rock since he joined The Spaceshits in 1996 and has collaborated with the likes of The Black Lips (they were all part of a side project called The Almighty Defenders) and has performed with GZA of Wu-Tang Clan. Khan is now touring behind his new album, Idle No More that sounds like spaced out tour through rock and soul’s most exciting music, making stops at the exits for James Brown, Sun Ra, The Velvets and The Rolling Stones. His touring band, The Shrines, will simply blow you apart with an assault of precision percussion from Ron Streeter (who previously supported Curtis Mayfield and Stevie Wonder) and a blazing horn section led by Torben Wesche (tenor sax) and Frederic Brissaud (baritone sax). Check the YouTube clip below to see what you’re in for and then check the King Khan and the Shrines tour page to see the 2013 dates that are closing in on your home town.