A group of friends gathered at The ‘Boro one sunny spring afternoon in 1991. The buzz amongst them was “Uncle Don, Uncle Don!” I had not been in Murfreesboro long, and had yet to meet Mr. Clark. I recall thinking “Who is this cat and why is everyone so excited to call him ‘Uncle’ ?”
I did not have long to wait until the man himself sauntered in and sat down with a frosty mug. As he pulled his six-string from it’s battered case and began tuning up, I could tell right away that this was no ordinary hack. It takes someone special to strum a chord, twist the tuner knobs and have a guitar up to A=440 in 30 seconds and here was that somebody.
Uncle Don wowed us all that afternoon, and for many to come, with songs of heartbreak, humor, and astutely witty observation. Oh, and the “Uncle” part, well just hang around with him and you’ll see… the way he treats folks and pays attention speaks volumes about his soul.
“My interest in music started early. By age 8, I had my first real guitar. By age 10 I started learning how to play. I watched others but taught myself. At 10 1/2 I wrote my first folk song. At the time I didn’t even know what folk music was. I still play it.
The next 37 1/2 years I worked perfecting a style. I have yet to determine what that really is. My music became more eclectic. Music was changing so much, during that time, and there was such diversity. I gleaned what I thought to be the best of each style. I still write and play that way. Whatever works.” (read more)
Uncle Don works solo and with his latest group, The Secret Commonwealth, entertaining crowds all over Mid-Tenn. From Leiper’s Fork to 16th Avenue; Tullahoma to ChooChoo, you won’t find too many places he has not played.
Heart of Gold
Let’s visit the “Uncle” part of this again. Like a benevolent uncle, Don Clark is a giving person. Always ready to help when and where it is needed, I don’t believe I have ever known him to turn down an opportunity to show he cares. Later this month, after his shows at The Celtic Cup on the 13th and at Bunganut Pig on the 14th, Don will be donating his time and gift of song for the soul to benefit the Coffee Co. Red Raider Band at what is becoming one of the largest events in Manchester, the Red Raider Jam. He was one of the first to volunteer on the Facebook(r) Event Page, and that has excited a whole bunch of folks!