by Bill Bentley
HOLLYWOOD(Perfect Music Today) 10/7/20/–Dane Clark & the Backroom Boys featuring John Sebastian, Songs from Isolation. It’s always a good idea to keep an ear on the drummer, because they’ve got a lot of down-time waiting for the rest of the band to gear up. Dane Clark has been admirably holding down the beat with John Mellencamp’s outfit for many years, and in that time has made a half-dozen solo albums displaying his strong multi-instrumental skills. Clark, though, has never made an album like this. Housebound by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indianan tapped into the talents of some of his musician friends and recorded these scintillating songs born by the New Abnormal. They range from bluesy rave-ups to heartbreaking ballads, and offer an understanding hand for all that the world is going through. There’s even a funkified remake of Jimmy Cliff’s classic “Sitting in Limbo” that feels so right-on about today’s events there’s chills galore. Clark’s vocals are full of fire, and when he’s joined by daughter Abigail Clark on “Keep the Lights On” there is not a dry eye around to be found. Her vocal puts things right down in the street as she explores the devastation the pandemic has wrought. From turmoil and loss can often come a time to grow. That time has come. Dane Clark delivers.