Clampitt, Gaddis & Buck | Nine Tracks

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Nine Tracks

by Clampitt, Gaddis & Buck

This trio blends Country, Bluegrass, and American Roots music.
Genre: Country: Traditional Country
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Long Train
2:46 $0.99
2. Homeward Track
2:31 $0.99
3. Fallin'
3:27 $0.99
4. Midnight Train
2:44 $0.99
5. Judgement Day
3:25 $0.99
6. High Lonesome Sound
4:26 $0.99
7. Buck & Pole
2:48 $0.99
8. In The Pines
3:47 $0.99
9. Don't Laugh
2:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Clampitt, Gaddis & Buck are an acoustic trio from Portland, OR., paying homage to traditional American folk, country and gospel with their soaring harmonies and stripped-down style.

For Fans of: The Carter Family, Freakwater, Louvin Brothers, Bill Monroe, Dickel Brothers, Jim & Jennie and the Pinetops, and even Wayne "the Train" Hancock.

Erik Clampitt and vocalist Marley Gaddis started working together in October of 2002. With Clampitt on guitar and harmonica and Gaddis sharing vocal duties, they took their fragile sound and gimmick-free live show to stages around Portland. In March of 2003, they expanded their sound by adding Sean Burke (aka Buck Dagger) on upright bass, mandolin, banjo and vocals.

Recent Press:
Like a deer bounding from a lonely stand of pine, the spare string arrangements and three-part harmonies of Clampitt, Gaddis and Buck ooze stark and naturalistic beauty. Not since oft-missed Old Time hellraisers the Dickel Brothers has the Portland underground-rock scene harbored as talented a group of folk musicians as this Americana trio. Truth through simplicity is their aim. And their aim is good.
- Sam Dodge Soule | Willamette Week.



to write a review

Eric Nordby

when singing from the fir trees never sounded so sweet
Clampitt, Gaddis, and Buck have the ability to bring out the North West spirit in a way that I had never seen until the first time I came across a performance of "The Clampitt Bros." (a conjured group featuring Clampitt, Gaddis and other friends). Lyricly the group captures the beauty of living, breathing and just being in the North West. Musically they voice a sound which is brilliant, packed full with vocal harmonies, and majestic instrumentation. The folk sound is back in. Quiet is the new loud.

Mountain Music Press

Amazing musicianship, great song writing
A friend of mine from San Francisco saw this band recently and told me to seek them out. After purchasing the cd, I was simply blown away. Here is a disc with amazing musicianship, great song writing, and fabulous harmonies. What impressed me most was their ability to write with in a genre. It is not common in the bluegrass community for groups to write material that is original yet standard at the same time. The disc contains 9 songs and is aptly named 9 Tracks (though I wish there were more). The highlight of the cd for me, was the original track Midnight Train. Some fine song crafting went into this tune. I look forward to hearing more from this band.

All Music Guide — Stephen Cramer

Wholesome and refreshing example of the power of straightforward Americana.
On their debut full-length, Portland, OR, trio Clampitt, Gaddis & Buck wear their folk and country influences proudly on their sleeves. Erik Clampitt's easy vocals highlight the opening track, "Long Train," as Buck Dagger impresses on bass and mandolin. Marley Gaddis makes her first appearance on vocals on the album's second song, "Homeward Track," which again features Clampitt's rootsy guitar and harmonica, and the introduction of Buck Dagger's baritone vocals. The bare-bones musical recipe continues with the haunting "Midnight Train," as the trio's harmonies add to the already powerful swell of the band's bluegrass foundation. Their gospel roots are apparent on "Judgement Day," a simple, straightforward anthem. "High Lonesome Sound" is quite possibly the disc's high watermark, as the threesome relaxes and lets loose on the Gaddis/Clampitt original, reverting back to a casual yet powerful approach. The band covers the American roots classic "In the Pines" on the eighth track, reveling in a cappella harmony. The disc comes to a close with the steady "Don't Laugh," another wholesome and refreshing example of the power of straightforward Americana. Nine Tracks was recorded at Type Foundry Studio and the Alberta Music Collective in Portland in 2003, and was released on Lelp Recordings in early 2004. Matt Stark and Jennifer Stefanick make guest appearances on four songs.

Portland Mercury - Ezra Ace Caraeff

Nine Tracks is an overwhelmingly sweet and sincere record.
In a genre of red clay dirt country and blue-collar blues, Clampitt, Gaddis & Buck cover it all. Leaving on a train? Yes. A chorus of "get along little doggy"? Yes. Drinking songs? God, yes. The trio really lets loose and unbuttons the pearl-snaps with their near a capella cover of the classic "In The Pines," which sounds modern enough to woo the O, Brother Where Art Thou crowd, while remaining authentic enough to please those who drink from jugs labeled XXX. While country standards like these have been done before, Nine Tracks is an overwhelmingly sweet and sincere record, just like sun-soaked Portland summers full of porch drinking and rabble rousing.

Portland Tribune - John Chandler

Providing an organic foundation for sweet, wistful vocal pyramids on songs
With rock music apparently content to lumber off to the tar pits, it’s small wonder that restless musicians occasionally turn to the sepia-toned past for inspiration.
Portland’s Clampitt, Gaddis and Buck have done precisely that, eschewing trend and technology in favor of something sturdy and handcrafted.
“Erik (Clampitt) and I started working together in the fall of 2002, immediately following a drunken Elvis singalong during a car ride to the Deschutes,” singer Marley Gaddis recalls. Buck Dagger (aka Sean Burke), who sings and plays bass, mandolin, fiddle and banjo, joined about a year later.
On their debut album, “Nine Tracks” (Lelp Recordings), Clampitt, Gaddis and Buck harmonize and hootenanny in the dusty manner of the Carter Family, the Louvin Brothers and “the Singing Brakeman” himself, Jimmie Rodgers, with perhaps a touch of folk-era folks such as the Kingston Trio or New Christy Minstrels. The guitars, mandolins and banjos avoid the amplifier, providing an organic foundation for sweet, wistful vocal pyramids on songs such as “High Lonesome Sound” and “Midnight Train.” In live performance the musicians seldom use more than one mike, which they all crowd around.
“That came out of our dedication to follow the traditional bluegrass setup,” singer-guitarist Clampitt explains. “But it also allows us to hear each others’ vocals without relying on a monitor system. It doesn’t work in every club. We’ve had horrible nights … where the sound person thinks they can just set up any condenser mike and walk away from the soundboard once we’ve started up. We’ve experimented with a more traditional multimike arrangement as well.”
“We’re all very dependent on one another — to hit the harmonies we need to be able to hear one another well,” Gaddis adds. “I learned how to sing harmony through working with Erik and Sean, and I’ve become very accustomed to this close-knit setup. It’s comforting.”
Purist snobs may point a collective finger at the group, demanding to see some country credentials, but such an objection is rendered picky and pointless by the obvious care and affection that the trio has for its material. If in fact Clampitt, Gaddis and Buck are merely students of the genre, then they’re at the top of the class.
“It’s hard to be purists when the music you’re emulating has been around for so long,” Gaddis says. “What’s pure? Many of the arrangements that we borrow were borrowed by the artists we’re emulating. … But I definitely think we’re more pure than we are grazers. We strive to maintain the integrity of the traditional style, rather than just dabble in it.”
“I consider myself a purist,” Burke says succinctly.
Only a grudging curmudgeon could turn a deaf ear to Clampitt and Gaddis’ honeyed harmonies on “Judgment Day,” or fail to admire the rustic elegance of the group’s seven original compositions. In the cover of “In the Pines,” Clampitt, Gaddis and Buck’s gospel conviction never wavers.
“Nine Tracks” doesn’t require the listener to assume a yoga position in order to appreciate its simple, honest charms. The songs are as comfortable as a pair of old boots and as bracing as a crackling fire on a chilly night. And all those time-tested country-song elements are right where they should be.
“Trains, lost love, falling in love, murder … pretty much life,” Burke summarizes.

Willamette Week - Joshua Heineman

This isn't some Old West braggadocio.
Holed up beneath a cloud of cigarette smoke in the far corner of Kelly's Olympian, the namesakes of Clampitt, Gaddis and Buck are busy putting the past year in perspective as an old cowboy barkeep brings another round to the table.

These three tumbleweed poets are all smiles this particular evening, and why not? Their debut, Nine Tracks, was released on Portland's Lelp Recordings earlier this month to a slew of positive reviews. Originally envisioned as a four-song EP, the track listing swelled after Lelp founder Fred Schaaf couldn't pick any tunes to shelve. The resulting album is a sneak peek into an American archetype, where trains equal freedom and outlaws are the real heroes.

"I didn't choose to play country music," says Erik Clampitt. "It's like country music kinda chose to play through me."

This isn't some Old West braggadocio. At 29, Clampitt is dialed into that fuzzbox of traditional American music we all carry around in our head. So are 26-year-old Sean Burke, a.k.a. Buck Dagger, and Marley Gaddis, 28. What's startling is the trio's ability to lend an authentic air to their material without sounding contrived in a genre obsessed with its own history. Theirs is an art intrinsically bound by generations of redone harmonies, reworked lyrics and recycled song structures. It's almost like the past gives the present a language within which to work. Like any form of creativity, some folks are revealed as posers and others as poets.

"It's an age-old formula that [we're] just kind of adding to," Burke says of the songs.

If CG&B are guilty of borrowing heavily from the past, it can't be said they haven't taken the sound to new places. The group spent much of last year sandwiched between rock bands at venues like Ash Street and Dante's. Gaddis, the relative rookie of the three, recalls being at once keenly aware of and excited about their underdog status. "There's something very basic in this music people are drawn to," she says.

In the next few weeks the trio plans to do more to attract even more people. They will release a split 7-inch (alongside Power of County) at the end of June and will be featured on an upcoming Extra Ball compilation. Then they plan on splitting town for a couple of weeks in July to tour the West Coast.

Back here in the bar, Burke rolls another cigarette and voices his hopes for the future. Across a table filled with retired beer mugs, Clampitt discusses extending the tour beyond the coast to Austin, Texas.

"The one thing I want to stress over more than anything is not bills, is not my house, is not my job. It's working on the band," Clampitt says. "It's where all my energy seems to go."

Originally published on WEDNESDAY, 5/19/2004

Seattle Stranger - Nate Lippens

The album is breathtaking for its immediacy and simplicity
Very much of the same impulse as the Blakes--but of a newer generation that includes Jim and Jennie and the Pinetops and Freakwater--are Portland, Oregon's stunning trio Clampitt, Gaddis & Buck with their modestly titled album Nine Tracks. They play acoustic, traditional American roots music, be it country, bluegrass, or gospel. From a gorgeous cover of the immortal and always chilling "In the Pines" to their original songs, such as "High Lonesome Sound"--which truly demonstrates its title with some Monroe Brothers harmonies--the album is breathtaking for its immediacy and simplicity. Guitarist and singer Erik Clampitt, singer Marley Gaddis, and multi-instrumental wonder--upright bass, mandolin, banjo--and singer Buck Dagger (AKA Sean Burke) create music that is both homage and original. They understand what bluegrass lovers refer to as "songs so old that they're new again."

Bluegrass Unlimited

Contemporary acoustic with traditional country influences.
This compact disc features a trio of musicians based in the Pacific Northwest, and includes Erik Clampitt (guitar, harmonica, and vocals), Marley Gaddis (vocals), and Buck Dagger (bass, banjo, fiddle, and vocals). Their music can best be described as contemporary acoustic with traditional country influences. With the exception of "In The Pines" and the Louvin Brothers' "Don't Laugh," the nine selections were composed by various members of Clampitt, Gaddis and Buck and include "Homeward Track," "Long Train," and "Judgment Day," among others. The performances are well-structured examples of contemporary folk music with a hint of country and bluegrass. In essence, Clampitt, Gaddis and Buck prove to be quite entertaining, and "Nine Tracks" leaves us wanting to hear more from these folks.

In Music We Trust - Alex Steininger

One of the Northwest's best kept secrets
With three-part vocal harmonies, and an understanding of true, blue collar country, the way it was played back at the turn of the century, Clampitt, Gaddis, and Buck deliver a stripped down, acoustic half-hour of music that is as real as it can get. As if they were straight out of Oklahoma, in the 30s, Clampitt, Gaddis, and Buck are musical historians, bringing to life the sound of traditional country, and making it sound refreshingly contemporary without tainting it one bit.

The vocal harmonies are the main draw, but the songwriting and purity are both reasons to also check out this trio. Since expanded for the live show, here is country that truly embodies the word, unlike the Nashville pop coming out on your airwaves and passing as country.

The pioneers of country music, who are probably rolling in their graves because of the way the genre has gone, are probably smiling every time someone listens to Nine Tracks, the aptly titled record from one of the Northwest's best kept secrets. I'll give it an A.

Patty Williams

Entertaining with great harmony and spirit
Entertaining with great harmony and spirit. An opportunity to revisit my country roots and share the experience with my dad. A spirit of fun and soulfulness is apparent with the artist. I think they are on their way!