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Tom Clark and the High Action Boys | Cross-Eyed and Bow-Legged

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United States - United States

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Rock: Roots Rock Pop: Pop/Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Cross-Eyed and Bow-Legged

by Tom Clark and the High Action Boys

Clark’s tales are launched by a variety of engaging and energetic musical styles. On “Nancy’s House” and “She Had A Good Heart”, he and the Boys jangle and chirp along like they’re auditioning to be the Housemartins of roots-rock. Elsewhere, you’ll find a more user-friendly version of the rockabilly/primal-rock blend of the Blasters, as well as echoes of Michael Shelley’s country-tinged pop. All that, plus Clark’s occasional flights of falsetto (start with the brittle ballad “If You Could See”), which had me searching the credits for a groin puncher.
Genre: Rock: Roots Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Nancy's House
3:07 $0.99
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2. The Only Thing That's Gotten Better Is My Lying
3:20 $0.99
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3. Caught Blondehanded
3:29 $0.99
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4. Small Town, New Semester
4:46 $0.99
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5. Drink Too Much
2:42 $0.99
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6. Lights On
4:13 $0.99
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7. Runaway Shuffle
3:38 $0.99
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8. If You Could See
3:53 $0.99
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9. She Had A Good Heart
4:47 $0.99
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10. First Girl After You
3:04 $0.99
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11. Katie's Gone
3:21 $0.99
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12. New Toothbrush On Your Sink
4:19 $0.99
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13. Horatio St.
2:52 $0.99
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14. Hey Boys
3:42 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Midwestern born Tom Clark had been playing regularly since hitting New York City in 1986, yet this 2002 release marks his debut album under his own name. With a peppy, preppy boyish voice similar to Buddy Holly and fourteen twangy, strummy slices of roots pop, Clark and his band sound like they're straight off the farm, rather than NYC pros who have been pounding the pavement for years. The group exudes a breezy, chiming sound that nicely coalesces around Clark's chipper vocals. A slight C&W/rockabilly sensibility infuses even the darkest tracks with a jumpy, grinning vibe that's difficult to dislike. Clark's style reverberates with echoes of the Lovin' Spoonful, The Byrds, The Searchers and even a Tom Petty-infused impish charm. T Production by Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye provides a roomy mix, yet restrains nearly all the tracks with only one breaking the four-minute mark. Certainly Marshall Crenshaw and Matthew Sweet are points of reference but these songs are more jittery and have guitar hooks that float rather than sting. Lou Reed sideman Robert Quine guests on just two tunes, but his solo adds a sinewy tension to this typically jangly fare. Too bad he didn't participate in the rest of the disc. Regardless, Clark has released a refreshingly tuneful album that perfectly encapsulates his impressive singer/songwriter talents. ~ Hal Horowitz, All Music Guide

No Depression :
"That Thwap! you heard was the sound of a 'why didn't I think of that?'smack to the forehead self-delivered by a couple hundred songwriters after seeing the title 'Caught Blondehanded' on the back cover of this swell debut. Impressively, Tom Clark has written a song that more than lives up to its promising title, skillfully walking that fine line between clever and facile. (And he's the catcher in the song, not the catchee.)
Clark's way with a lyric extends across all thirteen originals here, whether he's creating a richly detailed character sketch such as "Small Town, New Semester" or using the chorus of 'New Toothbrush On Your Sink' to capture the dreaded one-two punch of realization and regret. The subtle allure of 'Lights On' attracted the attention of Kevn Kinney, who covered the tune on his most recent record.
Clark's tales are launched by a variety of engaging and energetic musical styles. On 'Nancy's House' and 'She Had A Good Heart', he and the Boys jangle and chirp along like they're auditioning to be the House-martins of roots-rock.
Elsewhere, you'll find a more user-friendly version of the rockabilly/primal-rock blend of the Blasters, as well as echoes of Michael Shelley's country-tinged pop. All that, plus Clark's occasional flights of falsetto (start with the brittle ballad 'If You Could See'), which had me searching the credits for a groin puncher.- Rick Cornell
     
Tom Clark & High Action Boys
Cross-Eyed And Bow-Legged
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