the guitarist in the Syracuse New York based Double Barrel Blues Band,
Mark Cloutier also has a number of CD releases out under his own name
and he further adds to his rock solid reputation with the release
of his first album of 2011 entitled Deep Down Blues. While
he waits for the world to catch up to his rising star, Cloutier continues
ascending upwards, blazing a prolific path towards blues-rock stardom.
What makes Cloutier so unique in the blues-rock guitar world is that
a lot of his solo CD releases mainly feature a wide range of bluesy
and rock flavored instrumental tracks. A number of today's rock legends
were influenced by blues rock instrumentals that were featured on
the early Fleetwood Mac albumsrock
classics written by blues guitar pioneers Peter Green and Danny Kirwan.
Likewise back in the late '60s, Claptons occasional instrumental
his work on Toad was rated as highly influential among
guitarists back in the late 60s. In this way, Cloutier follows
a similar path as Peter Green and Clapton during rock's early years.
Hes unafraid to mix and match blues based guitar sounds and,
in addition to the aforementioned guitar heroesfans
of Buddy Guy, Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn would do well to give
Cloutiers instrumental blues rock albums a spin. On Cloutier's
2010 Deep Down Blues album, well theres no real surprises,
just high quality, emotionally driven, gut-level rock guitar instrumentals.
Of note, is the humorous Tribal Blues and the next track,
Still Burn A Candle featuring a blues track over what
sounds like a bouzouki! Theres even a live cut here featuring
a rare Cloutier vocal, called Traveling Guitar Man. Overall,
Deep Down Blues is a worthy, bluesy guitar experience that
will bring seasoned guitar pros and fans back for more. www.DoubleBarrelBluesBand.com
WEB EXPRESS 3000 presents
an interview with MARK CLOUTIER
What's up with this simply fantastic batch of instrumentals on your
2010 Deep Down Blues album? It sounds great and it seems like
you went for a full on full court press with this album plus I know
there's also a vocal track on Deep Down Blues too.
MC: Yes I go through many mood swings as a guitarist and for this
particular release I took a mostly In Your Face approach
in that I let my stream of conscience take over throughout. I took
a basic theme and just ran with it letting my attack of the instruments
be the main feature. There are a few tracks where I went very subtle
and nice, almost in a Wes Montgomery kind of way. The rest are inspired
by a more heavy-handed style along the lines of Jimi Hendrix, Buddy
Guy, Freddy King, BB King, early Clapton, Jimmy and Stevie Ray Vaughn
to name a few.
The vocal track was recorded live on TK 99 Radio at Shiftys
In Syracuse NY. Subcat Studios in conjunction with radio host Dave
Frasina featured us live on sound check and I sang Traveling
Guitar Man with my band the Double Barrel Blues Band. It's a
cool song and basically is about playing and traveling. We did some
long road trips in 2010 particularly Florida Bike Week and Biketoberfest.
24 hours in the van from Syracuse, NY to Florida and back! Twice in
MWE3: How would you compare Deep Down Blues with your last
album Attitude With Gratitude? Also, can you say how many albums
are now in your catalog?
MC: I think I took more of a methodical laid back approach to Attitude
With Gratitude. A bit more on the jazzy blues side with clear
tones and less attack. Its a nice album with various approaches
in guitar sounds and effects such as reverb and rotary tones. With
Deep Down Blues I grabbed my Strat and Belvedere and stepped
on the gas on several tracks. I love those old Hendrix blues jams
such as Hear My Train Coming, Voodoo Chile,
and Who Knows. In my early days as a guitar player I spent
many hours absorbing as much as I could from that style, never really
working things out note for note.
have about 10 releases on CD Baby and a few others that I have not
offered to the public. They do quite well there as its now a
very worldly market. I'm getting sales everywhere. I get a real charge
when sales occur across the globe. There are no geographical limitations
online. Digital distribution is becoming a huge thing. You and I spoke
about that by phone and how we must continue to keep the physical
hard copy CD alive and well into the future. Ninety percent of my
sales are hard copies. Very happy about that!
MWE3: Could you say something about who's playing with you on the
new album and also can you offer any special insights into how you
recorded the Deep Down Blues album?
MC: Yes, I occasionally do what we would call online collaborations.
JC Carroll from London England is a friend and brilliant musician-producer
who sent me a cool backing track called Still Burn A Candle.
I went about laying down some very subtle jazzy guitar lines throughout
and he offered to let me use it on my album. I have done the same
on his album 2008s New English Blues album which generated
some very nice world wide press. I have JC listed on my new record
label web site - www.blueslionrecords.com.
Traveling Guitar Man features my gigging band the DBBB!
Recorded live as mentioned above.
approach to recording is somewhat simplistic in nature. There are
a few hours per day when I practice guitar or plug in and record.
I play a Fender bass guitar on just about all tracks now. Some time
back Lawrence Fritts from Iowa University gave me permission to use
some of his drum backing tracks. Drums are something I cannot play
so I have used many different online resources to get them. As far
as how I actually record, I use Cubase software with a Lambda Lexicon
USB, but, I may be upgrading soon to Pro Tools. Always trying to improve
with my home recording productions. There is so much a musician can
do at home and online now that we must take full advantage as money
is so tight. I use a Hughes And Kettner 100 watt head and 4-10 Marshall
cabinet. Just one microphone slightly above the left top speaker cone.
Sometimes I crank it up to a point of it wanting to feedback but mostly
I just search for the ballsy sound and if it needs a slap of reverb
or delay I add it in during the mixing process.
MWE3: Are you still using the SRV issue Strat? Can you offer some
information about other guitars featured on Deep Down Blues
and are there any new guitar additions?
MC: Yes, my Stevie Ray Strat is strung with 12 gauge strings so I
must really work for the sounds. I sacrifice a bit in the perfection
department because of the difficulty in playing strings that are so
large. Especially bending the strings. I love the effect those gauge
strings offer, especially live. Its a very physical set up and
I love the resistance it offers and its good for blues! I bought
a new Korean made Belvedere DiPinto. It's a gorgeous guitar and it
plays so nice and easy. I have it in drop down D tuning now as the
sound is too cool especially for the low down electric delta stuff
in the key of E. I featured that guitar on Voodoo Guitar and
Deep Down. My philosophy is - 'Be Perfect In Ones Imperfections.'
What are your plans for the coming year?
MC: Gonna keep pushing hard for new recordings and hope to gig as
much as possible with some travel in the plans.
I must give a plug to some people who help keep me chugging along.
My band mates John Hart, Bill Satterly and Garnett Grimm of the Double
Barrel Blues Band are great fellas and a blast to perform with. We
plan on being busy in 2011 with the help of our booking agent Valerie
Scott and B.E.B.E Inc. Also, a big thanks to my friend Bob Nadon who
has been so supportive throughout the years. He is my partner now
with my new Blues Lion Records label and we have plans to grow and
take on new ventures. Cheers to all the great talent on line and the
folks who continue to encourage me and the band.
Special thanks to My wife Dawn, daughter Jolie and my parents who
have put up with so much and continue to be there for me.
Thank you Robert for being there for so many musicians across the
globe. You help us get the word out and keep the art of music alive