In a world where country music seems to have turned a little more “pop” than country is is refreshing to find an artist like Kara Clark taking the genre back to its roots with her raw, acoustic sound. This Nashville based artist has proven that she is a force to reckoned with by mixing powerful vocals with lyrics that hold both sincerity and heart. She has the ability to take the pain and beauty of life and mold it all in to music that will hit you hard. Her sound may take you back to simpler times but it is anything but simple itself. You will be pulled in by her undeniable talent on the guitar and mesmerized by her “storytelling style” in her words, which makes it easy for you to place yourself in every song that she sings. Her intoxicating vocal talent is the thread that ties it all together and keeps fans coming back for more.
Known for never sugarcoating her words, both on and off the stage, everything that she says and does comes straight from the heart. This proud mother of two has fought her way to achieve her dreams in life, moving from her home in West Virginia to Nashville to pursue her career in country music. Clark has all of the makings of an artist who is sure to take the music world by storm, gaining new fans in every town where she is heard. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Clark about her life, music, and what she currently has in the works.
Kara Clark Interview
TAMMY: I know that your grandfather played with Hank Williams Sr so it seems that music was a big part of your early life? When did you really start playing and writing your own songs?
KARA: I only found out about the musical side of my family when I was in my 30’s. I always loved music but I never played or sang, much less, wrote anything. I entered a contest in West Virginia when I was about 29 and surprisingly, I won. That is when I started focusing on learning the guitar and writing songs.
TAMMY: What is the driving force that keeps you motivated?
KARA: I’m stubborn and don’t like to give up until I know for sure that it is time. I have been in Nashville since 2001, it has not been easy at all. My main drive is my children. Not only for financial stability, but also to show them the importance of following through on a dream.
TAMMY: Who are some of your biggest influences both personally and professionally?
KARA: Personally – my mother. She raised us on her own and we didn’t go without because of her work ethics. She hasn’t had an easy life but protected both my sister and I. Professionally – there are many. Hank III for sticking to his own style even if it meant a smaller fan base without being his grandfather or father, for that matter. Edwin McCain because I just love his style as well, even though they are polar opposites, he writes his own music and plays to smaller fan bases and just does what he loves. Jason Isbell, many of the same reasons. He has had a long hard road to the success he has today. Most importantly, his sobriety. I could go on and on from Drive By Truckers to Lucero. Same scenarios…originality and the balls to be who they are.
TAMMY: Your lyrics are hands down some of the best out there. They are so raw and real. It’s refreshing. Where do you gain your inspiration for your writing?
KARA: A lot of my songs are stories, they just come to me, my mind is never still. I love telling old haunting or edgy stories, just make them up. I have ballads that obviously have come from a part of my past or present. Generally, I think of a clever hook (title), and go from there.
TAMMY: What does music mean to you?
KARA: I have a love/hate relationship with music. I love creating it and being in the studio. A lot of times though, I don’t even wanna listen to one note. I get frustrated with the whole thing. I couldn’t live without it but at times, I want to.
TAMMY: What moment has really stood out for you during your career as being one of your favorites?
KARA: Quitting my day job, haha. I was literally told “quit your job”. I didn’t know whether to throw up, pass out, or cry. I worked for years as a medic and being a single mom was rough, then on top of that, trying to do music was nearly impossible. Lately, having Leon Russell want to meet and work with me, that is pretty huge.
TAMMY: What are you currently working on?
KARA: My new EP is finished, just waiting to release it. It is in distribution now, it is a long process. We are hoping late August or early September. I am already done with writing the next one and we are back in the studio starting five more songs. I am also scheduled to work with Leon Russell as soon as he is off the road, that is exciting for me.
Not only does Kara Clark have talent but she has the drive, edge, and thick skin needed to make it in this business. Nothing is going to hold this artist back and I look forward to following her career for years to come. It won’t be long until Kara Clark is a household name. You can follow her at facebook.com/karaclarkmusic to find out more about her tour, music, and merchandise.