Montreal guitarist Dave Clarke has been playing with David Francey since 1997. His versatile and sensitive guitar arrangements provide the musical bedrock upon which Francey's strong original material and powerful vocals rest. Clarke, dubbed "Mr. Instant Harmony" by folk friends, also provides a tasteful vocal counterpoint to Francey's singing. Clarke's own songs and instrumentals contribute to the magical atmosphere at any David Francey concert.

Clarke is probably best known for his role in the acclaimed folkgrass trio Steel Rail, but his musical experience ranges from jazz to country music. Clarke, who is in his mid-40s, has been called one of Canada's finest bluegrass pickers for his work with Steel Rail and the legendary Quebec group the White River Bluegrass Band. He was also a member of the jazz-folk-swing band Soupe du Jour, and over the past two decades he has played with such performers as Penny Lang, Barde and Theresa Doyle.

Clarke's tasty picking and his 1938 D18 Martin guitar have been featured on everything from bluegrass albums to television soundtracks, and one of his instrumentals is featured on the album Six Strings North of the Border, along with those of such other guitar luminaries as Bruce Cockburn and Don Ross. He is now working on an all-original solo instrumental guitar album that will showcase his lyrical melodies and unique blend of folk, bluegrass and Celtic sensibilities.

Clarke's songwriting is showcased on two Steel Rail albums, and his material is being covering by a growing number of other folk and bluegrass artists. His highly original arrangements are showcased on both Steel Rail albums as well as David Francey's first two releases. They reflect both his formal musical training - he has a music degree from Montreal's Concordia University - and his love affair with various genres of roots and acoustic music.

He also has a growing body of work as a producer, including Steel Rail's second album, The Road Less Travelled, and his upcoming solo guitar album. Clarke appeared on Francey's first CD, Torn Screen Door, as guitarist and producer and on David's second CD, Far End of Summer, as guitarist and co-producer.

Workshops and Teaching Experience Clarke has been featured in a wide array of festival workshops, on a variety of themes encompassing songwriting, flat-picking and finger-picking guitar, harmony singing and bluegrass. He has also given hands-on guitar workshops at the Ottawa Folklore Centre and the Townships Bluegrass and Old-Tyme Music Society in Waterloo, Que. For many years he was Montreal's foremost acoustic guitar teacher, with stints at the Montreal Folklore Centre and his own private teaching studio.

Selected Discography
· 1981: White River Bluegrass Band, White River Bluegrass Band, [out of print]
· 1995: Steel Rail, A Thousand Miles of Snow, Crossties CD-1001
· 1999: David Francey, Torn Screen Door, Laker LKR-1001 (Festival)
· 1999: Steel Rail, The Road Less Travelled, Crossties CD-1002 (Festival)
· 2000: Various artists, Six Strings North of the Border, Borealis BCD128 (Festival)
· 2001: David Francey, The Far End of Summer, Laker LKR-1002 (Festival)
** Dave Clarke's first solo guitar CD is slated for release in 2002.

"Dave Clarke is one of Canada's most accomplished and tasteful acoustic guitarists."
Mike Regenstreif, Montreal Gazette

"Clarke's lead guitar is a joyful marriage of bluegrass flatpicking and the big generous notes of folk music."
Patrick Langston, Ottawa Citizen

"Lead guitarist Dave Clarke sweeps you along with both style and substance."
No Depression

Contact Dave at:
Box 612, Place d'Armes Station, Montreal, PQ, H2Y 3H8 (514) 482-4968
daveclarke@steelrail.ca Web: www.daveclarke.ca