The Herald Bulletin

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November 24, 2012

Drummer Dane Clark will rock the Paramount

ANDERSON, Ind. — In December, drummer and songwriter Dane Clark was resting at his Anderson home recuperating from rotator cuff surgery.

Clark started thinking about Robert Johnson, the Mississippi guitarist of the 1920s who sold his soul to the devil to become perhaps America’s greatest blues singer.

When songwriters think of Johnson, things can turn a little depressing.

Clark wrote a bluesy song with the title “Robert Johnson” about hell hounds and the devil nipping at Clark’s heels. In the song, Clark sings “I’ll be writing these songs until I’m finally set free, until Robert Johnson comes looking for me.”

Later that day, Clark decided he should write a more upbeat song.

“I realized, wow, once I’d written it, if Robert Johnson had sold his soul to the devil, that’s really not probably a good idea. You probably don’t want Robert coming for ya. You might not be going to the place you expected to go for the afterlife,” said Clark who is known for his solo work and as being John Mellencamp’s drummer.

That wintry afternoon, his songwriting went the other way and he finished a song celebrating two music stars who had passed on, titled “Waylon & Johnny.”

Clark said, “Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash are two of my heroes from that genre of music.”

He added, “The first song was so dark and depressing I thought I don’t want to end the day like that. The other song is kind of the other side of the coin.”

“Robert Johnson” and “Waylon & Johnny” are two of 14 songs on Clark’s latest and fourth solo disc, “Postcards from a Hard Road.”

He’ll perform many of the disc’s songs, along with some Mellencamp gems, at his Dec. 7 concert at the Paramount Theatre, 1124 Meridian Plaza. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.

The concert will feature sets by Larry Crane, a former Mellencamp band member (1975-91), who has played with John Fogerty, Rosanne Cash, Bonnie Raitt, John Prine and Steve Earle. He and his band will be on the bill for what promises to be a great evening of new music and old favorites.

Also, Joel Levi, an Anderson University graduate, will sing and play guitar as an opener.

Clark plans to keep music on the stage throughout the evening, with few breaks, for a three-hour concert.

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