Clark covers The Boss for ‘Red, White & You’Written by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
“Living around the Great Lakes is just a gift. We have such an amazing resource here,” said musician Kerry Patrick Clark, reflecting on summers gone by. “And then the other thing I think about summer, honestly, is I spent about half of my lifetime singing at Put-in-Bay in the summer. And it was a ball.”
So when the opportunity arose for the prolific folk singer to contribute to a project that celebrated summer — as well as helped raise money for a great cause like the American Red Cross — it didn’t take much convincing for Clark to join the project. The only question left was what he would contribute.
“[Toledo Free Press Editor in Chief Michael S. Miller] said, ‘Here, I’ll make it easy on you. Pick from two songs,’” Clark said. “I listened to them and I went, ‘I gotta do Bruce.’”
“Bruce,” of course, being Springsteen. The Boss himself. Clark had chosen to cover Springsteen’s “Girls in Their Summer Clothes” off his “Magic” album — a seemingly odd choice for an artist whose work seems at a right angle to Bruce’s usual fare.
“My approach was, you know, I’m a folk guy. People see me perform, 98 percent of the time, it’s with my six-string guitar. And so I tried to approach it less rock ’n’ roll and more folk.
“So there’s a banjo on it, and a mandolin, and of course me and guitar. And there’s a few electric guitars in the background, just adding some guts to the chorus.
“But it’s basically a stripped-down version of Bruce’s song.”
Producing and mixing a new recording like his “Red, White & You” contribution can take upwards of 10-20 hours for Clark, he said.
“The good news is, I have a studio in my basement. And so the process, to some, may look like a block of three or four hours, or 10 hours,” Clark said. “But to me, the process is, ‘Hey, I’ve got 10 minutes, I can work on that drum track for this tune.”
But the hours of labor are worth it, he noted, to help such a great cause.
“The only work I’ve done in the past would be giving blood,” Clark said with a laugh.
“This is the reason I do it. I do it because Michael asked, and I have that much respect for him. I also have a respect for the Red Cross as an organization — not only for the blood drives,” he said.
“The fact that they show up, the fact that if I need blood, it’s there — and the fact that, God forbid I’m in an accident, and rushed to the hospital — it’s like, ‘Thank you. Thank you so much for thinking about this.’ It’s just a really wonderful thing.”