Mick Clarke
Bent Frets

The new album, released January 2018, recorded by Mick at Rockfold Studio, Surrey. The album features 13 tracks, including 9 original songs plus versions of songs by Tarheel Slim, Charley Patton, Pearly Brown and Robert Johnson. There are 4 instrumental tracks on the album.

Bent Frets is out now on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and all other major platforms . CD release to follow shortly. More news here as it happens.

01 Daddy-O
02 Spoonful Blues
03 Number Nine
04 If You Really Mean It
05 Mean Old World
06 Heart of Stone
07 Don't Take That Road
08 La Mauvaise Herbe
09 Kitchen
10 Mountain Road
11 Still Be Mine
12 Hat Rack
13 Leaning to the View

Recorded and Mixed by Mick Clarke at Fabulous Rockfold Studio, Surrey, England.
Mastered by Torch Music, Ascot, Berkshire.

All songs written by Mick Clarke except "Number Nine Train" by Tarheel Slim, "Spoonful Blues" by Charley Patton, "Come on in my Kitchen" by Robert Johnson and "Mean Old World" arr. by Pearly Brown.

Listen and Follow on Spotify

If you like the music - please buy some!

The Bent Frets CD will be available on Rockfold Records RF019. Pre ordered CDs will all be numbered and signed by Mick.

You can pre-order CDs here. Current release date for the CD is 1st February 2018 but this could change, either way! The CDs have yet to be pressed and occasionally there can be unexpected printing issues. However, it is definitely coming!

Please select your location from the drop down menu and click on "add to cart". Securely administered by Paypal - all prices are shown in UK pounds. We will keep you informed of progress on the pressings and delivery dates.

Please take care to select your correct location - thanks.

Choose One

Download is available now from iTunes and Amazon Music
Will also be available on CD from Amazon On Demand. These CDs are custom made by Amazon in the USA, and still economical when shipped worldwide.

A little background (from Mick)..

The Bent Frets of the title are on my Squier Stratocaster which I've been playing slide on since the 80s. On this album I decided to try it as a regular tuned guitar for normal type lead guitar use, and put a set of regular strings on.

What makes this guitar unusual is that as I've been playing slide on it for all these years, the frets are completely mangled. The metal slide has worn a groove in the side of the neck and battered the frets into hairpins. So bending a note is challenging. No smooth ascent, more of a kind of d-d-d-d-bbrring!! Notes actually disappear and reappear of their own volition, or change pitch without warning. It's very interesting. And I think that as the guitar is an old road warrior its character must come through in the music somehow. Anyhow it sounds great - perfect for the rock'n'roll, and as someone said, the strat can cry or get angry as you wish. Leo Fender did make extraordinarily good guitars.

My SG Gnasher makes a few appearances, as do a few other guitars, but as I recently read in Keith Richards' book, it's usually a simple choice: "is it going to be Gibson or Fender?".

So here's a bunch of new songs and a few old ones - hope you enjoy them. As usual I've thoroughly enjoyed putting this album together and I hope that comes across. Music is my job, my hobby and my therapy. I recommend it to cure any ills! Keep Rockin' the blues..

Mick, Fabulous Rockfold Studio, Surrey, November 2017


Rockin' instrumental - the backing riff is an attempt to sound like Willie Johnson from Howlin' Wolf's band - lead is the Strat on neck pickup - the organ break in the middle always summons up an image of Monty Python's Terry Jones at the Hammond.

Spoonful Blues

From the Charley Patton version of of an even earlier song (originally played by a bloke on a banjo), and presumably something like what Willie Dixon took and turned into a song for Howlin' Wolf and eventually Cream. Quite a journey. Anyway I like this version - it's got a tune. The lyrics are minimal but you can fill in the gaps yourself. Everybody needs a spoonful - of what? You decide.

Number Nine

From Tarheel Slim's "Number Nine Train". This developed into a kind of rockabilly type thing although it wasn't intentional. I've come to the conclusion that if you take an old blues and try to rock it up, rockabilly is a stage you will inevitably pass through on the way to full bodied rock blues - it just depends where you want to stop. Interestingly I later found a similar version by Dale Hawkins (Susie Q) but it's pure coincidence. Tarheel Slim was actually named Allen Bunn but was nicknamed Tarheel as all residents of North Carolina are, apparently. Who knew? I think the name change was a good career move.

If You Really Mean It

I like this track. I don't know why, but it settles me down. I played it through at the end of every session on this album just to round off the day. It's my attempt to sound like the Willie Mitchell Band or Booker T or some-one - solid and funky (I hope). The Strat sounds nice on top, played with fingers rather than a pick. The title means anything you want - a love song, a song of hope, loss, breakup, promise... again, you choose.

Mean Old World

Taken from Pearly Brown's lovely gospel type arrangement of this very old song. Again the Strat blasting through the neck pickup and the bent frets taking the notes to interesting places at times.

Heart of Stone

This album's political corner. There seems to be a lot of hard hearted politics going on at the moment - in America and over here in Europe, let alone in Asia and the Middle East. Anyway, my message to the world - "Don't listen to the man with the B.S. plan". Sound advice at any time. Set to a rollicking boogie and the Strat sounding sweet on one of those between pickup slightly out of phase settings.

Don't Take That Road

A nice lumpy shuffle with some Freddie King type twanging. Freddie beams down from his picture on the wall - I think he approves.

La Mauvaise Herbe

Years back me and Lou Martin did a short duo of Northern Europe. La Mauvaise Herbe was a friendly club we played in Belgium - a good place to sample obscure Belgian beers. I wrote a song afterwards, with words, but this is the instrumental version. To me, the music takes me to a stormy night on some Caribbean island, but I've no idea why. I like it though.


Yes, Robert Johnson's "Come on in my Kitchen" slightly rocked up with some revised lyrics. Well it's not actually illegal you know. And I think this version has a sort of light naivety about it which is appealing (to me at least). It always brings to my mind Kenneth Williams' immortal "Bix Spiderthrust" the young and hopeful blues wannabee from N'Awlins. But that will probably mean nothing to you and maybe that's as it should be. The electric slide is on my old Satellite solid electric - an example of which I recently saw on sale for 400.. apparently becoming collectable these days. Maybe it was a mistake for me to take a jig saw to the headstock. Ah well.. it does look better this way.

Mountain Road

We recently played a show in the town of Mostar, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. We were picked up from Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia and driven across the mountains using the back roads to avoid the motorway. It was a lonely trip through desolate scenery as the sun went down, and our driver Amer told us a lot about the recent conflict as we passed through various villages, some still showing signs of war damage from 20 years ago. The gig was great and we were shown tremendous hospitality by the people of Mostar. The motto of the festival was "Playing for Peace - Bringing the Love". I found the experience very moving. So here's a verbal snapshot of that trip - I hope it doesn't make light of a tragic situation. The music is my idea of funk with the bent frets once again making the musical ride interesting!

Still Be Mine

During the making of this record I purchased a little Epiphone Les Paul Junior, for the wonderfully neat and sensible price of 99. It's about twenty years old and has one big black P90 pickup on it, so it is in many ways similar to the Gibson SG Junior that I used on the very first Killing Floor album back in 1969. So the first thing I thought was "can I recreate that guitar sound?" Well I had a go. Didn't quite make it, but the Epi certainly has some bite and is a lot of fun to play. The track is a kind of Muddy Waters pastiche - a riff here, a lyric there. Anyway, it rocks and I like it.

Hat Rack

Funky little instrumental, with my Epiphone 335 taking the lead. No excuse for the title, other than that I think you could toss your bowler onto a hat stand in time to the riff - do try it.

Leaning To the View

A kind of Mississippi (Surrey)? hill country blues inspired feel, with an optimistic lyric and some raucous guitar. A little untogether but I think that's as it should be.

Amazon Review - Google Translation: Mick Clarke should know one .. he is a British veteran of blues rock .. he already has with his band Killing floor 1969 together with Lou Martin (Pianoman with Rory Gallagher) and Rod D 'Ath (drummer with Rory Gallagher) the big Freddie King accompanied on his tour through England, so Mick knows how to do it!

For me, Mick Clarke is one of the big ones from the British blues scene, he plays a very strong Gibson SG without much frills for it with a lot of pressure and he is a gifted slide player the song "Kitchen" is the proof !!

His voice is very distinctive and fits in well with his 9 own compositions that are always in blues, they are about love, suffering and joy!

He will play at the big Sweden-Rock Festival in June 2018, should he ever play in Germany you will hear it from us under "Concert Tips"!

There are 5 great blues rock stars for his new album, the recordings should not be missing in any blues budget !!

Have fun 20DollarBill from Rorysfriends.de!



Thanks for letting me know that youve been enjoying these fun, little album tips. They are intended to bring you some great music often, admittedly, of a crunchy guitar blues-rock variety including some stuff that you may not have heard before, or even forgotten about, while also being easy to find on Apple Music or Android equivalent.

This week its the blues guitarist, Mick Clarke that comes under our spotlight and his new for 2018 album Bent Frets, which features plenty of the Londoners trademark fine playing with standout tracks for me being Daddy-O, If You Really Mean It, and Hat Rack. A fine album and up to Clarkes usual standard of Stratocaster-goodness

International distribution to wholesalers through BGO Records www.bgo-records.com
Copyright Mick Clarke 2018

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