"Artist-on-the-rise James Ethan Clark internationally released his freshman LP entitled “Southern Hotel” on Apr. 2. The young alternative folk-rock solo artist uses his soulful voice, guitar, piano and harmonica on the ten song debut album to prove that his new sound is play-worthy. The self-narrative of Clark’s life as a young man, many of his songs tell a tale of a brokenhearted boy coming into his own as strong-willed man. Hailing from North Carolina, Clark recorded the album, his first full-length recording, in Nashville with the help of a few guest artists." (Full Review Attached)
"Host Cyrus Webb welcomes recording artist James Ethan Clark to Conversations LIVE to discuss his love of music, what it's been like to share it with the world and to introduce his single GOD KNOWS WHEN."
“When one’s grandmother was a gospel touring and recording artist throughout the 1970s, music becomes instilled in the blood of family. The matriarch of the Clark family, on the maternal side, was a member of The Kindred Trio and a church-choir director for two decades. Her grandson, James Ethan Clark, didn’t have a fighting chance against his muse. Growing up between Wilmington and Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Clark picked up his dad’s Alvarez acoustic guitar at about 15. His father passed down three chords, and seemingly it was enough to light the fire. Within a year, Clark fully taught himself guitar and piano. As a child he was influenced by ‘90s country artists like Vince Gill and Trisha Yearwood and, of course, his grandmother’s gospel. Adolescence led him to emo rock and screamo—and then he discovered Americana. (Full Review Attached)”
"James Ethan Clark is tough. A determined young musician from North Carolina who never gave up, Clark started out writing his own music at home, then playing locally. Eventually, he tried out for, and won a spot, on American Idol's 10th season. Although he returned to North Carolina, that hardly slowed him down. Clark's hard work has paid off, with his first album, "Southern Hotel", set to debut April 2nd. Here, I talk to Clark about his upbringing, his upcoming album, his American Idol experience and more." (Full Review Attached)
“Last month, James Ethan Clark hosted his CD release party at Brooklyn Arts Center in support of his debut album Southern Hotel. After well-known local openers Sean Thomas Gerard and Mike Blair & The Stonewalls, Clark played his new record in its entirety from start to finish. We’ve seen James Ethan Clark play numerous times in town, including many times at solo acoustic shows. With a band backing him up, it’s a whole different experience. Not The Renegades we’ve seen before, but a new line-up featuring a couple members of the Stonewalls. In fact, Stonewalls’ guitarist Michael Graham nearly stole the show playing amazing guitar riffs and emanating pure joy as he played. The Stonewalls’ Keith Butler, Jr. and Tripp Cox of Onward, Soldiers formed the rhythm section, on drums and bass respectively. The set also included guest appearances by a violinist and pedal steel guitar player. (Full Review Attached)”
“James Ethan Clark and The Renegades rocked the Brooklyn Arts Center on Friday, April 5, with help from Sean Thomas Gerard and Mike Blair and the Stonewalls. In support of his just released LP, Southern Hotel, Clark and his friends kept the energy-level sky-high all through the night. The crowd was loyal and loud and rocked like crazy until the last note was played. “I have to work at six in the morning,” Tim Nasman, a huge fan, said, “but this is totally worth it.” (Full Review attached)”
"Former American Idol contestant James Ethan Clark must’ve had something to prove with Southern Hotel, because the album is a genuine and soulful Blues/Rock record that feels like the opposite of everything American Idol stands for. Clark’s voice is raw and emotive. His guitar screams and shudders on tracks like “God Knows When” and “Anna Mae”, creating an atmosphere that most primetime audiences wouldn’t be able to handle. And, perhaps most importantly, he’s an artist who is earnest and full of integrity. The opening notes of “Destination”, the blunt and aggressive album-over, recall the opening of Neil Young’s Dead Man soundtrack. It’s a lonesome sound that a distorted guitar makes so well, and Clark knows just how to play it. The lyrics constantly ask for God, be it His forgiveness or His peace, and Clark’s heartfelt vocals make the sometimes-cliched lyrics feel immediate and honest. Maybe it’s because the lyrics are playing these cliches against..." (Fu
“Wilmington-based singer-songwriter James Ethan Clark is releasing a new album this spring called “Southern Hotel.” A local show celebrating the release is scheduled for April 5 at the Brooklyn Arts Center. The one-time “American Idol” hopeful and local performer has a strong album under his belt. Recorded in Nashville last year, “Southern Hotel” sounds like a ’70s country rock album with one heel in the present. Its mix of alt-country and rock ‘n’ roll is like a convergence of Crazy Horse meets James Taylor or The Eagles. Clark is his own man, his own singer, carrying a fragile hoarseness bathed in light and shadow. “Southern Hotel” is an album entrenched in both caustic and genteel rural sounds with deep-rooted themes of heartache and maturity. Some songs are soaked in cigarette smoke and drink; others are painted with tears and sweat..... See full article tagged below- Courtesy of Wilmington Star-News”
"Perhaps the best track on the album is the folk inspired, “Coalmine”. Driven by beautiful harmonica notes, it could fit perfectly into the small, nearly forgotten mining towns sprawled throughout Appalachia. A song about lost love and unrealized dreams, Clark passionately sings, “I’m sure she thinks that he can save her soul / but she needs to know that he won’t leave her whole”.Clark’s, “Underground Demos”, is a bare bones production. With only his soft voice and gently strummed guitar chords, there is almost no additional instrumentation. It is a humbly released eight track album fighting to secure its place in his genre. He stands a good chance of accomplishing this."
“Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to say that the man tore it up on the microphone. The song “Anna Mae” was a soulful, impassioned, flurry of emotion complete with solid vocals and steady guitar riffs. ”Forbidden Fruit” weaves a tale of unattainable yet irresistible love accompanied with a harmonica solo or two.”
“As Clark began to perform more around Wilmington, with guitar and harmonica in tow, his popularity grew. And so did his catalog of original music. Soon, emails were coming in asking for new songs and gigs, connections were being made with other local and regional artists, and he was establishing himself as a legitimate solo performer.”
"James Ethan Clark is the perfect example of a modern day troubadour. Armed with guitar, voice, harmonica, and piano; home exists only where his music is resonating..."