The View from the Sacbut Section

Musings of C. Clark Gayton, Jr.

5 Months Ago

Posted by C. Clark Gayton, Jr. on July 22, 2020

I put together this Reggae Foundation mix on SoundCloud. Let me know what you think!

Posted in music, reggae | 3 Comments »

A Working Musician’s Guide to Surviving Hard Times: The Game Part I

Posted by C. Clark Gayton, Jr. on April 17, 2009

You may be thinking, “Is there such a thing as a working musician, surviving?” Why, yes, yes there is. And I’ve got the scars to prove it. Literally.

I came to New York over 20 years ago to be a professional jazz musician. I come from a family of musicians who had achieved various levels of success. Most family members worked day jobs to supplement their musical habits. Others attempted to make it as professional musicians, but had to change careers as their lifestyles changed.

What I have learned to do best in New York City, which is probably something most New Yorkers can say, is survive. New York is a tough town for working musicians. Not only are you competing with established, famous and sometimes dangerous, musicians who have lived in the City for years, you’re competing with everyone else in the world who has your identical aspirations. You may have come to New York with your All State Band letters, fans, family, and local newspaper clippings. It doesn’t matter. No one cares. That is not what New York does. The people who live in New York are there to feed New York. Unless you provide the city with sustenance, you have no business being there.

That isn’t to say that New York doesn’t have its charms. As with any seductress, the charms are available to everyone.  The seduction can lead you to an early sacrifice to the music gods, or you can keep the city entertained for One Hundred and One Nights.  Me, I plan on living a long time, so I keep the seductress interested.

Do I want to encourage competition in the enchanted city? The competition comes daily without my beckoning. What I would like, and what I hope to encourage, is an qualified adversary. It’s no fun just taking away the candy from an unsuspecting adolescent. I want to give you a fighting chance.  Here are some tools to help you with the game.  In anticipation of your demise, the first thing I want you to is [to be continued…]

copyright 2009 by Lautir Publishing

Posted in jazz, music | 4 Comments »


Posted by C. Clark Gayton, Jr. on October 6, 2020

I was the music director for a new documentary “Hidden in Plain Sight – Revealing the Concealed Harpers Ferry Cemeteries.” Check out the soundtrack put together from my catalog.

If this moves you, here’s the trailer:

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Posted by C. Clark Gayton, Jr. on August 18, 2020

Excited to share this news – produced the song “Red Pill” by Cat Dail that was just released in late July. So far, nice reviews and welcome ones!

From Indie Source:

“Producer and multi-winning Grammy winner, Clark Gayton (Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Prince and so on) proves the theory that winners beget winners. Cat Dial is a creative force and “Red Pill” is a delicious swallow.”

From Music Mecca:

“The new single, “Red Pill,” boasts a star-studded supporting cast, and offers a hard rocking sonic delight with just enough indie pop to create a recollection of your favorite early 2000’s alt radio hits.”

Take a listen!

Take a look! Performing the song Flow Zone. Can’t believe this is from just last year in NYC!


What do you think?


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April seems so long ago … RNZ Interview

Posted by C. Clark Gayton, Jr. on July 21, 2020

Enjoyed this interview on RNZ this past Spring.



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March 2020

Posted by C. Clark Gayton, Jr. on July 13, 2020

Benefit for Aaron Johnston – right before the world changed.

Aaron Johnston Kidney Transplant Benefit Show to Feature Joe Russo, Clark Gayton, Mauro Refosco and More

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2015 – Fatboy Kanootch!

Posted by C. Clark Gayton, Jr. on July 13, 2020

What a difference five years makes.

Fatboy Kanootch

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New York Blues Hall of Fame – Induction

Posted by C. Clark Gayton, Jr. on July 13, 2020

So glad to find this! I remember it well.

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The Grammys are to music as …

Posted by C. Clark Gayton, Jr. on February 17, 2012

It may be time to create an event that is dedicated to representing exceptional music in America. I guess it would be hard to determine who is going to decide what is good and what is not. Well, as far as I’m concerned, we all know deep down. It would just take some folks who want to have an event, and make the best choices.

The frauds will be peeking around the corner, wondering why they weren’t chosen. They’ll pretend not to care at first- why would they? There won’t be big endorsements, no big dance routines, no gift bag with a Cartier watch in it… why would we want this award? Will Justin be there?

An event about music would have everyone reeling right now. A modest, but significant award meant for artists, not entertainers.

Anyway- I think there’s something wrong with trying to seek acceptance from people who don’t like you. I say, just move on.

Fighting for your rights is so… 20th century.

Posted in music, musicians | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment » – Need We Say More? News Ollabelle to Perform _Neon Blue Bird_ This Friday

Posted by C. Clark Gayton, Jr. on October 5, 2011 – Need We Say More? News Ollabelle to Perform _Neon Blue Bird_ This Friday.

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American Jazz History – Is the music racist?

Posted by C. Clark Gayton, Jr. on September 9, 2011

The word “jazz” has always been associated with exploitation. Just read the other day that they are taking the word “n#^*$%” out of Mark Twain novels now. What does that say? That there was no racism in the 19th century? The word “jazz” is drenched in racism, more than freedom to play what you “feel”. Early jazz had working hours, popular tunes that HAD to be played, and there were no “progressive” musicians with the attitude of not needing a gig, and insisting on playing their original music.The music happened despite restrictions imposed on it. Should we believe that Charlie Parker played standards because he loved the songs? He played them because the record companies wanted to generate publishing for their publishing companies, and made him play those songs. Bebop was a protest to this system. A code. Of course, the standards we all play are beautiful, but there are so many contradictions when it comes to music, so many foul characters of all races blurring the truth for personal gain. We can’t bury our heads in the sand when talking about the history of American music. The history is the reason it sounds as it does, not because we live in a vacuum, never letting social conditions or surroundings effect your expression, even if oppressed. The “can’t we all get along” view point is lazy and irresponsible, and can’t be trusted. IMHO, of course.

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