Exclusive Interview with Mike Clifford

Mike Clifford Why country music ?
~ It’s the only gig I could find that pays. LOL. Seriously though, I grew up listening to everything from the Beatles and Eagles to Johnny Cash. I wouldn’t say my music is PURE country, it has a lot of rock and blues influence as well, but for me writing in a country music style, writing about real things and real stories, just came naturally.

If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ Johnny Cash and Tammy Wynette

What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ They all are very meaningful, but the songs “West Texas Sun” and “Before You Came Along” off my current CD… I wrote them both for my wife, so they hold a special meaning. They are not simple love songs, they somewhat complex, like our relationship. “West Texas Sun” was nominated for Song Of The Year in the 2011 Texas Music Awards.

Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ My daughter Melody (3 ½ years old) J

Whisky wine beer or water?
~ Hard to choose, but if I had to eliminate one, it would be water LOL. Mostly these days I drink wine, and sometimes tequila.

What is the question interviewers never asked you while you were always hoping they would. (and give us your answer)?
~ I get a lot of general background questions, but rarely does anyone dig down into one of my songs and ask about a particular lyric or what inspired me to come up with an idea for a certain song.

Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ The ultimate recording studio is the one where the artist is most comfortable and can create the best possible performance. Nowadays high-quality music can be recorded almost anywhere… I recorded most of the tracks for all 3 of my albums in a large walk-in closet. I then sent those tracks to a mixing engineer who used a ProTools setup to mix, EQ them, and add effects… everything came out great. So I’m not all that impressed with big whiz-bang studios, I find them intimidating and overly-expensive.

Johnny or June ?
~ Johnny.

Give us your top 3 country songs ever.
~ I probably couldn’t tell you the top 3 country songs ever, but since I play a lot of dancehalls and honky-tonks, I can tell you the Top 3 songs that get people out to dance: Silver Wings (Merle Haggard), Neon Moon (Brooks and Dunn), and I Couldn’t Leave You If I Tried (Rodney Crowell). Any time people aren’t dancing, those are my go-to cover songs!

What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ The day I got the finished master back on my current CD “Backroads In Bare Feet”. I not only produced the 13-song CD, but played all of the acoustic guitar, bass, organ, percussion, and most of the electric guitar work, plus wrote all the songs and did all the arrangements. Unlike my previous 2 CDs, I had total control, and it came out exactly the way I wanted. It was a labor of love, taking 4 years from start to finish. To create original work like that and then have it so well-received, not only by critics but by listeners, is very gratifying. “Backroads In Bare Feet” received an Album Of The Year nomination in the 2011 Texas Music Awards.

Mike Clifford

For more info about Mike Clifford you can go to:

www.mikeclifford.com

Answers given onAugust 16, 2011