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The Old Joe Clarks

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The poetic lyricism of Kansas-born guitarist and vocalist Mike Coykendall is set to soulful country and bluegrass melodies by San Francisco-based band the Old Joe Clarks. According to, Coykendall is a "deep voiced Dylan with a keen eye for songwriting. His songs have that rare ability of appearing to come from both yesterday and yesteryear." The Old Joe Clarks initially came together as a trio, featuring Coykendall, his wife, Jill McClelland-Coykendall, on melodica and clarinet, and Kurt Stevenson on lead guitar, lap steel, and background vocals. Following the release of their debut album, Town of Ten, in 1997, the group evolved into a larger ensemble featuring drummer Pat Campbell, guitarist and vocalist Mark Orton, and pump organ, Hammond B-3, accordion, and piano player Rob Burger. Coykendall, who lived with his wife in Kansas before moving to San Francisco in 1991, launched his music career in a teenage psychedelic rock band, Klyde Konner. McClelland-Coykendall previously played in an avant-garde classical group, the Wichita New Music Ensemble. ~ Craig Harris

Years Active:

'90s, '00s