Hand To The Plow (Seed PSR-005) 1977

 

For his next phase Clark surprised us with a trio of records that signaled a complete change in direction. With piano directed to the forefront and the help of Harlan Rogers and Hadley Hockensmith of the jazz group Koinonia, Clark dabbled with a progressive fusion of jazz, rock and pop which at its most sophisticated is not unlike Steely Dan’s The Royal Scam, particularly on the opening seven-minute title track with its extended instrumental jamming. Sleeker production was joined by heavy guitar solos, slick saxophone leads, brass section, synthesizers, organ, funky keyboards and ladies on bgvs. With the change also came a few orchestrated adult contemporary ballads, but on the whole it’s a successful transition. ‘Help Me To See’ and the funk-edged ‘All I Need’ are both strong rockers empowered with lengthy electric guitar workouts. ‘Shipwreck’ is an effective song that deals with the subject of doubt and resolution. Ballads take over for all of side two, the standout being ‘Spring Of Life’ with its lyrical classical guitar accompaniment (the music was co-written by Phil Keaggy). Kelly Willard guests on lead vocals for ‘Woman/The Man That I Love’. Released in the UK on the Myrrh label with the spelling variation Hand To The Plough, the front cover replaced with a b&w photo of Clark and his grandfather (the same photo that appears on the lyric sleeve of the US version). (The Archivist by Ken Scott, 4th Edition).

 

 

Tracks:

01 – Hand to the Plow
02 – Help Me to See
03 – All I Need
04 – Shipwreck
05 – Love You So
06 – Spring of Life
07 – Woman – the Man That I Love
08 – Now and Forevermore
09 – One Final Word

Can be found here.

 

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