J.M. Clifford Shares What's 'On My Mind'


J.M. Clifford Shares What's 'On My Mind'

(Brooklyn Basement) Brooklyn-based artist and educator J.M. Clifford has released "On My Mind," the latest from his forthcoming LP, Trains, Thinkin' and Drinkin', out June 7 via Brooklyn Basement Records. "It features Clifford singing to his own acoustic guitar accompaniment, folk singer style - something of a novelty for a musician who is usually thought of more as a rising artist in the contemporary Bluegrass landscape," commented Americana-UK in the track premiere.

"Some songs are shrouded in layers and metaphors. Other songs get right to the point. For me, this is one of those tunes," Clifford told Americana-UK. "I was thinking about my then fiancée (now my wife) and I started musing about her and the life we were planning on building together."

The album, recorded at Nashville's Sound Emporium and produced by platinum recording artist Ron Pope, features contributions from some of the best session players in the bluegrass world, including Seth Taylor, Jeff Partin, Jeff Picker, and Bronwyn Keith-Hynes. Steeped in transformation, resilience, and exploration, Clifford's artistic journey resonates not only with his personal experiences. but also with the collective human spirit. By day, he is a dedicated NYC elementary school music teacher, committed to nurturing the next generation's creativity while instilling a deep appreciation for the transformative power of music.

"On My Mind" follows title track, "Trains, Thinkin' and Drinkin'," "Raised In The Ashes," and "Complicated Man." "One of the joys of writing songs and making records is the fact that, at the end of the process, you're left with this auditory journal that shows you what was going through your mind when those tunes came along," Clifford says. "A theme that I address in this collection of songs is my evolving sense of spirituality and the conviction that we have a soul. I wasn't raised in a particular faith tradition but I've spent plenty of time trying to orient myself and develop some understanding of what we're all doing here and what the point of all of this is."

Infused with influences from musical icons like Norman Blake, Gillian Welch, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, and Tony Rice, Clifford's music is a testament to his unique ability to distill the complexities of life into timeless melodies.

From the heart of Brooklyn, he has graced stages alongside revered luminaries, engaging in collaborations with talents like Ron Pope and participating in esteemed events such as the Thomas Point Bluegrass Festival featuring The Infamous String Dusters and Dan Tyminski, the Highlands Bluegrass Festival with Cole Quest and the City Pickers, and more. Clifford's songs have been featured in the 2022 and 2023 IBMA Songwriter Showcases. He was selected as a showcase artist at the 2023 IBMAs and was also a finalist in the Rocky Mountain Songwriter Showcase in 2023.

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