Feature

Wistful, whimsical Shawn Clarke


Shawn Clarke calls himself a folk singer, yet he has never played a folk festival. He writes about the Big Smoke, rather than railways or highways. The path he beat to our door was through the backwoods of the internet.

But with his credentials on the indie-roots scene, working with the likes of Timber Timbre and The Wilderness of Manitoba, it was only a matter of time before this gifted singer-songwriter found a wider audience in the folk community.

Originally from Orillia, Ontario —hometown of the legendary Gordon Lightfoot— Shawn Clarke has happily made his home in Toronto for the past decade. So happily, in fact, that he’s been making waves with a rare ode to the big city Canadians often love to hate.

To Think I Once Was Lost“, with its charming evocations of Toronto parks, the West End, and Dundas Square has been featured on Torontoist’s Sound Tracks and blogTO‘s Neighbourhood Mixtape. Shawn also received an impressive NNNN rating from NOW Magazine for his recent album,  Like Birds To Tired to Fly.

That CD, with its gentle vocals, water-colour lyrics, and quirky imagery was a personal favourite of 2010. Shawn’s thoughtful conversation and deeply musical presence on The Woodshed Stage (accompanied by the tasteful Mark Hart on guitar) impressed us just as much as the album.

We’re sure Shawn Clarke will impress you too.

Leon Redbone in conversation

Watch past episodes of The Woodshed Sessions here.

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