Release Date: Aug 7, 2015
Record label: Fire Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Garage Punk, Punk Blues, Experimental Rock, Noise-Rock
During the day, Dave Cloud read books to the visually impaired for the Nashville Talking Library. At night, however, he preached the gospel of rock'n'roll at small venues around town, with his crack-backing band the Gospel of Power in tow. Singing in a low, grainy voice that sounds like Captain Beefheart, Cloud played garage rock and noise as though the Sonics and Sonic Youth were the same band, adding drone and distortion to his three-minute rave-ups and pop tunes.
In Dave Cloud’s February 2015 obituary for The Nashville Scene, writer Dave Ridley describes the locally notorious actor and musician as “someone who sent lightning bolts of manic creative energy scattering in every direction, starting fires wherever they hit”. The brief article is followed by over a dozen reader comments, troll-free and actually worth reading (an internet rarity), many offering favorite odd quotes or memories of quirky interactions with Cloud, who, by all accounts, just plain did not possess an off button. It’s the kind of homage that makes one truly regret never knowing the person being celebrated.
The American South is a place full of eccentric visionaries, but Nashville, Tennessee is one city that has long devoted itself to art in the name of commerce, churning out music (mostly ordinary, some brilliant) by the yard, not unlike gingham or fruit roll-ups, and the Nashville philosophy frequently seems to be, the more ordinary and less challenging the tune, the better. However, Music City does have a thriving creative underground, and for decades one of Nashville's outstanding mad geniuses was Dave Cloud, a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who upended rock & roll and rhythm & blues traditions as he brewed a grand cacophonous burgoo, with his stream-of-consciousness lyrics and inspired bellow of a voice as the key ingredients. Holding court at the Springwater Supper Club & Lounge, Cloud and his band the Gospel of Power tackled anything from detourned garage rock to karaoke ballads as the frontman sang with an instrument that suggested both Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart, and had as strong and unique a personality as either.