Homegrown, homespun, and completely organic, Diane Cluck‘s songs and art appeal to the very core of my “music fandom.” You find that she strips away the excess of stature, bravado, career trajectory, critical bias, and other non-musical artifacts that make their way into others’ music that you think about when you listen to them or see them perform live. Cluck’s art is like the fresh tomato ripe off the vine that you gingerly pick from the garden that you planted. A lot of other music, well, it’s like the sketchy, bizarrely uniform, overly green and shiny apple you drop into your cart at the supermarket, trying to push out “GMO” and “pesticides” from your mind. For Cluck, I’ve only ever thought about her songs, the words and music, and tiny worlds and narratives she creates within. Nothing else entered this serene space.
Admittedly, I previously never paid much mind to Diane’s specific collection of songs; discovering Cluck’s work, I listened at any source that had a few performances – Youtube, online streaming services, radio stations, friends’ music collections, and, of course, her website, which, with its huge amount of resources and good vibes, is one of my favorite artist websites (weird thing to have a favorite of, but still…) In this way, I became acquainted with her diverse catalog, ever growing the myth of her music and style in my mind. In 2014 (15 years into her recording career), Cluck shared Boneset with us. This record in many ways is the distilled essence of why her music is important to me and many others. It’s hard to verbalize or put down on paper – is it her voice, her subtle and simplistic style that holds a depth of character when you dive under the surface, or maybe the way her finger-picking weaves together with the word?
In any case, after communicating back and forth for a time, Diane and I collaborated with a concert at the Rigby Mansion in Germantown last March and recorded this Folkadelphia Session in September. I hope that this is just the start of our friendship because Diane is a special person and artist. She returns to Philadelphia this Monday, February 16th with Jeffrey Lewis to perform at Eris Temple Arts in West Philly.