Dayton-area Americana act tap top producers for new album

Credit: Goodness | Rachel Lockman

Credit: Goodness | Rachel Lockman

Shannon Clark & the Sugar don’t mess around when it comes to making records. The Greenville-based Americana act’s 2021 debut album, “Marks on the Wall,” was helmed by Grammy-winning producer Mark Howard (Bob Dylan, U2). The group’s follow-up, “This Old World,” dropping Friday, Sept. 8, was recorded with Justin Weaver (The Chicks, The Judds).

“Working with Mark was definitely different than working with Justin,” Clark said. “Mark was like, ‘If it takes a month, it takes a month.’ He didn’t care, which was nice. Mark is all about the experience. Justin is too but he’s also a realist. He’s like, ‘Let’s get done what we can. Whatever isn’t done doesn’t need to be on the album.’ Mark doesn’t want to leave until the album is just how you want it.”

The material on “This Old World” was recorded with Weaver in three sessions at Nashville recording studio Welcome to 1979.

“We really liked working with Justin,” Clark said. “We went down and did one song in a day. We went back later and did three more in one day. We were just going to do an EP. These were more like B-side songs in my head, but I was happy with the results. We were going to do two more songs, but I ended up writing six songs I liked so I sent them to Justin. He said, ‘Dude, you guys have a record. You want to do all six?’ So, we recorded all six.

“Justin asked us to give him more time, so the third session was three days,” Clark continued. “We did six songs so even that was tight but much better. If we’d originally gone down and spent a week recording, it would’ve been more relaxed. The album with Mark is (rawer), which is want I wanted. This one is more polished. It’s organic but has this finished product feel.”

Watch the official music video for “Burn Down” from Shannon Clark & the Sugar:

“This Old World” is just being released but Clark is already thinking about future recordings.

“I was actually talking to Mark the other day about maybe doing something again,” he said. “I like to stay in the studio working. It’s expensive but it’s a part of my brain and I need to exercise it regularly. Music is so addictive. If I don’t make a record or song once in a while, I get sad. Sometimes the only way for me to get over being depressed about whatever is going on in the world is to write about it. If I can’t do that, I get very frustrated.”

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