Paul Clark is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, licensed clinical social worker, and mental health advocate originally from Middlebury, CT. His musical style is a blend of folk, rock, Americana, and alternative-pop. As a self-taught guitarist, Clark, credits Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir from The Grateful Dead as his inspiration for picking up the guitar and for holding his hand down the pathway to becoming a singer/songwriter. Elements of The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Bruce Hornsby, Phish, Michael Franti, Jack Johnson, and Ben Harper can all be heard in Clark's laid back melodies, colorful lyrics, and positive energy.
With the belief in the amazing healing power of music as a driving force behind Clark's creative spirit, there is an essence of well being that accompanies his body of work as a singer/songwriter. Music has been much more than a collection of notes and sounds for Clark – it has become an alternative form of medicine for his mind. For some, being diagnosed with a severe and chronic mental illness may seem or feel like entering an abysmal and never ending black hole. For Clark, it has lead over time, to a remarkable source of peace, light, compassion, acceptance, and understanding. But, not without first wrestling with complete and utter despair. Music has enabled Clark to see through the darkness and find comfort from within. His songs welcome others to do the same. Clark states that,
"I woke up in a hospital bed in Boston, on a locked inpatient psychiatric unit a week before my 22nd birthday and my whole identity was shattered. I had just experienced my first full-blown manic episode and was diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder. Music helped me to put the pieces of my fragmented mind back together, so I naturally gravitated towards it more and more. My true north pointed towards everything music and gradually playing music became one of my primary pursuits. Shortly thereafter I started to pen my first lyrics and made things more interesting by weaving melodies in between my lines. This defining moment in my life gave birth to a catalogue of songs over the years that continues to expand."
Clark's work is informed by his encounter with altered states of mind and altered states of reality, but it is his soundness of mind that has enabled him to turn these experiences into musical compositions. Aldous Huxley stated that, "experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him." Inspired by the counterculture of the 1960’s and 1970’s, Clark's songwriting style crosses a musical landscape between the music he grew up with and the music he writes and performs today. There is something both new and nostalgic about Clark's songs and the way they connect and resonate with listeners. Clark's writing taps into the circle of life, the language of love, and the every day blessings in the world, in which we live, that is evident in songs such as "Ultrasound", "Infinite Smile", and "Northern Lights" from his most recent EP release, Northern Lights.