A tall drink of water strolls into Langley tonight with a guitar under his arm and ready to quench the musical thirst of everybody at the Dog House Tavern.
Texas singer-songwriter Russell Clepper performs his original works, and some covers you may not recognize, at 9 p.m. today and tomorrow at the historic pub on First Street.
Clepper performed this past June at Island Coffee House & Books to a packed house that uproariously approved of his singing, playing and storytelling.
The lanky Texan has been writing songs for more than 35 years and performing them in public for almost as long.
Born in Lubbock — a high plains town with what he said has an unusually rich musical heritage — Clepper has lived and performed all over the state of Texas. He currently resides just outside Austin, where he spent the past four years in the acoustic duo, Clepper George with musician Jimmy George.
Known in his native state as a “lyricist’s lyricist,” Clepper has won praise as a songwriter who paints vivid images that are woven into stories drawn from his life, times and travels, not only in Texas, but in Canada as well, where he lived in Quebec City for 17 years.
His songs feature strong imagery drawn from the stark horizons and dusty landscapes of his native state, with a little romantic infusion from the Quebecois.
Clepper’s musical influences include gospel, bluegrass and folk music honed from hours of listening to great songwriters such as John Prine, Gordon Lightfoot, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, Joan Baez, Emmy Lou Harris, Paul Simon, Tommy Hancock and the Supernatural Family Band, Leonard Cohen, Billy Joe Shaver, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, John Hartford, John Stewart, Hank Williams, Kris Kristofferson, John Denver, Jerry Jeff Walker, Sam Sadler, Leo Kottke, Tom Paxton, Ry Cooder, Loretta Lynn, Neil Diamond, Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Guy Clark and a long list of non-celebrity but excellent musicians who inhabit the Austin area.
Clepper’s sound is a slice of folk-infused Americana, while maintaining the singer’s own personal and unique perspective, making his music tricky to categorize.
Clepper has released and co-released eight CDs, including “Broken Sanddollars,” and “Holiday Music” with Clepper George partner Jimmy George. His two solo releases are “Son of a Farmer” and “Some Place Like Heaven.” Hear some song clips at www.myspace.com/russellclepper.
There is no cover charge.