Clutch frontman Neil Fallon engages fans at DC’s 9:30 Club, Dec. 29, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss)
Clutch kicked off ClutchMas, the band’s annual run of shows between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, with a blistering set at 9:30 Club. The show in DC on Sunday preceded shows at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey, on Dec. 30 and a New Year’s Eve show at Union Transfer in Philadelphia on Dec. 31.
The band is playing a unique setlist for each show on the ClutchMas tour, including playing its 2004 album, Blast Tyrant, in its entirety for the first time ever on New Year’s Eve.
Blast Tyrant was Clutch’s sixth full-length studio album. The band released it on March 23, 2004, via the DTR Entertainment label, and it was reissued in 2011 through the band’s own label, Weathermaker Music. The reissued version contains the original album along with a second bonus disc, titled Basket of Eggs, which is a collection of acoustic versions of songs from 2001 to 2011 by the band, including the “Polar Bear Lair Demos.”
Listen to 2011 reissue version of Blast Tyrant by Clutch on Spotify:
Since forming in Germantown, Maryland in 1991, Clutch has released 12 studio albums, and several rarities and live albums. The band has been signed to several record labels during that run, including Columbia, Atlantic, and DTR, and since 2008 its own record label, Weathermaker.
Consisting of Neil Fallon (on vocals and guitar), Tim Sulton on guitar, Dan Maines on bass, and Jean-Paul Gaster on drums and percussion, Clutch ended its 9:30 Club set with a cover version of “Fortunate Son,” the 1969 hit for Creedence Clearwater Revival that became an anti-war anthem. The band recently released a single of the song on its label earlier this fall. It is the fourth in a series of new studio recordings that comprise the newly launched Weathermaker Vault Series.
In announcing the release of “Fortunate Son” on Nov. 29, 2019, Jean-Paul said, “While it may be true to say that Fortunate Son could be seen as a political song we think it’s bigger than that. For us, Fortunate Son is an inspirational song. For that reason, we’d like to dedicate the song to the most inspirational person we’ve ever had in our lives, our late manager Jack Flanagan. Jack Flanagan was no Fortunate son. He worked tirelessly and passionately all the while keeping a razor sharp sense of humor until his last days. Thank you Jack for making us better than we ever thought we could be.”
In the video for “Fortunate Son,” Tim pays homage to the band’s late Manager by playing Jack’s beloved ’90s Les Paul. The video was shot at J Robbins’ Magpie Cage Recording Studio in Baltimore. J Robbins produced the Clutch albums Robot Hive/Exodus and Strange Cousins from the West, and he recorded all of the WM Vault Series singles.
Watch the official music video for Clutch’s version of “Fortunate Son” on YouTube:
You Can’t Stop Progress
A Good Fire
Gimme the Keys
The Incomparable Mr. Flannery
Book of Bad Decisions
Mice and Gods
Sucker for the Witch
In Walks Barbarella
How to Shake Hands
Fortunate Son (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
For more Clutch, visit the band’s website.
Enjoy some photos of Clutch performing at 9:30 Club on Dec. 29, 2019. All images copyright and courtesy of Ari Strauss.
Hey – great pictures! You wouldn’t happen to have any that feature the horn section do you? (I might be the sax player). You may have noted that this was the first time Clutch has ever performed with horns. We were honored to have the gig!
Thanks for the heads up!
Sorry to report that we were only permitted to shoot the first three songs of the show, as per standard policies, so we didn’t get any shots of the horn section.
We look forward to the possibility in the future!