Clan Dyken

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Band Overview

"One of the greatest rock and roll bands in the free world."

-Wavy Gravy

In 1987 Clan Dyken released it's first recording for sale to the public. It has been 15 years since that first effort. With the release of the new CD Love Is, Clan Dyken continues to produce a unique, danceable, stylistically varied music that is well known and loved at home in California -they were voted "Best Band in Calaveras County" in a recent newspaper poll and beyond. They have played over 1500 live shows, toured the US from Hawaii to the East Coast, and played across the ocean in England, France and Italy.

"The music has a powerful, danceable boogie pulse, a certain funkypunkyness that roams around for a chunk of reggae here, an African guitar there, Native American beats and lots of good old guitar contribute to the dynamics. Clan Dyken sings of its truths, plays with conviction and has convincing music and messages."

-Jonathan E, BAM Magazine

Clan Dyken has released nine albums on their own Forward Productions label. Songs from those recordings are featured in films and heard on radio around the world. They are perhaps best known as the activist band that has played in clear cut forests, proposed nuke dumps, nuke test sites, Indian reservations and many more cutting edge venues, often using solar generated electricity, and /or plant fuels, for recording and performing. The band is fiercely independent; having self produced all of their material, many festivals, events and projects of various sorts. The music reflects this experience in content and form.

The albums have been well received, but it is the live performance that sets this group apart. It's an emotional, high energy charge that draws people in. The musical pulse of the crowd is raised, as they become part of the show.

"I made a point of catching the Clans next performance. I soon found myself swept into the whirling dervish of sweaty humanity, twirling to the Clan's hypnotic, congofied chord patterns and shouting some paean to peace and social justice, celebrating Earth Mother in a Sacramento style Dead Head ceremony, sans-hallucinogens."

-Tim McHargue, Suttertown News

The band has seen many incarnations through 17 years and nine record releases and is now back to the roots of the original Dyken brothers; Gary on the bass, Bear on guitars, vocals and other primitive instruments and Mark on drums and vocals.

Bear did not learn his music in classrooms, but rather on the road and in the experiential world. A true, life long disciple of music, he has learned to play more than half a dozen instruments on his own. As the front man and main songwriter for the group he is a passionate spokesman for love, life, justice, and beauty. Referring to himself as "an untrained primitive", he uses his guitars, bamboo flutes, hand drums, accordion, harmonicas, and especially his voice to express a wide dynamic range of emotion, and create an atmosphere of celebration. A backwoods mountain hipster/country bumpkin, Bear lives and gardens on the Cedar Creek Land Trust also in Calaveras county California.
Mark's unmistakable drumming has fueled the family groove since childhood. He took lessons from jazz great, Al Prafke in his early years. School orchestra and marching bands gave way to rock and roll in high school. The man has been pounding his way through jazz, reggae, funk, rock, Latin, Native big drum style and free form jamming of various descriptions, ever since. He is featured as a hand percussionist on the albums of long time musical friend, Kim Angelis, the Violin Voyager. On the new CD you will also hear his vocals, something we have been counting on him for lately. Mark is also a drum instructor and the co-director of The Blue Mountain Youth Center here in Calaveras County, California.
Gary started playing the stand up bass when it was almost twice his height and probably out weighed him as well. He was first trained in classical music. He later began to experiment with blues and other styles with his older brothers in the richly musical basement of the Dyken household in Saukville, Wisconsin, where they all grew up together. Besides being the bass man for Clan Dyken, Gary has played and recorded with the group Loco Amor. As well as being an outstanding bass player, he takes after his grandfather who was an inventor. Gary is a
mechanical wizard who has fabricated his own alternatively powered homestead/farm complete with water pumping and fully functionally shop, orchard, garden, and greenhouse in sunny Calaveras County California.
The Clan Dyken band is ever evolving and always fresh. Since they do not answer to any record company or corporate interest of any kind they remain free to express as they feel it. This, combined with the telepathy of siblings, and their vibrant legacy of activism, makes for a powerful, meaningful, musical experience.

"The lyrics cry out for us to care a little more about our fellow man and our planet, the music lifts our spirits to a state of joyous celebration …there's just no sitting still when the Clan weaves it's spell."

-Kim Angelis, The Violin Voyager