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Country artist Rich Cloke set to release new album next month

Seven-song collection Starts Like That came out of prolific writing during the pandemic

Burlington singer/songwriter Rich Cloke is gearing up to release a new album this spring.

Born in Hamilton and living in Burlington with his young family for the past 15 years, Cloke was always interested in music and started playing in earnest as part of a rock band throughout high school.

“I played guitar in bands around Hamilton and Halton in various bars and clubs, but then after graduating university the band had broken up,” explained Cloke. “That’s when I was looking to get involved in another project. I met up with a producer (Brandon Fehderau) who asked why I wanted to be in a band again, especially after the band broke up. I said I like the camaraderie and the sharing of ideas and the creating with others.”

As it turned out, Fehderau convinced Cloke that he could do all those things as a solo artist in the studio and through various networks. The big leap for Cloke was to become comfortable singing along with his guitar playing.

“I never thought of myself as a singer before,” said Cloke. “I learned a few Johnny Cash songs, some Alan Jackson songs, things that were in my range and register. At the same time I like the story telling aspect of country music. I started writing songs with some country-rock elements in the sound design.”

It clicked. Cloke released his first album, Northern Skies, in 2014.

During the pandemic downturn, he  wrote over 200 songs while waiting for the music scene to open up. The result is a new, seven-song album due to be released on April 14 with a single now out on digital platforms.

Both the album and the single are called Starts Like That.

Cloke, and a band made up of a few studio musicians, will hold a release party at Toronto’s famed Rivoli Club on April 13 with a few tickets still available.

“It’s important to me that I put on a great show for the people that come out (to listen to me). I want them to get their money’s worth,” said Cloke. “I’m grateful to the support of my team, country radio stations that are playing the single, the people around me, the Burlington community who supported me during the pandemic. I’m looking forward to this debut and we’re going to be putting a really cool show together to say thank you.”

Tour dates are being lined up for 2023. More information can be found at Rich Cloke’s website or on Linktree.


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Lawson Hunter

About the Author: Lawson Hunter

Lawson Hunter has been a freelance writer for more than 30 years. His articles on technology, the environment, and business have been published in local and national newspapers, magazines and trade publications
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