From David Cazares:
Guitarist Todd Clouser would be comfortable in a variety of musical settings, from folk and rock to modern jazz. But anyone who expects him to sound a certain way in any particular setting might be surprised.
Drawing heavily on improvisation, Clouser defies musical categories no matter what he plays. In his hands, a rock ballad might strike some as jazz, while tunes seem to be modern jazz are infused with a rock number's electricity.
"I really struggle with genres or labels," Clouser said. "Not based on principal, but because I don't feel comfortable incapsulating anything. Or I don't know how. It's obviously reflected in my music. I don't know how to say, 'this is what we are' or fit in to any scene. That's afforded us a lot of opportunities. It also has its detractors in terms of marketability."
That kind of approach has served Clouser well in the last year, helping his A Love Electric band deliver three distinctly different albums: "20thCentury Folk Selections," "Selections in Garage Jazz" and "The Naked Beat."
The band will perform numbers from the new CD Saturday in a show at the Icehouse restaurant in Minneapolis, a performance that will be hard to pin to any style. That's just how the guitarist wants it.
"The most important thing to me, and maybe this sounds trite, is really to create art, honest art, and to continually dig at truth," Clouser said. "I mean, that's what we're going for. Finding a voice or developing a voice and committing to it. Playing with intention. Writing with intention. And that, I think, transcends genre, art, transcends everything."