Press Quotes

From today's Globe and Mait: "Last night [October 30 2015], something uplifting happened on Devil’s Night in Toronto: The Woodshed Orchestra, under the bedazzled direction of Dave Clark performed a perfect set in celebration of their new CD "Guestbook". Opening act, from Barrie, Stonetrotter set the stage with a beautiful set of songs. Then it was up to Clark to strike up the band, so many members of his musical family in the dugout just itching to play, his million-dollar arm Michael Herring, a class act. It was a Woodshed big band last night at Hugh’s Room, and the sold out crowd were throwing back $9 dark bar like it wasn’t criminal. I’ve said it before, and firmly believe that Dave Clark is a wizard, with skills at squeezing the very best out of people (lemon Parmesan). The music he writes is genuine, it celebrates his love of play, different cultures, and the many voices he’s surrounded by. Last night, Rebecca Hennessy yet again, belted out the most soulful song in honour of Mary Margaret O’Hara, Jesus…every time it gets better. Also great to hear the Woodshed horn section fill Hugh’s Room with some grit. And a fine lineup of guests from Dani Nash, Sam Cash and Amanda Rheaume to Suzie Vinnick and Kevin Breit shredding on guitars. Holy cow, what happened last night was special. I may have shit my pants during the Kevin Breit performance of Troubadours, no cell phone could ever capture that energy on stage. I was thrilled and honoured to share a stage with some of the greatest musicians I know and love. Thanks Dave for including me in this celebration. On this Devil’s Night, I say Hail Satan, and long live the Woodshed Orchestra! "  C. Smalloochi, Globe & Mait a.k.a. - Friendly Richard Marsella 

"Dave Clark and the Woodshed Orchestra have this amazing ability to make real life sound like the best musical in the world. I can't name another group of people who sound so joyous together, get to some essential truths about living, and dance their pants off doing it. Love them. They're my favourite parade." – Vish Khanna – CBC Radio3 – Exclaim Magazine.

“Most recently, at the 2011 edition of our festival, I hired Dave’s excellent Woodshed Orchestra to perform as part of our all-night Nuit Blanche event. Their late night concert drew a large and energized crowd that danced, sang, and celebrated alongside the joyous performers. The positive and uplifting energy of the group’s music, in fact, acted almost as an anthem for the spirit of the Guelph Jazz Festival’s Nuit Blanche 2011.” – Ajay Heble, Artistic Director, The Guelph Jazz Festival, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

“I’m listening to the Woodshed Orchestra’s self-titled new album for the first time as I write this and it’s a riot, too. Funk, soul, country, New Orleans blues, slinky jazz, Stones-y rock n’ roll and just about everything else you can imagine impeccably played and rendered in several garish shades of joy. Smiles abound.” – Ben Rayner –

“Simply put, the Woodshed Orchestra was a key component in making SappyFest Six the best, and most successful event we've ever produced. From acoustic marching band parades to their explosive and endearing set on the Mainstage, the group was delightfully everywhere, all weekend. They are up for anything, always, with a smile and courtesy.” – Paul Henderson, Creative Director, SappyFest, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada.

“The Woodshed Orchestra seems to have the knack of bringing the festival audience to celebrate en mass – they really got folks singing, dancing and creating a huge buzz…this type of band is priceless.” –Sam Baijal, Artistic Director, Hillside Festival, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

“The Woodshed Orchestra is like eating blackened fish for the first time while standing in a tent on a fairground in New Orleans listening to gospel groups with people you don't know, but really is this the time to get picky about religion when this guy is showing me how to dance.” – Julian Brown – Fiest – The Apostle of Hustle -Montreal

"The Woodshed Orchestra is a tour de force of nature, an indomitable spirit of beautiful abandon." – Jason Collett – solo artist – Toronto

“These Woodshed songs are fucking great. I love that there doesn't seem to be a lead vocal though it's obvious that there is one. You know what I mean. It's like I happened into a bar where there is a band playing songs I've never heard but everyone else seems to know the tune. Yet by the one minute I'm singing right along. I fucking love that. You can't tell if these songs were written last week or 40 years ago. That's a good thing. These songs are from no time, which I guess makes them timeless. Seriously, you can take that to the bank and cash it.” – Mike Plume – Mike Plume Band – Nashville USA

“Dave Clark is the hoser's Sly Stone and the David Byrne of the north. 
With his newest incarnation, the Woodshed Orchestra, Dave Clark has brought together a vocal-heavy, rhythm-happy sound, every bit as joyous, honest and adventurous as the man himself. Clark is, without exaggeration, a Canadian legend.  He is a living example of every musician's deep, and often unrealized desire:  to get better with age.” - Michael Johnston – the Skydiggers - Toronto

“The Woodshed Orchestra trade in exuberance and might, a glistening thunderslap on the hind of musical atrophy. These songs leap from disc to lap, a many-legged beast trundling with joy and vision.”– Dave Bidini – Rheostatics – Bidini Band – Toronto

“The Woodshed Orchestra, that bumper collection of truly exceptional persons who are also truly exceptional players, sounds like a party I really wish I were at.” – Selina Martin – solo artist – Toronto

“The giddy exuberance and master craftsmanship of the Woodshed Orchestra makes me want to run barefoot, write a soul song, and hug my enemies all at once.  Their live show slays.  Everybody needs it.”
-Kris Demeanor – The Crack Band – Calgary

“I walked into the Pepper Jack at 9 pm and the Woodshed Orchestra was just picking up its instruments. The place, sadly, was almost empty. No matter. The nine musicians that occupied the stage proceeded to make complete and total magic together...All night. It was overwhelmingly good.... God, it was the most fun I’ve had sitting down in an almost empty bar ever. You should have been there! It was magical... Triumphant!” – Mike Bell – Steel City Music

“Neitzsche once said, “Life without music would be a mistake.” This quote kept intruding into my thoughts as I listened to Dave Clark and the Woodshed Orchestra on a recent night at the Tranzac Club…As a songwriter, Clark can be described as a modern troubadour inspired by world-weary romanticism...tempered by an appealing measure of optimism in the innate goodness of humanity.” – Josef Hochleitner – Nightviews

“The Woodshed Orchestra tick all of my boxes - particularly the one marked 'friendly cosmic groove machine'. They tick that one with a big orange highlighter pen made of weapons-grade friendliness and liquid spontaneity.” – Pete Flood - Bellow Head – London UK

“The Woodshed Orcheatra features…sounds that range from avant gard noise to beat poetry and even some “beer hall ballads.” Clark’s solo project is very alluring as the songs are excitingly new, but also vaguely familiar.” – Jordy Yack – Pulse Niagara

"The Woodshed is a big fat joyous orchestra of funk that dares you not to smile and jiggle. I don't know anyone else making music like The Woodshed Orchestra. These songs are a rare combination complex and organic, but mostly what comes across is joyous music that makes you want to dance. " – Pete Bowers – The Gertrudes – Kingston

"Dave Clark has been one of the major forces in creative music in this country for close to two decades, certainly a huge influence on my own music and how I approach it, and his latest work with The Woodshed Orchestra continues this trajectory." - Chris Eaton – Rock Plaza Central - Toronto

“The Woodshed Orchestra is funky and fun, with great instrumentation and heartfelt's good for the soul!” – Tannis Slimmon – solo artist - Guelph

"Dave Clark's Woodshed Orchestra unique musical uplift blends off-kilter pop romanticism with keen emotional insights and a powerful sense of spontaneous play. This is music to jumpstart your frozen February heart." Phd. Daniel Fischlin – U of Guelph - Improvisation, Community and Social Practice.

The Woodshed Orchestra is brave and beautiful. I love the way they love music.” – Culture Reject – solo artist –Toronto

"Damn, this is great. The Woodshed Orchestra really warms the cockles of the heart." – Kirk Hudson – Tres Biens Ensemble – Toronto

“If you find yourself in need of laughter and dancing then look no further than The Woodshed Orchestra.” – Peter Moller – solo artist – Calgary

"The new Woodshed Orchestra tracks are like a sexy pair of leggings. Tight, yet totally comfy, oh yeah!"  Jeff Barber - Sonic Boom Records - Toronto

 " I guess there were a couple extra chords in the woodshed this winter, the result is (heart) warming and wonderful!" - Shotgun Jimmie – solo artist – Sackville

“Dave Clark's Woodshed Orchestra’s album, Live Snapshots September 23/05 (available now at is just as remarkable and varied. (To review this record is to run a gauntlet of styles, sounds, genres and eras.) It is a daring and uncanny record, moments of thrilling experimentation andsonic gymnastics of freewheeling jazz (“Momento”) are weaved amidst boozy blues ballads and spoken word, all brought to life with imagination and dexterity.” – Tim “Bif” MacKay “River Chats”

"Listening to the Woodshed Orchestra warms my soul to the core. They make my heart swell and my mind soar. It brings a smile to my face and leaves me feeling like the world's an amazing place"
Carlie Howell – The Deharms – Toronto

"Maestro Clarkie and his woodsplitters -sic [Woodshed] cook up a spicy downhome southern gumbo in the hinterlands of Toronto that delivers..." – Dale Mornigstar – the Dinner is Ruined – Producer - Toronto

“This is an orchestra of fine, fine humans who know how to throw it down in style, and play their asses off.” – Chris Dadge – Bug Incisions – Calgary

“If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience Dave Clark’s Woodshed Orchestra live, which I highly recommend, this album is the next best thing. It offers an array of musical styles presented by an eclectic band of delightful, creative and talented souls.” - Ken Aldcroft – Convergence Ensemble – Toronto

"Johnny's secret is out: Everyone needs the Woodshed Orchestra as much as they need Love & Affection!" - Dwight Schenk – The Slipper Orchestra - Toronto