Magazine article The Christian Century

Rob Clearfield: Beyond Versatile

Magazine article The Christian Century

Rob Clearfield: Beyond Versatile

Article excerpt

Rob Clearfield

Beyond versatile

Every so often there's a new talent who sounds like bottled lightning. Chicagoan Rob Clearfield, not yet 30, is blessed as well with a relentless work ethic. Currently playing in at least half a dozen musical projects, Clearfield also provides music at two Chicago churches. On the piano, he is equally comfortable pounding out old-school gospel and improvising a suite; he'll also pick up an electric guitar and produce sonic washes a la U2 or Pink Floyd.

It's challenging to spotlight a talent this productive and varied--by my count, Clearfield has appeared prominently on at least four recordings in the last 18 months. On Paisajes de Sudamerica (self-released), acoustic-guitar quartet Los Guitarristas--led by Alfonso Chacon--takes listeners on a ten-song tour of South America. It's difficult to imagine a more evocative departure for warmer climes. The five-song suite The Beauty That We Live In (serf-released) features Clearfield playing keys, guitar, mandolin and accordion on songs for worship. Stripped of percussive anchor, the compositions float from nimbuslike heights, aided by the clarion voice of Bethany Hamilton. …

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