Feedback from various sources:

"Steve Clarkson is an Austin-based mandolin-toting Pastor.  In a world that seems every day a little more riddled with selfish-driven behavior and attitudes, Clarkson has selflessly devoted his life to bringing the word and majesty of Jesus Christ to the people.  The purity and passion with which he does this comes through in his solo mandolin recordings.  While he may not hit the levels of virtuosity of David Grisman or Ronnie McCoury, his music can be extremely soothing and can take the listener on elegant internal personal journeys.  What more could you ask for from music?
Clarkson is very dialed-in to the feedback of his listeners.  The comments he has received about it enhancing moments of devotion were expected.  What surprised Clarkson was that some related stories of children (or themselves)being put peacefully to sleep to his mando, others find Clarkson's music an ideal adornment to wine and conversation and one joyfully points to Clarkson's dream-like sound as a key part of his success in lowering his high blood pressure!!  Personally I like to pop the disc in to help me through agitation created by Atlanta traffic."  Rob Turner veteran music journalist

A quick review of the new song, Sustaining All Things, by a long time drama teacher and local theater director - "Much more dramatic potential and unusual combinations which are unpredictable and varied and quite a nice expansion of the usual mando sound." - it is a meditation on Hebrews 1:3

A Fan from New Zealand writes  “ unique sound bro. captures the imagination :) ”  

Enjoyed "Pensive". You succeeded in making the Mandolin work on an entirely different plane as a lead-melody instrument. Interesting. Might heighten the effect by interspersing some passages in which the traditional mando strum repeats the melody line or contrasts with choric sections. Enjoyed.

Concerning the track, "Tears", on the new album "The Talking Drum" - " It was a little different than your normal work - stronger and more commanding I think.  I guess it went along with your theme/inspiration.  I'm impressed that you were able to change both the mandolin and drumming and, as always, merge them together flawlessly."

About the new track "In His Hands" -  "I liked this and used both speakers and headphones.  I thought you did a particularly good job with the drum here.  It really added to the mandolin without ever overpowering or even distracting from it."

Concerning my new album "Fatherhood" - "I really enjoyed the album!  I listened to it twice today.  The mandolin does sound richer and I agree that the songs hold together and flow from one to the next beautifully."  
"Thanks Steve!  I like this one and think it really evokes moonlight dappling leaves and shimmering on water.  I didn't get to it until this morning, but there was still a little moonlight when I got up.  :) "
On the newest album, "The Unseen" - "Thanks for sending on your new CD. Nice cover, peaceful music, great recording!"

One comment on the new album "Sometimes" - "Your CD arrived yesterday. Thank you very much. It is a lovely recording."

Concerning the new album "Mountain" - "Steve - I just finished up the last few tunes.  I really enjoyed it and do think it is some of your best work.  It was especially nice for a Sunday.  I think the spirit behind the music really comes through"

A radio promoters response to the new single, "No room for gray": "Lovely piece; there is a calming effect to it, soothing."

One fellow mandolin player says "the music is some of the most beautiful mandolin music I have ever heard. Gorgeous melodies and beautifully played."

"Very pretty tune and one sweet mandolin! Really has a pure, articulate tone."

"Thanks for sending me "Time for Joy".  I think it might be one of your best works to date.  I've listened to it several times."

"Thanks Steve.  (name withheld) and I liked this and the bath one you sent yesterday.  It was a great description, and I think the music reflected what was going on.  I'm really glad you're able to spend time with your kids!"

(Your music is) "serene and introspective."

"I much prefer what you are doing with your music to most of the ways organized religion represents itself in today's world."

"Sounds great to my ears, It sounds kind of latin and very melancholy...I love it!"
I look forward to it.  By the way, Just Love might be your best work yet.  The meditation was profound and moving.  Thanks for sharing it with me.”

“Steve - thank you very much for sharing this with me.  I think it’s very moving.  The music is a bit different from what you usually play, but just right and you really synced the music and voice perfectly. “


More Reviews

I was SO blessed by your playing. So pure - it is music of heaven being played down - in the Holy Spirit...I will be listening to more of your music - it is what i have been looking for to relax to ……… purity, simplicity …and the Lord….. thank you sir.

Also, I thought Pensive was very well done.  Both the mandolin and drum seemed more thoughtful than usual and also a bit hesitant - like when something is bothering you and your thoughts naturally return to it again and again - and perhaps a bit sad.

Conccerning my recordings with the African talking drum - "I like it a lot!  I think you are doing a really good job melding them together and seem to be getting the sweet spot where the drum adds to the mandolin without intruding or sounding  off."

Adam Harrington from the UKs WhisperinandHollerin says "...Clarkson's playing is just as soothing to jaded adult ears as it is to the wide-eyed perspective of the diaper crowd. "OK, One More Kiss" and "Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite" have dreamy, lush textures; Clarkson's mandolin has a hypnotic, easygoing pull that creates a peaceful nighttime vibe."

Concerning "Peace be with you" - "
I'm glad you had an ambitious day because I really like this one.  I agree with you that this key (although I wouldn't have known what to call it) is particularly nice (Gminor) and well suited for the instrument and your tune."

"I certainly hope you realize how you made me a better person at Duke and continue to do so now."

Concerning my music (not really mine as I am a bondservant of Christ and everything is His) - "This is beautiful" - simple, yet I really appreciate it.

it is really nice to listen to and it puts me in a meditative state..."

"The playing is absolutely lovely, and "Peace Be With You" has such a therapeutic calmness to it. They don't sound indie at all to my ears; the intimate quality of these tracks is what stands out, their warmth and feeling of spiritual transcendence."

Thank you very much for sending me the album.  I received it yesterday and just listened to the first CD. I really liked it.  I think it has a different feel than Sunsets - more contemplative and, at least to my untutored ear, more stripped down.  As a planned album, I think the tunes are also more similar to each other. Finally, I love the artwork, especially the drawing on the back cover (also on Sunsets which I forgot to mention), and really appreciate your personalizing it.  :) 

Concerning my short essay "Vantage Point" - "Great job with this, Steve!!!  Succinct and to the point, very clear and easy to understand and comprehend.  I will share it."

Comments on "Journey of a Christian's Heart" available at iTunes, cdbaby, etc. "... I like it! The music is great with the other instruments adding additional depth to the music.  You've done a really good job putting the words to the music - both fitting the words into the flow and the tune to the words.  It's interesting because I find that the whole package helps me to focus/meditate on the words whereas some of your other music sort of takes me away."

Concerning my new song "Living Water" - "This really evoked water welling up - like the spring that starts a river."

Concering my morning reflection, "Perfect Peace" sent out to my friends that are on my email list. This comment is from a brother in Christ that is also a mandolin player - "beautiful tune, Steven. Good name for it to, quite peaceful. Thanks."

In regards to my new song "Standing Strong" - ..." I really liked your comments on the scripture, and thought the music conveyed both the bumpy road of life and facing it with calm strength.  As you said, we're human and make mistakes even when God's laid everything out for us, but we have to keep trying to do the best we can."