K.C. Clifford,
The TVD First Date

“My father is a bluegrass musician. He founded a band in the early ’70s called Mountain Smoke. They are notable for several reasons, but the most widely known is Mountain Smoke was Vince Gill’s first band. They opened for Kiss and have had wild things happen, like playing on the White House lawn for several presidents, being written about by Billboard, and most recently, they were featured and had a song licensed in Ken Burns’ 8-part documentary series, Country Music. By the late ’70s, my Dad had left the band behind for the world of business. But music was in his blood, and in so much of how he raised me. Decades later, he would reunite with the band and his love of playing. They still perform today.”

“My dad set music aside and went on to be a very successful businessman. He took deep pride in providing for his family, and he worked and travelled a whole lot of the time. Although we have since repaired the wound of his absence, the truth is he missed many of the little moments in my childhood. One of the most crystallized memories I have as a young girl follows here.

My dad has a huge vintage vinyl record collection. He isn’t just a musician, he is a true music lover. Among his collection, he owns a 45 record for every hit single from the years 1955 t0 1965, and many, many more. He once ran into our burning house to rescue the records and his vintage guitars from certain destruction.

On the rare nights I remember him being home at my bedtime, if I played my cards right I’d get to go down to his study in my pajamas, hair still wet from my requisite bath. Dad would play records for me, I would dance and we’d sing along. It was the freest I ever saw him—no stress, no weight of the world, no anger—just his love of music.

In those stolen times together he began to teach me names like Simon and Garfunkel, Carole King, The Beatles, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, The Beach Boys, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder… I could go on and on. Those nights up past my bedtime probably only lasted twenty or thirty minutes at a time, but they remain one of the most joyful memories of my life as a girl.

I’ve long since taken that little girl by the hand and walked her to the place of knowing she has everything she needs. I know my dad did the best he could, and I don’t doubt his deep love for me. Sometimes when I recall those nights I’m reminded that my dad was younger at that time than I am now. It kind of takes my breath away to think about. He had given up his dream in an effort to give us everything. I picture him trading his guitar and boots in for a briefcase and three-piece suit. As a grown woman with a mortgage, two kids, and a dream of my own, I can see how much he had on the line.

Not gonna lie, I’m choked up writing this now and here’s why: I would have traded all the money, trips, and toys in the world to feel a constant closeness with my dad when I was little. Money comes and goes, and such remains true for my family. He would lose his fortune and gain it back again in my lifetime. We would all learn many lessons along the way. But what that little girl who was longing for more of her Daddy couldn’t see from where she stood is this: He did give me the world when he dropped the needle on those records, and taught me to sing along in harmony. He did pass down his most treasured thing. The connection we share around music shaped my story, and he will always be the opening to the soundtrack of my life.

If you fast forward that soundtrack, here I am at age forty-five about to release a record that pays respect to those who came before, my Dad chief among them. It’s my first release on vinyl which is unquestionably a full circle moment for me, and for that little girl up past her bedtime singing and dancing in her nightgown.

Those sounds have never left me.”
K.C. Clifford

The new self-titled release from K.C. Clifford arrives in stores on February 7, 2020—on vinyl.

K.C. Clifford Official | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
PHOTO: KRIEA ARIE PHOTOGRAPHY

This entry was posted in The TVD Storefront. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text