Nakedly Examined Music #189: Claire Hamill’s Epic Journey

Claire started in the early ’70s as a folk prodigy, took some detours through country and Elton-John-esque pop rock, played with Wishbone Ash and members of Yes in the late ’70s and early ’80s, had her real career break-out as a New Age artist in the mid ’80s (with some of her music used extensively by the BBC), did a dance record, and has most recently released several records of sophisticated adult contemporary rock, where she writes songs on just an acoustic guitar and delegates the arrangement duties to her producer Kevin Jones. She has recorded 13 solo albums plus two more with her current prog band Fragile.

We discuss “Aphrodite Obscured” from A Pocket Full of Love Songs (2022), “Love Has a Mind of Its Own” from Over Dark Apples (2019), “The River Song” (with lyrics by Michael Coles) from One House Left Standing (1971), and conclude by listening to “The Last Shirt” by Claire Hamill and Andrew Warren from Summer (1998). Intro: “Leaf Fall” from Voices (1986).

Here’s the live acoustic solo performance we talk about. Here’s one from 2008. The latter performance refers to a lengthy interview with Mark Powell about her career, which starts here.

Watch one of the BBC videos made of her ’80s music: a vocal version she created of Pachelbel’s Canon, Awaken/Larkrise, and Tides. Hear all of “Leaf Fall.” 

Hear the Steve Howe Album song she sang in 1979, “Look Over Your Shoulder.” Watch her Yes tribute band Fragile playing live. Listen to the latest album of original music, Beyond, by Fragile. Here’s Claire in 2009 singing the song she co-wrote for Wishbone Ash, “Living Proof” (and here’s the studio version).

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