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Carl Cleves

Carl Cleves Pozible

Carl was born in Mechelen, Belgium, but settled in Byron Bay, Australia, a hotbed of many inspiring artists, after a lifetime of travel as told in his page-turning memoir, ‘Tarab: Travels with My Guitar’ (2014 Transit Lounge) and its digital addendum ‘Book of Songs’ (2016 iBooks) an epic, mesmerizing tale of high adventure and the search for meaning of this guitar-toting troubadour in his roles as young wanderer, law student, single father, ethnomusicologist, relief worker in India and recording star in Brazil.

Carl has recorded 5 previous solo albums in Brazil and Australia. His songs and thrilling storytelling have won countless awards, including Music OZ, NCEIA and ASA, covering a broad range of styles reflecting years of treading the boards on stages around the world. He also co-founded the much-loved HOTTENTOTS with singer-songwriter and the love of his life, Parissa Bouas, recording 6 albums together, the most recent ones produced by tone wizard Gunter Pauler and released on the German audiophile label, Stockfisch Records: ‘Halos round the Moon’ (2014) and ‘Out of Australia’ (2010).

‘Carl never tries to sound like anybody else. He has managed to absorb these other influences while retaining his own muse. As a result he is an uncompromising artist with a personal vision that is both whimsical and wise and yet he is not adverse to injecting a bit of hokey fun into the proceedings.’ (Diaspora World Beat)


Before twilight turns to night

Carl Cleves, singer-songwriter, author, traveller and ethnomusicologist takes a different turn with his first solo album in 5 years: ‘Before Twilight turns to Night’.

While past albums have ventured into African, Latin, Celtic, Arabic, folk and jazz styles this time around the songs shimmer in the zing of strings, adding a distinct flavour of country and alternative folk: acoustic guitars, violin, cello, mandolin, banjo, double bass, drums, and Carl’s new love for the mouthorgan. As with much of Carl’s work there are moving melodies, thrilling musicianship, plenty of passion and poetry and constant surprise. Almost one hour long the album features nine brand new originals, two by contemporary songwriters, Julien Baker and Laura Marling, and a century-old cowboy song.

‘Before Twilight turns to Night’ was recorded, mixed and mastered by Kamal Engels in the Art of Audio studio, Mullumbimby, with a stellar cast: Thierry Fossemalle, double bass; Dave Sanders, drums; Tunji Beier, drums & tavil; Rick Fenn, guitar and vocals; Thomas Veitch, cello; Andrew Clermont, violin, mandolin and banjo; Kamal Engels, fretless bass; Leigh Carriage and Parissa Bouas, vocals.

‘What an absolute treat it is. So rich with poetry, wisdom and beauty. A timeless and classic piece of art - very refined - complexity made effortless - in the same league and world as Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Serge Gainsbourg but like all of them- truly unique. This is the real cool - the stuff the rest of us strive for - honest, sincere, laugh out loud funny, touching, heartfelt, true, wise, poetic and beautiful. - ’Andy Jans-Brown – film maker and recording artist

please contact Carl Cleves Music

CDs are $25 plus $5 postage = $30 Aud for Australian orders

International orders please add $10 AUD Postage=$35 Aud

You can order them through Paypal OR

send a cheque or money order with your return postal address to:

Carl Cleves Music CDS:

PO Box 1492 Byron Bay 2481 Australia



Before twilight turns to night (2018)

The house is empty (2012)

Tarab (2008)

All alone (2007)

Love is a Phantom (1987) vinyl LP

With Parissa Bouas on audiofile label

Stockfisch Records:

Halos round the moon (2014)

Out of Australia (2010)

With The Hottentots see www.carlandparissa.com




Carl Cleves, PO BOX 1492 Byron Bay, NSW, Australia

Find Carl at




Carl Cleves Book of Songs

In this original musical biography Carl Cleves lets 55 of his poetic song lyrics prompt a rollicking road story, a confession, a personal history, musical insight, philosophical musing, a brief essay, a spirited escapade or a parade of companions or inspirational figures.

Whether at a reburial ceremony in Madagascar, a murder in Bethlehem, on the road in the back country of Brazil, busking in Barcelona, at a press conference in Madagascar, lost in Leipzig or seeking oblivion in the Pacific islands, Book of Songs will enchant lovers of music, travel and whoever believes that dreams can be made real.

This edition is only published in a digital version since it includes over a hundred photos and drawings, while hyperlinks refer to audio files of songs and live video clips. It will go on sale on January 31, 2016, but all friends and supporters can download it for FREE before then. You will need a Mac computer or iPad. Go to iBooks: Carl Cleves ‘Book of Songs’. ‘Tarab’ is now also available in digital format.


Tarab Travels with my guitar Carl Cleves

NEW revised and expanded edition 2014

‘By any measure, Cleves deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Thesiger, Burton and Newby. He is an astute observer, a passionate participant … ’ Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald

‘An extraordinary tour of wild times and wilder places. I have laughed, gasped and loved every startling page. ’ Jeni Caffin

From the Sudan to Northern New South Wales, Tarab is an epic, mesmerising tale of high adventure and the search for meaning. Carl Cleves escapes national service in Belgium to live in South Africa at the height of the apartheid era. So begin the adventures and quests, wanderings and narrow escapes, mishaps and illuminations of a guitar-toting troubadour in his roles as young beat poet, law student, single father, relief worker in India and recording star in Brazil. Cleves’s page turning memoir is no simple music biography, but rather the travel story of an artist’s quest for tarab: a place where music and poetry bestow true bliss upon the lucky one. It’s by turns philosophical, funny, adventurous and insightful.

Fully revised and expanded, this new edition of Tarab is a must read for all lovers of travel literature. The new edition features two extra chapters and the book has increased to 400 pages It includes Cleves’ time in Sydney working at the late Petersons’ Music Shop and his early years living in Northern New South Wales at the height of the back to the land movement.

Available in all good bookshops or online in print or digital format

Transit Lounge Publishing
95 Stephen St, Yarraville, Australia 3013
tel: 03 9332 7847 Fax: 03 9689 8100
email: info@transitlounge.com.au

Read Carl's Roadstories


Haloes Round the Moon

New CD with Parissa Bouas


The follow-up CD after ‘Out of Australia’ on Stockfisch Records

To listen, please click here

"Brillante Produktion mit wunderschönen Melodien!" ***** Matthias Pack

Read the full Review here


Carl Cleves, PO BOX 1492 Byron Bay, NSW, Australia





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