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Carl Cleves

Carl Cleves - Singer, Songwriter

Carl Cleves is a Flemish-born song troubadour, storyteller, ethnomusicologist, traveller and author of ‘Tarab: Travels with My Guitar’, a trilogy of books narrating an epic tale of high adventure and the search for musical ecstasy as a relief worker in India, antelope trapper in Uganda, hippy pioneer in Austrtalia, single parent, crooner in the South Pacific, recording star in Brazil and musicologist in Madagascar. He resides in Australia.

His 6 solo albums and 6 with The Hottentots, co-founded with Parissa Bouas, have won international praise and numerous awards, including Music OZ, NCEIA and ASA: ‘Songs both intimate and powerful’; ‘a vision whimsical and wise’; a guitar style ‘utterly captivating, pregnant with unexpected nuance’.


Soundtracks of my life

Soundtracks of my Life, the third book in the Tarab trilogy, is internationally available in print and digital format from March 1 2023. While Tarab, travels with my guitar narrated the nomadic life and Dancing with the Bones the search for roots, belonging and love, Soundtracks of my Life is the music behind it all.

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Tarab is a book to curl up with and be transported to other places and other times. The intimate tone gives the reader the feeling of listening to the melodious lilt of a magical weaver of tales. The rich prose is filled with images that will stay with you long after the last page.’ Laurel Cohn (Byron Shire Echo)

‘Dancing with the Bones
is funny, it’s moving, it’s breathtaking, it’s tender. I dare you not to love it
Jeni Caffin’  (ex-director Byron Writers Festival)

’Carl Cleves reminds his readers that true travel is about sinking deeply into cultures and allowing unique experiences to change your life’. Bruce Elder (Sydney Morning Herald)


Before twilight turns to night

Carl Cleves 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, 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.

‘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

AUD$ 25 plus $7 postage for Australian orders





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