The son of a preacher and a teacher, James Patrick Clardy started playing the guitar seriously at the early age of nine. Although known as a premiere Rock and Blues artist, Country and Gospel Music were naturally his first loves considering he was born in the small southern Tennessee town of Winchester. J.P.’s first song he ever learned was “Silent Night,” taught to him by his father, Jim Clardy- a prominent United Methodist minister in the area. After discovering J.P.’s natural talent, Jim proceeded to take J.P. around to many churches to perform hymns with himself on rhythm guitar and J.P. playing the melodies. Soon enough J.P. was strumming and singing away at the songs of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash.
Then there was Zeppelin. After being exposed as a preteen to the Led Zeppelin II classic “Bring It On Home” by then guitar instructor Schylar Shoates, J.P. become engrossed in Rock Music- learning nearly the entire Led Zeppelin catalogue as well as many songs of classic bands and artists such as Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Yes, and Jimi Hendrix. Much of this he would learn on his used Mexican Fender Stratocaster named Cherry. It was also during this time J.P. joined the Central Middle School Jazz Band of Murfreesboro, Tennessee under the direction of Scott Kinney. His musical journey would only continue here as Kinney exposed him to tunes such as “All Blues” by Miles Davis, “Oye Coma Va” by Santana, and even had him sing on the Swing standard “Jump, Jive an’ Wail.” At this point J.P. had already decided to pursue music for the rest of his life.
Soon after being encouraged by National Guitar Workshop teacher Scott A. Smith to start his own band, J.P. formed the group Sugar Vibe during his high school years with friends Matt Suitt on bass and Kevin Krapf on drums. J.P. then began to write and record his own music on his beloved Boss Br-1600 digital recording studio as well as tour locally with Sugar Vibe. Other artistic ventures included playing trumpet and French horn in middle and high school bands, singing in multiple choirs (inspired by his mother Trish Clardy who is a Southern Gospel singer), and participating in musical theatre- locking up lead roles as both Charlie Brown and Huckleberry Finn. The local print and television media even gave J.P. attention when he performed the National Anthem on his red Stratocaster at the opening Football game his senior year of high school.
J.P. went on to graduate with honors from the prestigious Belmont University School of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree in guitar performance May of 2012. Important ventures at Belmont included singing in Carmina Burana with The Nashville Orchestra and Ballet at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, performing classical guitar on NPR radio, and again performing classical guitar to a sold out Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Shortly after graduating Belmont, J.P. had a short stint performing his original music under the stage name Hippitrain and touring locally. After abandoning the Hippitrain project, J.P. decided to start delivering pizza in order to support his music. This turned out to be a very prosperous time in which he had stints performing with many groups including progressive rockers Montezuma Fire Machine, Country artist Kate McRae, Rock N’ Rollers Andy Dozier and Heavy Soul, and even laying down lead guitar at the historic Castle Recording Studios on Ras Adam & The Dubraelites’ debut album Isaiah’s Highway.
Now, after nearly three years of performing with B.B. King’s Allstars on Holland America Line, J.P. is hard at work promoting his full-length debut album Snapshot of My Soul released June 30th, 2017. Snapshot of My Soul was recorded and co-produced by J.P. himself along with close friend and industry veteran Cassie Bonner while traveling all over the world performing in the B.B. King’s Blues Club at Sea. Snapshot of My Soul chronicles over ten years worth of pain, suffering, adventures, reflection, love and lost love, plus some social and philosophical statements.