Fly Free Forever: In Loving Memory of Clark Jackson


The Chattanooga music scene suffered a great loss on the morning Thursday, August 6th with the passing of Clark Jackson. He was the founding member and guitarist of Soul Mechanic. You can read his obituary here. Thursday after work I was scrolling through Facebook and saw where a page had posted a picture of the band, Soul Mechanic and I read the first few words of the caption something to the effect of, we are sadden... and my first thought was why in the world would they break up, they're doing so well, aren't they on tour. I read the rest of the caption, again, again, and again. Then I went to Clark's Facebook page and was heartbroken when I realized it was real.

My mind replayed my memories of Clark Jackson. I remember the first time we met. He came up to me during 3 Sisters or maybe Southern Brewer's (I don't know, something at Ross' Landing). He said he had seen me at a lot of Soul Mechanic's shows, introduced himself and thanked me for supporting the band.

At the inaugural Fly Free Fest, my new friends from South Carolina and I were trying to figure out what to see next, so I suggested going to Soul Mechanic's set. My friend, Dalton LOVED their music and I bragged about how they're from my hometown and I get to see them all the time. Clark was a huge supporter of Fly Free. I remember seeing Soul Mechanic open for G Love at Track 29 and the band gave a shout out to the festival and Clark was sporting the red Fly Free shirt that he wore while playing many shows.

When Clark wasn't playing music, he was out enjoying and supporting it. I ran into him at concerts all the time and he always greeted me like a long time friend. The last time I saw him was at SoundCorps' Musicians' Forum, SpeakUp. We chit chatted about our excitement for the future of Chattanooga's music scene and his band's tour.

I think most of us in Chattanooga's music scene have fond of memories of Clark we can look back on. He had a great smile, was very out-going and made friends with everyone he met. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, bandmates and fans.

Join us at Rhythm & Brews on August 22nd to celebrate the life of a beautiful soul.

Watch WRCB News Channel 3's interview with Soul Mechanic about Clark Jackson's love of life and music here.