"Liverpool singer Jim Clarke has been crowned Britains King of Country Music after scooping the £1000 top prize in the UK's first ever Country and Western talent contest held in Blackpool's Saloon Bar and Diner.
The mild -mannered man in black took just five number's to beat off opposition from all over Britain and earn himself a place in the Country Music record books.
His influences were plainly American superstars, Brooks and Dunn and Vince Gill - but for sheer power and vocal control he could give either of them a run for their money on songs such as Honkytonk Attitude, That Ain't No Way To Go and the slower Neon Moon.
He performs with great conviction"
Robin Duke, The Blackpool Gazette, Friday May 8 1998.
"Of those who did appear, one of the acts especially worthy of a mention JIM CLARKE, Jim Clarke travelled from Sunderland to appear at the Trade Fair. Very smartly turned out, he gave a very good performance of strong modern country, Excellent."
Tony Best; Country Music Round-up; The 6th Annual County Music Trade Fair, Monday August 31st 1998
"The Showcase act was Jim Clarke from Peterlee, he was a real surprise because he has one of the finest singing voices imaginable. He has been a professional singer for some thirty years and was practically brought up on country music, but has only just got round to performing it."
Barry Thistleton-Country Music Round-up - Pontin's Country Music Festival at Hemsby; November 1998.
"Completing a run of artist at Saltburn, Jim Clarke now in his 41st year in the business refuses outright to slow down. Jim possesses a voice of undoubted star quality. The content of his act is well chosen, achieving a nicely contrasted variety in contemporary country and songs that dig slightly deeper into the musical vaults."
Keith Render, Country Music Round-up, April 2002
"Laying down the tunes at Saltburn-By-Sea's Ruby St Club, Jim Clarke engaged the audience with his powerful singing voice. His ample vocal chords heard to good effect across a stream of songs that had the dance floor bouncing like a trampoline. A performance containing that crucial "feet to the floor" ingredient that is so necessary these days."
Keith Render, Country Music Round-up, June 2004
"At Saltburn-By-Sea's Ruby St Social Club, I popped in to sample the vocal talents of Jim Clarke, who has thrown together a bunch of hit Western dance numbers with a collection of near misses. The guy excels on Brooks and Dunn, could hardly be distinguished from the real thing."
Keith Render, Country Music Round-up, April 2003
"Leading the proceedings at one of my favourite watering holes, Saltburn-By-Sea's Ruby St Club. A bouncy slice of contemporary country came our way, courtesy of Jim Clarke, who's star as risen steadily over the last couple of years. Most of the numbers have an infectious dancing rhythm, but there are contrast too. An immensley accessible collection of tuneful songs topped by JCs stunning vocals which command attention and makes them all the more distinctive and memorable. With a nod to the current American country scene, his lively and energetic sounds are bound to prove popular around the Western dance floors in the coming months."
Keith Render, Country Music Round-up, October 2003
"A singer par excellence with possibly the most distinctive voice North East country music circles and tremendous presence, Jim Clarke recently played Saltburn-By-Sea's Ruby St Social Club, where he wooed the assembled with the stunning power of his voice, the guy definately has one heck of a voice. Shame finances don't justify top class musso's support behind Jim. Dream on baby, dream on."
Keith Render, Country Music Round-up, September 2002
"Also on duty at Saltburn. Self-contained soloist, Jim Clarke has one of the most distinctive voice's around the N/E. His show is a mish mash of melodies, ballads and infectious country music with a dancey beat. Here he lends his unique sound to some well known songs from across the ages, songs that are conveyed with enthusiasm and gusto. A whole range of numbers are given the JC touch with some cracking results. The persistently pouring down conditions affected the head count through the door as this genial guy mixed the old and new - the pace and tempo's, whilst also introducing new works into his programme. The poor soul was a bit under the weather on the night, but the bills have to be paid, ain't they Dot"
Keith Render, Country Music Round-up, March 2006.