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Carl Cleves

Carl Cleves - Singer, Songwriter

Flemish-born, Carl Cleves, troubadour/poet, musicologist and world traveller, is the author of ‘Tarab: Travels with My Guitar’, an epic tale of high adventure and the search for musical ecstasy (TransitLounge.com.au) as a relief worker in India, antelope trapper in Uganda, recording star in Brazil and single parent.

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’.

’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, 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.

‘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




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


Soundtracks of my life

I am thrilled to announce that Soundtracks of my life, the third book in the Tarab trilogy will be published by IngramSpark on November 25, 2022.

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.

You start dying slowly if you do not travel
If you do not read
If you do not listen to the sounds of life
You start dying slowly if you avoid to feel passion
And their turbulent emotions
Those which make your eyes glisten
And your heart beat fast (Pablo Neruda)

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