Happy new year, ACE fans!  As we begin the new year, I want to first look back at the momentous year of 2017.

One of the biggest highlights of 2017 for us was playing for hundreds of progressive rock fans at RosFest 2017 in May.  It was truly an honor to perform alongside major players like Moon Safari, The Neal Morse Band, and Anglagard, as well as meet and hang out with so many of our awesome fans.

In addition to RosFest, 2017 was the year that we debuted some brand new songs.  “Last Crash” and “Castle in the Sky” are available in live video on our music and videos pages, so check them out!

But, the biggest highlight of our 2017 was successfully crowdfunding our third album, “If All Goes Wrong,” and recording it at Antimatter Studios in Austin.

So what’s happening for ACE in 2018?  We’re currently finishing the mixing, mastering, and artwork for the album.  If all goes right (pun intended!), we’ll be sending the album to CD manufacturing in late January and sending out the album to our crowdfunding patrons in late February.  We’ll be taking pre-orders for the album in March and have tentatively scheduled the official release for mid to late April along with an album release show.

Speaking of shows – we’ve got some more big prog shows planned in 2018 to coincide with the release for “If All Goes Wrong.”  If you’d like to be the first to hear about them, join our mailing list.

I want to thank all of you for making 2017 the biggest year yet in Aaron Clift Experiment history!  We can’t wait to share our new music with you this year.  Keep on rocking, and we’ll see you in 2018!


Our profile series on the guitarists who will be recording on “If All Goes Wrong” continues with Van Wilks.

Born in Galveston, TX, Van Wilks began playing guitar at a young age as a youthful refuge while his family constantly moved around Texas. Influenced heavily by the British Invasion, Wilks began to hone in on his sound early on. He moved to Austin in the early 70’s, a time when guitar was defined by volume and power. Combining previous influences and his own style, Wilks brought his guitar muscle and class to the people of Austin through his popular band, Fools. Wilks’ distinct and unique ability caught the attention of many notable industry names, including ZZ Top manager, Bill Ham. In 1979, he signed with Mercury records and released his first record, “Bombay Tears,” in 1980.

Since his first release, Van Wilks has built an illustrious career that includes six solo albums, one live album, and multiple globe-spanning tours with acts such as ZZ Top, Heart, Van Halen, Journey, Aerosmith, and countless other. His career has led him on a scorched earth path from Texas to Moscow, the Virgin Islands to India, and everywhere in between. Along with that, Van Wilks was featured on ZZ Top’s Live at Montreux Jazz Festival DVD.

Throughout the years, Wilks has acquired an impressive trophy collection, winning multiple Austin Music Awards, being voted best electric and acoustic guitarist in the Austin Chronicle Readers Poll, and being inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame. In addition to that, Wilks guitar prowess has been featured on albums such as the Geezinslaw Brothers’ The Eclectic Horseman (w/ Willie Nelson), The Texas Christmas Collection (Duet w/ Eric Johnson), Texas Guitarslingers Volume I, Double Trouble’s Been A Long Time, and KLBJ-FM’s Local Licks.

Aaron and Devin were recently interviewed by Emma Roebuck on Progzilla Radio.  In the interview, Aaron and Devin discussed the upcoming album, “If All Goes Wrong,” and the Indiegogo campaign to fund it.  Check out the recording of the interview below:

  1. Aaron and Devin interview on Progzilla Radio - 09/19/17 16:08


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Our profile series on the guitarists who will be recording on “If All Goes Wrong” continues with Dave Sebree.

In a career spanning 35 years, guitarist, songwriter and producer, Dave Sebree, has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Caribbean. His former band, Native Sun, was awarded Best Jazz Band by the Austin Chronicle for an unprecedented four consecutive years, and his recent self-titled release with his Austin supergroup, Big Cat, was met with rave reviews.

As a guitarist and producer, Dave has worked with such stylistically diverse artists as Eric Johnson, Double Trouble, Christopher Cross, Martha Reeves, Patrice Pike and Beto and the Fairlanes to name a few. As the founder of The Austin School of Music, Dave has made a major contribution in helping generations of younger Austinites find their own musical talents.

Aaron was recently interviewed by Jorge Rittatore on This Strange Show.  In the interview, Aaron discussed the upcoming album, “If All Goes Wrong,” and the Indiegogo campaign to fund it.  Check out the recording of the interview below:

  1. Aaron interview on This Strange Show - 10/06/17 12:13


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Our profile series on the guitarists who will be recording on “If All Goes Wrong” continues with Arielle.

Arielle is considered a music industry triple threat because she could enjoy an impressive career solely as a singer, songwriter or guitar player, but she has combined all three of those gifts to create a unique artistry that defies genres and borders.

She holds an associate’s degree from the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles and studied in London’s Institute of Contemporary Music Performance. Queen’s Brian May created a guitar role specifically for her in the West End musical, “We Will Rock You.”  She has worked with musicians such as Nuno Bettencourt, Michael Angelo Batio, Uli Jon Roth of Scorpions, and Brian May, the lead guitarist of Queen.

In 2011, she was a guitarist for Cee Lo Green at Coachella, after which she was signed to Open E Entertainment. That same year, she was featured on the cover of Guitar Player Magazine’s online magazine, Guts & Glitter.  In 2013, she teamed up with Red Decibel Music Group (Adam Watts & Gannin Arnold) to produce her EP, “California.” The title became one of her most notable and played songs, and the video of the song ranked #3 on CMT Country Pure Charts.  She also opened for Heart, Joan Jett, and Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills & Nash at Kiss the Sky in 2014, which was a concert raising awareness for captive whales and dolphins.  She has also been featured on the TV Show Nashville 3 times, as well as being handpicked by Vince Gill to play with him onstage in September, 2016.

Today, Arielle resides in Austin and is a member of Eric Johnson’s band.  She also designs guitars, and has more recently set up her own recording studio, where she records and releases material independently.  When asked about her role on The Aaron Clift Experiment’s upcoming album, “If All Goes Wrong,” Arielle said: “Anyone who loves Queen and progressive rock is awesome in my book.  I’m honored to be a part of ACE’s music.  It’s right up my alley!”

Follow Arielle on her web site: www.imarielle.com


Our profile series on the guitarists who will be recording on “If All Goes Wrong” continues with Kevin Chin.

Kevin Chin is an award-winning audio, music, and media producer and multi-instrumentalist from Chicago.  He now resides in Austin and serves on the Board of Directors for MediaTech Ventures, where he is also the Chief Production Officer.

He has been playing guitar for well over 20 years and has since played lead guitar in front of a 50 piece symphonic wind ensemble, toured through villas in Italy with a Jazz Big Band, headlined many major venues in Chicago with his original and cover bands, and finally won several outstanding soloist awards while performing at the prestigious North Texas University Jazz Festival.

As the mixing engineer for The Aaron Clift Experiment’s RosFest 2017 live EP and keyboard consultant for Aaron, Kevin has been a key player in shaping the band’s sound.  Kevin recently stated: “I really enjoyed working with The Aaron Experiment on their RosFest EP.  They’ve written some killer songs, and I can’t wait to be playing guitar on their new album!”

This week, we’re shining the spotlight on the guitarists who will be joining The Aaron Clift Experiment in the studio to make “If All Goes Wrong” our best album yet.  We start our profile series with Dave North.

Dave North is one of the top up-and-coming young guitarists in Austin, Texas.  Beginning his guitar playing at age 5, Dave has studied with some of the most prestigious guitarists in the Austin music scene, including: Derek Halfmann, Dave Sebree, and Van Wilks.  He also cites his brother, Aaron Clift Experiment bassist, Devin North, as one of the chief influences on his musical development.

Taking a versatile approach to the instrument, Dave has played guitar in a wide variety of genres – ranging from the “trash metal” sound of Retribution, to the hard-rocking blues of Gypsy, to the experimental psychedelic fuzz of his current band, The Cuckoos.  In the summer of 2017, Dave embarked on a month-long tour with The Cuckoos that included stops in New York City and all over the U.K.  He also recently secured an endorsement deal with Ernie Ball strings.

In November 2017, Dave will one of the featured guitarists recording on “If All Goes Wrong,” the third album of Austin-based progressive rock group, The Aaron Clift Experiment.  When asked what he’s looking forward to the most in recording with the band, he said: “I’m pumped to be pushing the boundaries of my guitar playing – whether it be adding weird signature and melodic changes or new experiments in sound.  The Aaron Clift Experiment writes great music, and I’m exciting to be working with this talented group of musicians.”