Magnificent Bastards of Reed City make American music for everyone

REED CITY – Residents of Reed City may not know of a touring rock band formed in their backyard.

Ernie Clark and the Magnificent Bastards formed in 2017, and since then the band has played all over Michigan, Chicago and even Clark’s hometown of London, Kentucky.

The group was formed by frontman Ernie Clark, who has lived in Reed City for 15 years.

It all started with an ad on Craigslist.

“Getting a band together with guys I didn’t know, I’ve been doing that ever since,” Clark said.

The Magnificent Bastards play Americana, country-derived rock music, punk, gospel, surf rock, and more. but it’s all rooted in alternative country or original American rock.

“We’re just a bunch of guys who like to go out on the weekends and make music. We’re having a great time,” Clark said.

Clark plays rhythm guitar and sings, and was responsible for the bones of most of their original songs. He would come up with basic lyrics, melody and chord structure, and bring it to the band and they would riff on it to create their songs.

Recently the band went through some personnel changes, with the drummer quitting to focus on health and the lead guitarist moving to a farm to live a simpler life.

“So my bassist and I sat down and thought together, and we said, ‘We’re not done,'” Clark said.

The band now has Jason Jankowski on guitar, a graduate of Reed City High School and brother of the lead singer of The One Divided, another local band.

“Jason stepped in and did, no pun intended, a magnificent job with it. We were all friends already, he knew the material, he knew the songs, and it was a really easy transition. His style is different from our former guitarist,” Clark said.

Touring life is a dream come true for Clark and the rest of the Magnificent Bastards.

“We had a blast, we loved making music together, but we loved hanging out. We’re all buddies, we’re friends,” Clark said.

The Magnificent Bastards make music for everyone.

“We like to say that we make music for the poor bastards who work in a factory, we make music for these bada – women who drive trucks on the road, who have left their homes, their families, the whole week, just to bring you the goods you need. We make music for the guy who breaks his a– all week,” Clark said.

The goal of the Magnificent Bastards is for everyone who comes to the shows to have as much fun and enjoyment as the band members themselves, even if it is the audience who laughs at Clark who makes a fool of himself on stage.

“Whether you’re a punk rocker, a biker or a hippie, it doesn’t matter to us. Everyone is safe with the Magnificent Bastards, and we want you to have a good time,” Clark said. .

In the meantime, the band will play at Reed City Brewing Company’s Oktobeerfest. The band will play Turnstiles Bar in Grand Rapids on Saturday, September 17 and Tip Top Deluxe on September 30.

The band is getting back into the groove of writing originals with the new lineup and working on an album for 2023, which is shaping up to be a very busy year for the band.

“We’re very excited,” Clark said.

The band’s music is available wherever music can be streamed, and they have a Facebook page, They also recently released a music video for their song, The Other Way, which was shot on Travelers in LeRoy and River Junction by students from Ferris’ Media Communication Association.

Corina C. Butler