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February 7, 2011

Building a career

Former Logansport man part of Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown tour.

When Logansport native Dale Clear began his musical career, he never thought he would have the opportunity to play the Grand Ole Opry.

He also never thought he would have the opportunity to go on the same tour as Willie Nelson.

The 1992 Logansport High School graduate, however, will be touring with Craig Campbell on the Willie Nelson Country Throwdown tour, which kicks off on May 27 in Philadelphia.

“Craig and I had a conversation and we never dreamt the first year out from a record deal we would be touring with the legendary Willie Nelson,” he said. “It’s surreal that we will be in his company.”

Clear works as Campbell’s lead touring guitarist and tour manager.

His tour manager duties include making travel arrangements, seeing that the band and crew are where they need to be, securing tour buses and making sure the production manager has equipment lined up.

“The tour manager oversees all aspects of travel,” he explained.

Clear first became interested in playing music at about 6 years old.

His father, Jim, played in weekend bands and would hold rehearsals at the family home.

“I was infatuated with it,” he recalled. “I wouldn’t leave the room when they were there even at 6 or 7 years old.”

Eventually, Jim decided to let his son play drums, purchasing a drum set for Dale when he was 8 years old. Growing bored with the drums, the boy decided he wanted to learn guitar when he was 11.

“As soon as I could fit my hand around it,” he added.

His very first guitar was a custom-made Les Paul, purchased by his dad.

He continued playing guitar in middle and high school, playing in talent shows, the 4-H fair, high school dances and the Fourth of July.

Some of those he played with still live in Logansport. Dale credits those friends with helping him get where he is today.

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