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With a sound reminiscent of the golden era of Texas honky tonk, country singer-songwriter Clay Harrell has been entertaining crowds since 2003.
“We like to keep ‘em dancing.” Says the East Texas native. “As long as the dance floor is moving, we know we’re doing our job.” With a combination of his original songs and hand picked covers, Clay and his band do just that. Born in Beaumont, Clay began playing guitar at the age of twelve and was performing with bands by the age of fifteen after moving to Huntsville, Texas.
1999 saw a move to Austin and a change in focus. “After moving to Austin, I got real serious about songwriting. I came here a guitar player, but soon realized there were a million guys out here a lot better than I was, so I really started on trying to write good songs. You can have the best musicians playing on a tune, but it doesn’t mean much if you don’t have a good song.”
After a few years of playing and developing his material, Clay released his first album Please Come Home in 2009. 2012 saw the release of the If Memory Serves Me Right EP, and more work on his next full-length album with more original songwriting and classic covers. “I tried to pick songs that would give the listener a good idea of what our live shows were like. We adapt to the crowd and pay attention to the songs that get the most response. I just try to read the audience and go from there.”
So be sure to catch a show sometime. Backed by a band consisting of some of the best musicians from Central Texas, you will see that Clay Harrell is following in the proud tradition of his influences: Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, and George Jones.