Somewhere there’s some college kid at a bar listening to a band when he should be home studying or getting a head start on that term paper. That kid is probably a lot like Clay Thrash was, beginning a long journey that calls him to the point of obsession despite his family’s best efforts to see him into a ‘respectable profession’. “I remember going to every show I could, Reckless Kelly on Tuesday, Cooder Graw on Thursday, Wade Bowen on Friday and Cory Morrow on Saturday would be a hell of a week and other wise unproductive.” Clay explains. “That was how it all started, some freshman kid sneaking into bars soaking up a different kind of knowledge”, he says with a laugh.
He spent as much time as he could soaking up that knowledge listening to Country greats like George Strait and Merle Haggard to Americana singer/ songwriters like Ryan Adams and Hayes Carll. “I loved anything that was good” joked Clay “I didn’t limit myself to any one kind of music and I still don’t. I like to take the best of everything and make it my own.”
Before long Clay was setting up speakers in the corner of some smoky dive tuning up his guitar and shaking off nerves, and he hasn’t turned back since. He’s spent the last eight years or so perfecting his own unique blend of country music and rock and roll with a voice that is a pleasing and unmistakable blend of Radney Foster and Lyle Lovett with Tom Petty Drive. Countless shows and songs have lead him to where he is now, on the brink of releasing his debut self titled album.
“This record is everything I ever hoped it would be” Clay explains “This album has a unique sound and it’s very accessible at the same time. It’s very high energy, even the slower ballads have big exciting parts. There’s not any down points in this album. I think a lot of artists are afraid to put out all the best songs they have at one time. That’s what I strived hard to do. I wanted a record that you could listen to from cover to cover.”
With songs like Too Late Now, a high energy tune about a woman who “wouldn’t quit runnin’ around”, it’s hard not to be amped. “ The opening riff makes you want to turn it up and drive”, say’s Clay. “I wrote that song for my best friend who was going through a divorce at the time, I wanted to write something that made him feel like he could just forget her, that’s what’s so cool about music, It’s a great escape”
‘Ain’t No Law’ is one of those songs that just seems to bring in the weekend, even if it’s the middle of the week. “It just has a really cool groove to it that drives, It’s kind of like George Strait meets some funky blues” explains Clay. “It’s already a fan favorite at shows!”
‘Won’t Ever Let Go’ is Clay’s favorite song on the album. It’s an emotionally driven song about a guy keeping his promise to an old flame, saying “I won’t ever let go” even though she ultimately did. The opening line “Do you remember forever, cos not so long ago, that’s what I heard you say” lays the ground work beautifully...
“The Melody I think is what does it for me, It just so eloquently supports the lyrics” He says “It’s big and powerful even for a ballad, and the emotion of the story is really captured. I was lucky enough to get my friend Heather Little sing on that track with me and she really added some huge emotion I’m so very proud of that tune.”
Clay Thrash’s first album really doesn’t miss, every song totally holds its own. It has something for just about everyone who has lived long enough to have a good time, fall in love or get their hearts broken. When asked how he wants listeners to feel when they hear his album he said: “I hope these songs speak to people on a very personal level. When I hear something that hits me, I’ve always felt inspired to write my own song that will touch others.” Says Clay “I’ve always been envious of songs that made me say, “that guy or girl said exactly what I’m thinking! That’s probably what got me into wanting to write songs, I wanted to be able to do that on my own. There’s really no other feeling like that high you get from playing a song for someone and sharing that moment with them”