Years later, Clay has finally realized his dream with a stunning collection of original songs that showcases his ability as a vocal stylist and storyteller. Clay melds country flavor, rock edge and pop melody in his Lazy River Records debut CD entitled Rewriting History. It is a delicious gumbo of 13 self-penned tunes and a Doors cover that must be heard to be believed.
Back to the start . . . Clay was born in France, the only child in a military family that roved from place to place, base to base before finally settling in Texas. With Waylon n' Willie hitting their stride and Stevie Ray coming on strong, Texas was a fertile place for Clay's imagination. He furthered his musical education with both classical vocal and guitar instruction, began writing his own songs, and upon graduation from college headed west for the City of Angels.
He quickly fell into a band, playing the Roxy, Troubadour and the rest of the circuit before eventually landing a development deal with a major label. The dream seemed tantalizingly close at this point but the album never materialized, the band dissolved and Clay decided to venture out on his own as a solo artist. This period of his life tested his determination as he honed his vocal chops and songwriting skills in a closet sized apartment furnished resplendently with hot plate and mattress.
The L.A. Country scene being relatively small, Clay was fortunate to meet the acquaintance of one Will Ray, picker extraordinaire of the Hellecasters and fixture on the L.A. scene. "This was my first experience recording with an actual producer and I learned a lot about my own voice in his vocal booth" says Clay. The result of this pairing was a 7 song EP called Life of the Party. Clay's emerging style can be heard in the acoustic and caustic "Science and Art." I felt like this was the first successful marriage of my voice and my writing," continues Clay.
In the mid-90s, Clay tested the waters, EP in hand, at the famous South X Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas. Further promotion led him to Atlanta and a potential record company spin-off of the Country Star restaurant chain. Once again, however, fate took another twisting turn with the chain's bankruptcy and the projected label's demise. Undaunted, and back in L.A., Clay kept at it, writing material and recording more with Will Ray. He also began to make frequent trips to Nashville where a chance connection in Music City led him to celebrated engineer, Ron "Snake" Reynolds (Shania, Toby, Wynona, George Jones). The sessions with Reynolds became Rewriting History.
In the title track, a collaboration between Clay and Snake, a little whiskey and a lot of time does fuzzy things to romantic memories. The centerpiece song "Too Far from Heaven" is a folky, Zeppelinesque showcase of Clay's soaring vocal range and passionate delivery. In the bluesy romp "Good Ol' Boy," the big city leaves the small town boy with an "ashtray heart and a shot glass soul." Elsewhere on the album, Clay moves from the brooding (and now electric) "Science and Art," to the whimsical "If Your Heart Ain't Broke (Don't Fix It). "I tried to look at love from different angles . . . cynical to humorous; tragic to absurd," explains Clay.
Perhaps the most poignant look at this complicated emotion is "Your Love I Can't Replace," inspired by the resolve of Clay's own parents who lost their Texas home and all their possessions in a severe flood. When Clay played a flood victim's benefit recently, local stations added the song to their rotations, moved by the song's soft spoken simple power. "Snake's skillful production, the interpretive gifts of the players, and feeling myself come into my own made for an experience I'll never forget" says Clay. With an original voice, his own style and some great songs, Clay DuBose is writing his own history.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Good Ol' Boy
2. This Ain't Funny Anymore
3. Rewriting History
4. Living Like a King
5. If Your Heart Ain't Broke
6. Science and Heart
7. Too Far from Heaven
8. All By My Lonesome
9. No More Goodbyes
10. It Don't Get Any Better Than That
11. Love Me Two Times
12. Your Love I Can't Replace
13. The Murder of My Heart
14. Baby Blues