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 otherwise unproductive,” Clay explains. “That was how it all started, some freshman kid sneaking into bars, soaking up a different kind of knowledge,” he laughs.
Clay spent as much time as he could soaking up that knowledge, from 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,” Clay says. “I didn’t limit myself to any one kind of music and still don’t.” As his attention focused from one country artist to another, the influences from these experiences eventually took shape into his own style. “I like to take the best of everything and make it my own.”
Clay’s first professional gig was at a bar in San Angelo called Blaine’s. He said he never would have thought then that he would have the opportunities and support he has now. “My greatest experience so far,” Clay says, “has been getting a record deal and having a group of people that believes in me enough to help make my dreams come true.” One of those dreams came true early this September when he performed live with his band on Good Morning Texas.
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 led 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 says. “This album has a unique sound that's very accessible at the same time. It’s very high energy – even the slower ballads have big exciting parts."
It’s hard not to be amped with songs like “Too Late Now,” a high energy tune about a woman who “wouldn’t quit runnin’ around.” The opening riff makes you want to turn it up and rip out onto the open road. “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. “The groove just has a really cool feel that makes you want to move,” Clay says. “It’s kind of like George Strait meets some funky blues. It’s already a fan favorite at shows!”
Clay’s Favorite song on the album is “Won’t Ever Let Go.” 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, ’cause not so long ago that’s what I heard you say,” lays the groundwork beautifully. “The Melody I think is what does it for me,” Clay says. “It just so eloquently supports the lyrics.” Clay’s friend Heather Little sings with him on this powerful ballad, capturing the emotion of the story.
With the release of Clay’s first single “My Heart,” fans will be pulled into a love story that wails about love lost, love earned, and the honesty only a heart can possess. The baritone guitar opens deep into the pulse of the snare, and the shimmer of the acoustic guitar takes you to a place of heavy longing and struggle for the truth. This song reminds us that you can’t control what captures the attention of your heart.
For just about anyone who has lived long enough to have a good time, fall in love, or get their heart broken, Clay Thrash’s first album really doesn’t miss. “I hope these songs speak to people on a very personal level,” Clay says. “When I hear something that hits me, I’ve always felt inspired to write my own song that will touch others.” It’s this connection people have with a song that motivates Clay to write and perform. “There’s really no other feeling, like that high you get from playing a song for someone and sharing that moment with them.”
The future holds great things for Clay Thrash as his songs take to the radio waves, the live show brings the wow factor, and the drive to make music as genuine as the people who love it all work to raise a new star over Texas country music.