For the first time ever, Clay Walker fans can now find his 2003 album for RCA Records, A Few Questions, on all digital platforms. By email, the country star offered some insight about that project, his deep catalog of hits, and what’s coming up next.
CMT: Why is this album, A Few Questions, special to you?
Walker: It was never released digitally and it’s always puzzled me as to why. This is one of the best albums I’ve ever recorded and I feel like it was ahead of its time.
Listening now, are there any songs on the album that you might consider “the one that got away”?
“I Can’t Forget Her” is a song that takes me to a magical place and the production is epic. I think every song on this album could have been a single on the radio.
This was your first album after Giant Records closed, outside of your Christmas album. What is that experience like as an artist with a lot of momentum to have your team essentially vanish?
It was a tough time. Giant Records was my home and the folks who worked there gave their heart and souls to make my career a success. I could have never done it without them. After it closed, it took a lot of trust to go to RCA, and unfortunately, it ended too soon.
At the time, Blake Shelton was a new artist on Giant too. Did you interact with him much back then?
Blake and I didn’t get the opportunity to spend much time together, which is not uncommon. Artists lead very single wolfpack lives in most cases, and some develop friendships. I like Blake and appreciate all he has accomplished.
One of his claims to fame is that he cut a song called “Austin,” which went to No. 1, and I actually had the chance to cut it first and passed on it. It’s the ONLY song I ever passed on that became a hit (not a bad track record).
You wrote and recorded the single “I Can’t Sleep” with Chely Wright. Did you know right away that the song sounded like a hit?
I had the song title and first verse for a few months before I introduced it to Chely. We were on my bus in Grand Junction, Colorado, with Richie McDonald from Lonestar and I played it for her. She was a great asset in completing the song and it’s the most challenging song to sing with the dynamic range.
You filmed the video for it in Cuba. What do you remember about that experience?
It is my favorite video I’ve ever done. Trey Fanjoy knocked it out of the park and Cuba is an interesting and ruggedly gorgeous place. The political constraints are hard to understand, but I can say the people who live there are some of the most diverse and most beautiful I’ve encountered.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of “This Woman and This Man” going to No. 1. The video had some cool special effects for its time. When you watch the video now, what goes through your mind?
I looked like a baby…lol. It seems like yesterday James Stroud was playing it for me on my bus as a demo just before a concert. My reaction was HOLY COW!!! It is hands down my favorite song to sing live every night.
You’ve had so many hits. Do you consider one to be your signature song? And what makes it so?
“Live Until I Die” is my autobiography. I wrote it. My life song.
Many artists from the ’90s have noticed a renewed interest in music from that era. Have you noticed it as well, on the road? And if so, why do you think it’s attracting an audience all over again?
It’s a cycle, and artists from the ’90s should appreciate it and grab the opportunity because it will pass.
Can you please share what’s coming up for you in 2020? What are you looking forward to?
I’ve recently signed with TKO Artist Management and they are moving my needle in a BIG way. They have me working with the hottest songwriters and producers and new music is around the corner. It’s so exciting. I predict the next five years to be the biggest of my career. I’m rarely wrong when it comes to business. 🙂