“Long Way From Home” – JD Clayton (2023) [english]

You never know where the streets of Trex Roads may intersect with new artists to meet and introduce you to.

This time the credit is to be attributed to the world of American Festivals that with Spring begin their activity. There are so many of them and all with incredible line-ups and in a dream location. Just reading the names of the artists present in these Festivals, maybe I discover artists of which, alas, I ignored the existence, but thanks to Spotify I can then deepen.

This is what happened with JD Clayton who will be the protagonist of the “Born & Raised” Festival in Pryor, Oklahoma, to be held at the end of Summer 2023.

JD comes from Fort Smith, Arkansas and from a young age he understood that music would be his life. First singing in the church, then high school, and then college. During his university years he began to cultivate the idea of becoming a professional musician, founded his first band and decided that he wanted to learn more about the process of writing and music production.

His weekends were not with friends from the University of Arkansas, but he took weapons and luggage and went regularly to the city where all the musical dreams of young Americans trying to come to life: Nashville.

The decisive encounter was with the music producer Thomas Dulin with whom he recorded his musical debut in 2018 with the EP Smoke Out the Fire.

Things were starting to turn and probably Clayton began to dream of being able to retrace the paths beaten by his musical idols: Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd on all.

One of his tracks Brown Haired Blu Eye Baby reached 2 million streams on Spotify, not a joke. But fate had a different approach to the music world in store, and the arrival of 2020 and its troubled world was a pretty clear signal.

Clayton found himself working in a landscape to make ends meet, while he had never abandoned his dream of returning to the world of music. Many upheavals, as well as the arrival of his first son, however, have led JD Clayton to study more the way to produce and write the idols mentioned above, while refining his approach to music.

So here we are to this real debut, Long Way From Home, recorded in the recording studios of the producer who had opened the doors of business music, Dulin, Dulin’s Studio Planetario.

Together with him, Clayton tried to capture the essence of everything he had learned from listening to the “greats”, that way of playing in the studio as if they were live and added his innate ability to write beautiful songs and the result is really amazing!

10 songs that sound fresh and original, true stories told as we were singing them sitting on his porch under the stars of Arkansas.

Nothing impersonal search for success to please the mainstream radio of his adopted city, but only a talented young singer-songwriter who tells himself in music, passing through the musical influences that inspired him.

The acoustic intro with in the background the sounds of nature that marked him so much in his adolescence highlights his warm and intense voice, but it is from the second American Millionaire that we understand that we are in front of an unusual record.

The story is autobiographical: trying to make it in Nashville that gives opportunities and the sound is a Southern rock with an enveloping groove and soul choirs to complete the picture. The central bridge guitars do an excellent job and the solo is pure southern.

Beauty Queen is an acoustic country, it is the story of a beauty that once met risks to fix even a lover of freedom and the street. A sunny sound and the influence of the music of John Fogerty and his Creedence began to show.

The title track in the center of the album is a beautiful folk country track with the slide to embroider the sound, Clayton opens his heart and sings to his mother his insecurities, his struggles to make it and screams his optimism: He has to make it, but he misses the family hug and he just feels so far away from home. Beautiful indeed, the ability to write beautiful stories is really in the ropes of this guy.

Heartaches After Heartbreak is a Southern rock influenced by the sound that Ronnie Van Zant invented in the 70s along with his Lynyrd Skynyrd: powerful guitars and vocals, choruses and lyrics of lost loves that break the heart. Another great piece. Really great piece!

The next Cotton Candy Clouds changes course and the guitars intrude a ballad that seems to come out of a jam session with a British psychedelic rock band, a bit Swinging London. Bewildering of course, but certainly the song hits the mark, thanks to the voice of Clayton who also masters this journey on the rock banks of the Thames.

Midnight Special is a piece of traditional blues, recorded for the first time in the early ‘900 and then taken over by so many artists that you lose count in the sands of time. Clayton who listened as I told you a lot about the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival, takes their version of the piece and dips it into his musical talent and his voice seems to be born for such a piece.

He’s a damn optimistic guy and you can read it in his lyrics, there’s little country melancholy in his songs, am makes a great reference in this classic blues so damn melancholy in the lyrics, but sunny and fun sound.

The album ends with an acoustic piece with the explanatory title Sleepy Night in Nashville, perhaps the most country song of the lot, but always with the optimism that characterizes the lyrics of the good JD. Behind the clouds is always the sun.

A work that in a simple and sunny way, shows us the talent of a songwriter who can tell stories and write beautiful songs.

An artist who could have got lost after having dropped out of the train in 2020 and instead returned with greater awareness, maturity and desire to tell.

If you love American music influenced by the sun, the breeze on the face and the real stories, with many guitars and soul choirs, here is JD Clayton is the new artist you were looking for.

Long live American music festivals and their dream line-ups.

Good listening,

Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(in Ticino Notizie web site you can find original italian version of this article)

Pubblicato da Trex

Sono un blogger e scrittore appassionato di musica indipendente americana. Scrivo gialli polizieschi e ho inventato il personaggio del detective texano Cody Myers.

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