I just listened to the Jay Clark Band's new single, The River (featuring Adam Cunningham) from their new CD Cocked & Loaded which I assume is a play on words from the expression "locked and loaded" and not some sort of gay slang (although it might be). The River is more of a moody ballad with an acoustic guitars intro before the heavy Seventies style electrics kick in which is how the rest of the CD rocks. Overall C&L is a roadhouse rocker in the style of Southern rockers such as 38 Special (or for you kids: The Black Crowes or Kid Rock) with the clear but heavy guitars playing tightly in sync and the growly macho vocals you've come to expect from this genre. This sounds like the kind of band that would make you turn off the TV, put away your Miller High Life or Ham's and head down to the local bar to actually pay for a beer because you want to hear these guys, live.
And now, like so many of the other artists I hear these days, comes the bad news; The Jay Clark Band isn't really a band at all and you can't go hear them play. You see, Jay made a bet with his two brothers, after some drinking which is how most bets come into being, that during the next year they would each pursue their dream. I don't know how old the Clark brothers are but young guys usually don't make these kind of bets. It's only after a few years have slipped away that you start to feel you need to pursue that dream NOW, or you never will, and a bet is as good an incentive as any.
Interestingly, within a month his youngest brother quit his job, made a short film, and started working in Hollywood.This inspired Jay, who probably forgot all about the bet once he sobered up, to start writing songs. He made a few videos he then uploaded to Facebook and got enough positive feedback to continue to produce a five song EP called Never Too Late. Uploading your work to Facebook is a much better idea than uploading to Youtube as the people who will be seeing your videos are your Facebook "friends" who will be, or should be, supportive. The public at large and the trolls who will leave comments on Youtube love to stomp dreams into the ground. It gives them an actual visceral thrill.
At first he tried to get a local band together to play his new material. I don't know what happened but I know how hard it is to get an original band together these days. Most guys who want to play for the fun of playing don't want to work at learning all new material when they can just go out and play the same oldies they've been playing forever. The "older" musicians also have given up the dream of "making it" and are just happy to play when they can so Jay took the Producer route and went to Nashville and hired the best session musicians in town to record his demos. That's how he recorded Never Too Late.
Going to Nashville showed a lot of determination since Jay's from Cincinnati, Ohio, not exactly a hotbed for Southern Rock. Down there he put together a lineup of experienced session players including Tommy Harden on drums, Eli Beaird and Mike Brignardello playing bass, Jeff King on the electric guitars and John Willis and Larry Beaird on the acoustic guitars, Steve Nathan on piano, vocals by Adam Cunningham and Tania Hancheroff with engineering by Jim DeBlanc at Beaird Music Studio and mastering at Yesmasterstudios in Nashville.
Jay eventually returned to record five more songs at Beaird Music Studio in early 2017, added them to his rerecorded demos, mixed and mastered them and now is releasing them as his debut 10 song LP, Cocked & Loaded.
He is now working on getting a touring band together to support the new LP and plans to play small venues and festivals in summer and fall 2017. Contact him HERE if you want to go on the road.
Just a personal suggestion; if I was managing the Jay Clark Band I would send the song Won't Be Pushed Around as a single to every club, bar, roadhouse and honky tonk in the South that had a jukebox (first I'd research and see what format jukeboxes take these days, 45s? MP3s?) since that tune has a potential to become a theme song for rowdy bar patrons the way Steppenwolf's hit Born To Be Wild did for bikers. But that's just me.