Western Kentucky has always been good to me. I’ve made many friends in that area over the years. Some of which are very dear to me. *cough* Chris Bratcher *cough* One fella that I really enjoyed and I made a point to keep up with, is Bowling Green’s Clayton Crowder.
I worked a bit with Bowling Green’s legendary Sixth Floor back in the day. Wade England was a member of Sixth Floor, playing bass or guitar when needed. So once they parted ways, Wade created a new band called Undead Anna. Undead Anna featured Clayton playing rhythm guitar and providing the vocals. I really enjoyed Crowder’s stage presence and vocals in Undead Anna. So I made sure to keep my eyes and ears peeled after Undead Anna ran its course.
Crowder then joined forces with his buddies in Kiss Kiss Bang as a guitarist and he handles most of the backing vocals there, as he is still active with Kiss Kiss Bang. But much like my buddy Cameron Jayne, Clayton deserves a bigger spotlight. His voice, his abilities as a songwriter, his melodies need to be heard.
For example, last year, Crowder released an acoustic track called “The Reckoning,” I immediately fell in love. It’s like a story straight out of Red Dead Redemption and something that wouldn’t really ever fit in a Kiss Kiss Bang set as they’re a heavy Southern rock band, in the vein of Edmonton, Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry.
So now, fast forward to mid-July of this year. Clayton sent me a link to his new EP, titled ‘Bones.’ Three brand new songs recorded with a full band and those songs sparked a thought. Where have all the popular “soft rock” acts gone?
Hear me out, because when you hear this EP, I think you’ll get it and likely agree. Over the last 50 years you’ve had bands with massive success like Chicago, Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Boston, Goo Goo Dolls, Semi-Sonic, Bryan Adams, Train, Fuel, Bush, Richard Marx, Hoobastank, and even Matchbox 20. I think there is a void in music right now and Clayton Crowder has a leg up on filling that void with ‘Bones.’
Clayton Crowder’s vocal tone and cadence are instantly recognizable and very unique, which are both qualities that push many folks to great heights as an artist…but not everyone can write a great song. Crowder delivers three of the best crafted songs I’ve heard in years and I don’t think I could be any more proud of this young man.
If you can listen to “Hurricane” and not see or hear the potential, that’s unfortunate. Because that song has hit written all over it and the same could be said for “Runaway”, and “Nine Pound Hammer.”
So step outside your comfort zone and enjoy this one. I have all the confidence that you will!