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NEWS

New Limited Edition VInyl

Ed Bumgardner Review of New LP

May 22, 2019
 

"Clay Howard has dabbled in various musical forms to grand results over his decades-long career in indie music.

The unifying factor in all his musical endeavors is his masterful ability to craft great songs that are short, generally sweet and always hyper-melodic. 

If it is written by Howard, it’s a sure bet that it’s a “don’t bore us get to the chorus” gem of a song. 

Howard’s new album, “Doesn’t Know Who You Are Either” - the title is a clever answer to his previous album “Who The Hell Is Clay Howard” - is by some measure his strongest and most alluring work to date. 

It’s an old-school rock album, free of clutter and cliche, that proudly flaunts touchstones without stooping to overt imitation. 

It’s easy to hear echoes of early Aerosmith or Sammy Hagar-era Montrose in the catchy “Kicking The Stars,” which cleverly runs through a checklist of arena-rock guitar fills that should make any fan smile.

“Undone,” “Running Back Again” and “Getting Closer (Won’t Be Long)” are the stuff of teen-age crushes, the sort of undeniable big-hook, radio-ready summer songs that were once the tradecraft of Rick Springfield, Eric Carmen or John Waite.

“Travis and Rachel” pays impeccably clever power-pop homage to Cheap Trick, Howard’s musical avatar. 

And the epic arena-ready stunner “Thinking About Love” manages to meld an opening that coyly flirts with that of The Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me” to a tune that welds a heavy verse-and-chorus structure worthy of early Van Halen to a chugging rough-glam bridge that winks at Freddie Mercury.

It’s the longest song on the album and it zooms by so quick that the listener instantly wants to hear it again … and again … and again. 

All 10 tracks are produced and arranged by Brynn Arens (from the band Flipp). The arrangements are clever and concise; the performances (all by Arens and Howard) tower as lean models of rock efficiency. 

The lack of clutter accentuates the power of the songs and performances even as it puts a bright spotlight on Howard’s incredible voice and his unfailing ability to craft hooks that dig in deep and stay put.

The resulting album conjures the past to provide for a fun-filled present - and it rocks with joyous gusto.

Wanting anything more would be just wrong, if not impossible. "

Ed Bumgardner, Award-winning Music Journalist
Former Music editor Winston-Salem Journal, former contributor- Rolling Stone

New Limited Edition Signature Model Guitar

Waterstone Musical Instruments has just announced the release of the limited edition Clay Howard Signature Model 6 string guitar.

for more info, contact: modguitars@gmail.com

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