“The passion and electricity sorely missing in the music of many of Clay Melton’s peers is abundant in the fantastic performance of ‘Timing’s Everything,’ a new single on the upcoming 2017 album release. It’s another reason why Clay is certain to be recognized as one of this generation’s guitar heroes.” Ritchie Adams, Editor in Chief, Red Hot Rock Magazine.
When does inspiration find any of us? For Clay Melton, it was at the tender age of eleven when he listened to Jimi Hendrix playing ‘All Along the Watchtower’ while riding in the car with his father. Clay was mesmerized by Jimi’s sound and style. So he asked his parents for a guitar, and only time would tell if music would become central to this young man’s life. Soon Clay was strapping his electric guitar and amp on his bicycle and peddling his way through the neighborhood to a family garage where he practiced with his good friend, Kyle Tomchesson. His ability with the guitar was growing faster than anyone could imagine, and after a year and a half of lessons, his teacher admitted that he couldn’t take Clay any further. Since then, Clay has taught himself, and like Hendrix and SRV, he plays by ear. By the age of thirteen, Clay was playing live in clubs all around Texas. At fifteen years old, his stage experiences as a guitarist and songwriter began to grow: The Dallas International Guitar Festival proclaimed, “Clay Melton one of the TOP 10 Guitar Players in Texas under 20 years old!” The emotional intensity of his live performances at such a young age was incredible to say the least.
In October 2016, at 22 years old, Clay approached the world famous SugarHill Recording Studio where such greats as Beyonce’ and the Rolling Stones have recorded. He met with owner, Dan Workman, long-time mentor and fellow member of The Recording Academy (the Grammy’s). Dan assembled the talented team of Steve Christensen (Grammy-winning engineer), and Josh Applebee (amazing drum tech). Planning began for Burn The Ships, the first full-length album from Clay Melton Band, releasing in June 2017. Dan remarks, “I’ve had the privilege of watching Clay evolve from a gifted intuitive guitarist to a complete performer and songwriter. He has managed the hardest of tasks: crafting a musical identity that lives up to the promise of a precocious talent.” Clay bares his soul through his original music. His songs are authentic to the core, and they expose his very intimate and personal vulnerabilities. Clay is not an imitation – he is unique and his music is crossing genre barriers for good reason. At the 2016 SXSW event in Austin, Texas, Paul Heath, CEO of Radio X Brussels, met with Clay in a busy, bustling hotel lobby and the following interview took place. It was not a rehearsed monologue but rather an all-telling impromptu conversation that reveals Clay in his own words. A very interesting self portrait: