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Clay Melton does some impressive covers of a few Jimi tunes including “Voodoo Chile,” “Little Wing” and of course, the song that started it all, “All Along The Watchtower,” but Clay is determined to become a lot more than just a top notch cover artist. He’s determined to make a name for himself with his original songs—following in the footsteps of one of his idols, Stevie Ray Vaughan. He’s recruited two strong players, Wes Arvin on Bass and Noah Coffelt on drums to help him make this dream a reality.

Clay Melton was born in 1994 in Lake Charles, LA, but by the age of 2 was calling Texas home. He credits his father Jack with exposing him to all kinds of great music from the Blues pioneers Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy to modern performers like John Mayer and Dave Matthews. When asked what his long term musical goals are, Clay simply says, “I want to bring The Blues Back.” And if he wasn’t so polite and soft spoken about it, you might mistake him for an arrogant child prodigy who believes he’s already got the world all figured out. Instead, what you find is a very down to earth young man who isn’t afraid to work extremely hard at his craft and make the most of the opportunities he’s been given.

What’s next for someone who is already competing against adults in The International Blues Challenge and who’s playing more live dates than many musicians twice his age?
Clay says, “Our mission is to be the best live band in the world. We don’t need flashy costumes and we don’t need crazy dance moves—for us, it’s all about the music.” There’s a refreshing simplicity to Clay’s original songs too. “I’ve Heard” is an uptempo Blues Rocker with energy to spare. The guitar work and lyrics are reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Cold Shot.” You have to wonder how someone so young can write lyrics like this:
“What you doing to me baby it should be a sin
You know it ain’t right baby and you see it too
I’ve found out your plans to make me blue (look out!)
I ain’t gonna lie baby I’m leavin you”

But that’s a story for another day! Clay swears this song is not about anyone in particular, it’s more about the human experience of love and loss in general. Clay has an emotional depth that you don’t often find in people his age. His dad Jack, who also manages the band, explains it like this. “Clay is an old soul. He has wisdom that’s well beyond his years, but he’s also easy going and fun to hang out with. He’s really talented and he works hard for it. I’m here to support him in any way I can. We’re in this for the long haul.”

With a full schedule of live dates, Clay Melton is picking up some great momentum. They plan to release their first album in the summer of 2010. When asked if he has any advice for young (and older!) musicians Clay simply says, “In life you get back what you give. It’s the same thing with music.” It will be a pleasure to hear the songs Clay has to give in the coming months and years.

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