CD Review – Clay Hess “Rain”
By W.J. Hallock
Clay Hess – Rain
Clay Hess has a very intriguing voice… What it is, is very real and natural… with an almost conversational delivery, and that’s what makes it so appealing. Listen to “Rock Castle County,” by R.J. Gately and S. Stout, off Clay’s newest CD, “Rain,” and you’ll hear it for yourself. This minor key, murder/love/stalker story is just one of eleven really good songs that Clay chose for “Rain.”
Clay’s voice on the title track, “Rain,” by C. Market and W. Winkle, is also very expressive. Couple THAT voice with his great guitar work and the song is a winner. The song is, as of this writing, sitting at #20 on the Bluegrass charts. There must be a lot of other people liking this CD, too, and they should. What you have here is solid vocal talent, exceptional guitar tracks, five original songs that show serious depth and six more songs written by the likes of Flatt and Scruggs, Carl Jackson, Larry Cordle, Marshall Wilborn and Bruce Bouton. Clay knows how to pick good material!
This is a very well thought out and planned CD. Clay Hess is at the top of his game and only getting better. The music here is solid traditional bluegrass….. It’s also very eclectic and inventive. The songs are eerie, interesting, reverent, edgy and entertaining. Clay Hess is one of those triple threat musicians. He sings like no one else, he plays like no one else, and his songwriting can be deeply personal, but still universally appealing. Add this CD to your collection!
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