Producer, Bassist, Bandleader

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Review of Terri Clark show in Craven, Saskatchewan (July 14, 2012)

http://blogs.leaderpost.com/2012/07/15/craven-concert-review-terri-clark/

Erin Harde

For the Leader-Post

CRAVEN — Terri Clark scored big points Saturday evening at Craven before she even sang a word. As soon as the Medicine Hat native took the stage in a Riders jersey, the crowd was smitten. The cross-border country star probably could have mailed it in after that entrance, but got right to work with Wrecking Ball, her big booming new single. It was a smashing start to a 60-minute, 17-song set.

After a quick taste of her new material, Clark took the crowd back a decade for I Just Wanna Be Mad and Girls Lie Too. Clark really got into the latter, giving her own assets a little boost during the Hooters lyric. At 43, and 17 years into her career, Clark is clearly comfortable in her own skin, and can still rock a pair of blue jeans. After a few songs, she talked about shopping at the Rider store and pointed out some observations about the NFL versus CFL. “Our balls are bigger than theirs; it’s so obvious,” she said to an appreciative audience.

For Gypsy Boots, Clark grabbed another guitar — she swaps guitars as often as Cher changes costumes — and let her four-piece band sink their teeth into the meaty number that strayed beyond country’s usual confines. She walked the line between country and rock a few times, most apparently on If You Want Fire, a vaguely threatening tune that was in sync with the darkening skies overhead. That love song was in stark contrast with The One, which Clark said is for people waiting for the right person. Clark, who was recently named one of country music’s most eligible bachelorettes, looked wistful as made her way through ballad off her new album Roots and Wings.

With only an hour allotted to her set, Clark resorted to a medley in order to power through seven big hits. With barely a verse and chorus offered for each tune, classics like Emotional Girl, When Boy Meets Girl and Dirty Girl were cheapened in the process. Still the crowd lapped up each morsel Clark fed them, apparently happy to hear even a fraction of each tune.

After the musical collage, Clark introduced No Fear, a song about following her dreams.

“I moved out to Nashville at the age of 18, five years ago,” she joked. “I wanted to be Reba McEntire.”

Even with six albums, six No. 1 singles and many industry awards to her credit, Clark offered thanks to the crowd for still making her dreams come true every time she performs. Her enthusiasm on the catwalk, giving fans high fives, and repeatedly throwing out the chorus to the crowd showed her continued passion.

Fans returned the love when Clark changed guitars for the last time, bringing out a bright white acoustic guitar proudly emblazoned with a big maple leaf. There was no surprise when she then launched into Northern Girl; halfway through she paused to listen to fans work themselves into a frenzy. “That’s what I’m talking about,” she shouted.

Finally, she closed out her set with a cover of Trooper’s Here for a Good Time, a cut off her new album, and a feel-good finish for a winning set.

 

Blasting thru the airwaves!

I’m happy to announce that I can be heard playing bass on the new radio single, Sweet Ride, for indie Canadian country artist JD Clarke.  Fortunately, you don’t have to go to Canada to hear it because I’m posting the track right here.  Give it a spin!

Produced by Steve Fox
Bass: Clay Krasner
Drums: Steve Brewster
Guitars: Paul Chapman
Piano/B-3: Gary Primm

Review of RyLee Madison CD from Music News Nashville

This review of RyLee’s new record was posted on March 24, 2012 on Music News Nashville – http://www.musicnewsnashville.com/rylee-madison-where-does-the-time-go

RyLee Madison – Where Does The Time Go
by Janet Goodman

Ironically, there’s got to be something in the cold waters of our northern neighbors that explains the level of hot musical talent coming out of Canada over the years. Shania Twain, Terri Clark, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, and Emerson Drive are just a handful of their country artists who have made the transition from solely Canadian to be embraced as Nashville’s own. RyLee Madison is a Halifax, Nova Scotia singer/songwriter who recently made the big move to Music City. She has had a string of eight singles at Canadian country radio, and now aims to make a statement here…and she has the pipes to do it.

With her fourth album release, “Where Does the Time Go,” Madison shows her mad singing chops to America, as well as her contemporary country songwriting skills. She knows how to deliver her songs in a clear, committed voice; her lower range and energy are so reminiscent of early Jo Dee Messina. It’s been five years between albums, and Madison bursts forth like some snowbound pony come spring.

This album is produced by Madison, along with busy session-and-tour-bass-player husband Clay Krasner. Together, they’ve assembled eleven solid tracks written or co-written by the artist, and there’s no fluff to be found. Hers are lyrics with a message, as in “Be Yourself,” and her banjo and organ-driven, “The Beauty of Forgiveness”: “It can mend the broken/Bring the fight to an end/Give you reason for believin’/That an enemy could be your friend/So take the high road/Lay down your pride/You might find that they’re feelin’/The same on the other side.”

There’s no doubt this record is located in the country music solar system of things, yet there are occasional flare-ups of other genres, such as the see-ya-honey sassy Texas Swing, “Run” and the charmed Celtic-arranged “Salt in the Air,” with fiddle and tin whistle, it’s a homesick homage to her homeland. A duet with Christian artist David Huff (David & The Giants), “Plenty of Angels,” sends off the record with a zing…and a prayer.

Madison interprets head-nodding melodies with devastating heart (“December Leave Me Alone”), as well as easy-going kind of conviction (“It Can’t Be That Bad”). Country band Due West joins her on the title track to help round out what is a top-notch Nashville debut.

Visit the artist’s web site at www.ryleemadison.com

Interview on CBC Radio in Canada and more…

It always feels like forever between postings here.  I probably need to work on posting and/or blogging more often.  Maybe?  I mean, who’s reading this?  Can I get a show of hands of anyone sitting in front of their laptop or desktop computer who has some interest in what’s happening in the world of Clay?  Better yet, send me a message via email and let me know you’re following.  Well, that’s enough false humility for today.  It seems like that is the status quo with so many music industry folks I’ve worked with over the years.  Denigrate myself in order that others don’t think I’m boasting or so I don’t unwittingly make someone feel bad for anything they maybe haven’t done?  Oh well… I’m ranting.

Having said all that, here’s a little something about me!  Ha ha…

This past September, after playing at the Canadian Country Music Awards with Terri Clark, my wife RyLee and I drove from Toronto, Ontario all the way to Halifax, Nova Scotia, visiting a few radio stations and plugging her new record, Where Does The Time Go.  We were invited to the studios of CBC (similar to NPR here in the States) and spent a good bit of one afternoon sharing stories about the new record, how we worked together and the journey RyLee’s life has taken since her last release in 2006.  You can listen to the broadcast here: CBC archives of Island Echoes – RyLee Madison.

Currently, I’m gearing up for a few shows with Terri Clark in Canada at the end of March.  I am also excited about a couple recording sessions around the corner.  One is a worship record produced by Jason Cheek, the drummer I work with Terri Clark’s band; the other project is for a female country/pop duo on Universal Switzerland called the Enderlin Chicks.  That project is being produced by my good pal Mason Embry.  I will update you information and sound bytes from the sessions as time progresses.

That’s all for now.

Peace and low notes,
Clay

Merry Christmas!

Home for the holidays

I haven’t posted anything in a couple months so here goes….

The Terri Clark “Roots & Wings” tour was a great success.  We played several sold out shows in arenas, theaters and casinos all across Canada.  Every member of the band and crew respectively is so great at what he or she does that it makes each “work” day so easy.  On top of that, the hang time (and there is lots of that — on the bus, in hotel rooms, backstage green rooms, etc.) is effortless as everyone has a wonderful personality and tends to be very considerate of others.  What more could anyone ask for?  (I am posting a video at the bottom of this post of the opening of the show as experienced at a sold out show at the Red Robinson Theatre in Coquitlam, BC, right outside of Vancouver.)

My wife RyLee and I are both back in Nashville now after spending so much of the year away.  We both love to travel but it is always a good feeling to walk back in the door of our own home in Nashville.  That said, however, RyLee and I do have some plans for a little personal holiday travel to spend time with family and a few good friends.

On a professional note, I have updated the site here with some early scheduled tour dates for 2012.  Terri Clark has some tour dates booked in the US and Canada.  I will also be heading to Europe with her for some shows in June.  Currently, it looks like we will be stopping in Switzerland, Italy and Norway.  I will keep you posted with any developments in the 2012 Shows section under “LIVE”.

That’s all for now.  If I don’t get back with a new post in the next couple weeks, have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and blessed New Year!

Thanks,
Clay

Terri Clark – Live in Coquitlam, BC (2011 show intro / Wrecking Ball)
*This video was recorded using an iPhone so you’ll understand why the audio quality is not ideal.  I’m the guy on the riser across from the drummer playing bass and singing the low harmony part

The tour

Well, here we are in Toronto for a couple days off on the tour.  Things are going amazingly well so far.  The shows are practically all sold out and our audiences have been extremely enthusiastic.  Smaller theaters are nice for keeping the band close and being a little more intimate with the audience but the larger venues (2,000 – 4,000 seats) are proving especially great to show off our wares with the staging, not to mention offering a larger palette for George, our lighting wizard, to really work his magic.  The shows not only sound great but they also look fantastic.  We are stoked!

Today was the day for us guys in the band and crew to take a journey to Niagara Falls (the Canadian side).  Terri graciously gave us the tour bus for the day so we got our bus driver to take us on the hour + trip to Niagara Falls for some down time.  Kinda felt like a school field trip!  Props to Dave for putting up with all of us.  To top it all off, the weather couldn’t have been nicer.

Days off are going to be few and far between from here on out.  We are cooking with gas now, so to speak, and we’ll be rocking through more dates in Ontario and a couple shows in Winnipeg, MB, where we plan to visit the manufacturing facility of Levy’s Leathers, the makers of high quality leather and nylon guitar straps, gig bags and other music accessories.  (They also make gun and knife cases and belts.)  From there we head into Saskatchewan, British Columbia, finishing up with a string of dates in Terri’s home province of Alberta.

See you later on the road…
Clay

 

And so it begins

That’s right, everyone.  Tonight the bus rolls out of Nashville for a 6-week tour.  Terri Clark is headlining shows all across Canada.  25 shows to be exact.  A few venues will be getting a double dose as we have two-show engagements in their towns.  What towns, you ask?  Tweed, ON, Winnipeg, MB and Regina, SK.  The first show of this tour is on Friday, Sept 30 in Halifax, NS and the last show on Sunday, Nov 6 in Grand Prairie, AB.  Check the 2011 Shows page on my site, or visit www.terriclark.com for a complete list of dates.

And the winner is…

The 2011 CCMA Female Artist of the Year is Terri Clark!

Our whole band was very excited for Terri as she won last night. That only served to amp us up even more for our performance on the show later on. We had a great time performing Terri’s current hit, Here For A Good Time, a remake of a popular song by 80’s Canadian band Trooper.

RyLee and I are now working on logistics as we are doing radio station visits for the next couple days between western Ontario and Halifax, Nova Scotia. We are playing a house concert in Halifax on Saturday (9/17) followed by some family time.

See you down the road…

Currently, I am…

…finishing up bass tracks for a new record by Janelle Faiman, produced by my old friend Chris Dauphin.

…playing a couple shows the next two weekends with Ty Herndon and performing on the Grand Ole Opry next Tuesday, August 30 with Terri Clark.

…gearing up for the Canadian Country Music Awards.  I will be playing on the televised program with Terri Clark and most likely an EMI After Party as well.  Also on the trip will be the lovely RyLee Madison (my wife), taking care of some business of her own for the release of her new record, Where Does The Time Go, that RyLee and I co-produced.

After the CCMA’s, RyLee and I will heading to Nova Scotia to celebrate her grandparents’ 70th anniversary.  Wow!  Then I’ll be flying back to Nashville in time to rehearse for a couple days with Terri and the band, then get on the bus and head right back to Nova Scotia where we will begin a 24-city tour across Canada.  The tour begins on September 30 in Halifax and ends on November 6 in Grand Prairie, Alberta.