Producer, Bassist, Bandleader

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End of tour, it’s TV time

Greetings from Nashville!  I am resting in the warmth of our humble home just north of town.  After a pretty busy summer and fall on the road, it’s nice to be able to sit back and enjoy a bit of a break.

We finished up the Michelle Wright “Songs From The Halls” Tour and the bus pulled into Nashville around 1:00 AM Thanksgiving night.  Before changing the subject, let me first say that I had a fantastic time on the road with Michelle and the rest of the band and crew.  From Michelle to the rest of the band, crew and our driver, it was a real pleasure sharing the road with all of them.

I was only home for five days before my wife and I flew up to New York City for a whirlwind 3-day vacation.  The first stop, and primary purpose of our trip, was to see the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Plaza.  We made it in plenty of time to secure a good spot on the edge of 49th Street (right next to Rockefeller Center) and brave several hours outside in the cold, cold air to watch the festivities and the tree lighting while partaking in some great New York pizza and lots of hot chocolate.  For the next few days we just geeked out with all sorts of touristy things, including a fantastic performance of the show Wicked.  I highly recommend that show if you ever get the chance to see it.

CHRISTMAS TV SPECIAL

Terri Clark will be featured on the CBC Home For The Holidays special this month.  Of course, yours truly will be the guy on the bass and backing vocals.  The program debuts on CBC (Canada only) December 20th at 9:00 pm.  The show will then re-air on CMT on the following dates:

Fri, Dec 21 @ 6:00 pm, 11:00 pm
Sat, Dec 22 @ 2:00 pm
Mon, Dec 24 @ 6:00 pm
Tues, Dec 25 @ 12:00 am

All show times are EST.  Check out http://www.CBC.ca/music for more details.  Tune in if you can!

Looking forward to January 4 with Terri at Casino Rama in Ontario and the big tour across Canada in March and April in support of her new record Classic.  Until next time…

Peace and low notes,
Clay

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Tours, Tours and Reviews

OK, the last time I updated the blog section of my site was a couple months ago so now there is much to say.

It’s October 28 and we are coming up on the halfway mark of the Michelle Wright “Songs From The Halls Tour”.  When it’s all said and done we will have played close to 30 shows in theatres across Canada.  I have to tell you that Michelle is a fantastic singer and the band is just plain great.  Every show is a musical treat as all the guys in the band are such wonderful players and the songs really run the gamut in styles of music.  The tour is a way to celebrate Michelle’s induction last year into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame so we are playing many of her hits as well as several hits by other artists who belong to varying halls of fame (rock & roll, blues, country music, etc.), such as Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Raitt, Merle Haggard, Joni Mitchell, Bryan Adams and Al Green.

From one artist to another…

I will be hitting the road once again with Terri Clark after the first of the year.  We will be playing one show on January 4 at Casino Rama in Orillia, ON, then rehearsing in February for a large-scale tour across Canada thru March and April.  It will be the “Classic” tour, in support of Terri’s new album of the same name which will be released in just a few short weeks.  Some of the early dates on the tour have already been released and I have posted them on the page for 2013 Shows.

Last but not least…

I would be greatly amiss if I didn’t mention the great reviews that have been coming in for the latest RyLee Madison record, Where Does The Time Go.  For those of you who may not be aware, RyLee is my wonderful wife and we produced this most recent record together.  The Phantom Tollbooth started its review by saying, “Madison mines some shining nuggets of wordcraft among more solid country fare.”  Click on the link to read the entire thing.

And yet another glowing review came in courtesy of Music Maker magazine in the UK. As we are particularly happy about this one, I am reposting it directly here.

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Music Maker magazine review
RyLee Madison – Where Does The Time Go

Well, the name screams country but in this instance we’re north of the border and RyLee Madison is one of Canada’s rising stars.  Ten accomplished, accessible easy-on-the ear songs, with a reprised duet, signal the reason.  The voice is genre specific but the music rocks in at the contemporary end of the spectrum, devoid of any cloying sentimentality and with occasional room for other devices and desires.

RyLee seems to have nailed the art of songwriting – for the large part swing-along constructs, with sing-along hooks, and most exclusively her own work but occasionally put together with a co-writing credit.

There’s no hogging of the limelight here – RyLee strums and picks at a Takamine acoustic but has assembled such a strong entourage of musicians around her that the album is instrumentally multi-faceted and the band is up there with her all the way.  Is there anything better around at the moment on the country scene?  Somehow I doubt it.
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Not bad, eh?  In case you are interested, here is a link to the online version of the magazine.  The review can be found on page 25.  Music Maker magazine – RyLee Madison CD review

So there you go.  There is much going on with music these days.  Of course, I am forever thankful.  Allow me that subtle segue to say one more thing.  I know it’s still a few weeks away but in case I am not back before then, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Oh Canada!

I got home yesterday from a couple shows in Ontario, Canada with Terri Clark.  As per usual with this particular group of musicians, we had a great time and the band sounded fantastic. Sunday’s set was at the Boots & Hearts Festival, a filler date from another previously booked gig in Ottowa that fell through. So we ended up with an early afternoon set and, unfortunately, didn’t get to hang around and enjoy some of the other artists on the bill that evening like Lionel Richie and Carrie Underwood as the bus had to start heading back to Nashville. At least we had the opportunity to hang with some friends who were playing with other acts (one of the perks of playing festivals).

There are only a handful of dates left this year with Terri.  We are finishing up on September 9 with a performance on the Canadian Country Music Awards in Saskatoon, SK along with a taping for a CBC Christmas Special that will air across Canada this December.  Following that, September will finish off with a couple more shows with Ty Herndon.

This fall will find me in Canada yet again, but this time for a long tour with Michelle Wright, veteran country singer and 2011 inductee into the Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame.  I will be accompanying Michelle on close to 30 shows across Canada thru October and November beginning in British Columbia and working our way through to several dates in Ontario.  Sadly, unless more dates are added, at this time it doesn’t appear like we will be visiting the Atlantic provinces at all.  This will be my first time out with Michelle and I am looking forward to the adventure.  The full tour schedule can be found on my 2012 Shows page and also, of course, on Michelle’s website.

Then, if you don’t think I’ve had enough of the “Great White North” by that time, my wife and I will be heading up to Nova Scotia to spend some of the Christmas holiday with her family and friends there!

That’s all for now.  I have to get some gear together for a couple shows this week… and take my dog outside.

Peace and low notes,
Clay

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