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JD Clayton Introduces Himself In Folk & Bluegrass Music Through Debut Album, "Long Way From Home"

Independent singer/songwriter JD Clayton is proof that modern traditionalism is alive and well. Taking an old-school approach while he tells his personal story, the artist echoes techniques of greats like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Clayton recently released his debut album, Long Way From Home, and to say we're obsessed is an understatement.

Photo credit: Sean O'Halloran

The ten-song collection illustrates the beginnings of his career, moving from his hometown of Arkansas to Nashville and adjusting to a new lifestyle. The organizational structure, lyrical themes, instrumentals, and melodies mostly stem from folk music, although bluegrass and classic country certainly influence the project as well.

The project utilizes a captivating prelude, "Hello, Good Mornin'," to set the scene. The tender sound of birds chirping backed by the tone of a soft guitar While we do hear some acoustic guitar against Clayton's soulful croon, the track primarily contains sound effects such as bird chirps and footsteps. This illustrates the album's title and establishes Clayton's perspective. The rest of the songs average 4-5 min in length, allowing for descriptive storytelling and progressive buildup.

Infused with hints of jazz and rock, the lively "Midnight Special" especially drew us in. Its heavily detailed verses contrast a simple hook: "Let the midnight special / shine a light on me." Despite being repetitive, the catchy chorus carries some resonant qualities and charged instrumentals. Partly acoustic and spoken-word, "Sleepy Night In Nashville" showcases the best of Clayton's songwriting. The steady track characterizes the song's elements - such as night vs. day, and sunshine vs. thunderstorms - in both the lyrics and production.

The rising star is currently touring across North America, supporting legendary names like Old Crow Medicine Show and Josh Turner. Don't miss your chance to see him perform live!

We're in love with Clayton's unique creative process - it shows his unapologetic, transparent approach, allowing his work to truly stand out. Long Way From Home is a bold introduction to the music scene, and we have no doubt it'll fuel his journey to stardom.

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