Steve Clayton Blog

New Exotic Picks

We are always expanding our offering for Exotic pick materials and have just introduced three more this year:

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The new exotics are made from 2 woods to create one awesome pick! Exotic Fuse – Ebony Front with Padauk Back: Both ebony and padauk have been fused together to create a beautiful and powerful tone. This pick features an ebony front, with an padauk back. Each pick is hand-made and crafted to perfection. Exotic Fuse – Maple Front with Ebony Back: Both maple and ebony are fused together to create a beautiful harmonious tone. This pick features a maple front with an ebony back. Each pick is hand-made and crafted to perfection. Exotic Fuse – Rosewood Front with Steam Beech Back: Both rosewood and steam beech are fused together to create a beautiful pick with a rich and deep tone. This pick features a rosewood front, with a steam beech back. Each pick is hand-made and crafted to perfection.

Click Here to Purchase yours now!

 

Cloudship

Products used: Clayton Custom Rounded Triangle Acetal .63mm

Jon: “I worked at a music store for years and after trying nearly every pick out there I found that the Rounded Acetal Triangle pick provided me with the flexibility, grip, and durability I need.”

Brandon: “In a pile of picks, I will always find the Clayton.”

Jon Napoles and Brandon Freeman are a couple of transplants who fortuitously met in Fresno, CA. After years of dwelling in the same circle of musicians, fate (and stubbornness) would bring the two together as the last remaining full time musicians of the group. One fateful August day the two gathered every piece of equipment between them and songs almost began writing themselves. Thus, Cloudship was born.

Since then the duo has played over a hundred shows, self-released two EPs and two music videos, sold over 500 units at shows and obtained an endorsement deal with Clayton. Their signature mix of modern rock, Americana and electronic has quickly made them a force to be reckoned with, especially among young indie bands.

Links:
http://www.cloudshipmusic.com/
http://www.facebook.com/cloudshipmusic
https://www.youtube.com/user/cloudshipmusic
http://www.soundcloud.com/cloudshipmusic
https://instagram.com/cloudshipmusic
https://twitter.com/cloudshipmusic

The Brothers Reed

Products Used: Clayton Custom Green Delrin, Standard Shape, 0.88mm gauge

“It’s hard to beat the durability and playability of Clayton guitar picks. With how often we play I really need a reliable pick to get me through the entire show without too much wear which is why I play the heavier gauge Clayton .88mm. May the Clayton legacy reign supreme!”   -Phil

“Feel and durability are the two qualities I look for in guitar picks which is why I use the Clayton .88mm guitar picks because they don’t feel bulky in my hands but still hold up throughout multiple shows rather than disintegrating mid strum.” -Aaron

The Reed brothers have finally united to create music together after twelve years of being 3000 miles apart. Phil Reed moved to the beautiful Pacific Northwest in 2013 and joined forces with Aaron Reed in a project dubbed “Buckle Rash”. Playing around with their not so high-energy solo creations they developed something entirely different on the side. Musical tastes for both have changed over the years and evolved into a medley of folk/bluegrass/pop/country and so on… Focusing on tight harmonies and pretty riffs The Brothers Reed want to bring you a unique listening experience that never sits on one musical spectrum for too long. Whether you’re into blues, rock, folk, or soft roots country, The Brothers Reed are sure to deliver nerve hitting tunes in a most simple format.

The Brothers Reed — Aaron Reed and Philip Reed — have received positive responses from audiences since the two members of local band Buckle Rash started their side project a few months ago.”
-Laurie Heuston – The Mail Tribune

“It’s true we’re not very deep into the new year yet, but the bottom line is that Sick As Folk is easily 2015’s best local album to date, and The Brothers Reed have set a pretty high bar for other local artists hitting the studio this year.”
-Josh Gross – The Rogue Valley Messenger

Links:

www.thebrothersreed.com
www.facebook.com/thebrothersreed
www.reverbnation.com/thebrothersreed
https://instagram.com/thebrothersreed/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oUUeLGh0aA  (official music video for “Black Blood”)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBqDNEz1S48     (Live version of “Crazy Hippie”)

Both photos are credited to “Daniel McCarty at www.focalfireimagery.com“.

Frank Piombo

Products Used: Clayton Custom Acetal Standard 1.00mm

“Clayton USA, I picked you because you are the best”

Born and raised in Libya, Tripoli, to Italians parents, it’s no wonder that music was a constant in Frank’s life. At the tender age of six, Frank’s family would move to Rome (his mother’s birthplace), where he was inspired by the sounds of his father’s music. An avid accordion player, Frank was moved by the romantic tunes produced by his father, and their effects can be heard in Frank’s music even today.
By the time the family immigrated to the United States, at age eight, Frank was inspired by the sounds of the late fifties and early sixties, prompting him to take guitar lessons. But it was the sound of The Beatles that motivated Frank most, and helped the teen to focus more seriously on his music.
By his late teens, Frank was playing gigs at weddings and small venues, eventually graduating to known jazz venues in and around town.
Flash forward more than thirty years, and today Frank Piombo’s portfolio is an impressive one. Appearing as lead guitarist and vocalist alongside Sidewalk Symphony, The Fantasy Band, Stepping Out, The New Prince Band, US & Co, the original Infernos; and sharing the stage with the likes of The Duprees, The Mello Kings, Vito and the Salutations, and Vito and the Elegants, Frank has proved to be much more than a jazz guitarist.
In addition to touring the New York Metropolitan Area, where he has built a solid fan base, Frank has also shared the stage with various European artists, such as “I Nuovi Angeli” and the “Formula Tre.”
Frank’s CDs (The Night Speaks; Sleepwalk; and Smooth Reminiscence) have led to a large international following, prompting several fan pages on Facebook. And his music is now heard throughout North America, and several other continents, including: Africa, Australia, Europe, and South America.
Since June 2012, Frank Piombo has held the #1 jazz artist position in New Jersey, according to ReverbNation’s Jazz Charts! And in 2014, Frank Piombo was accepted on the popular digital radio station Pandora, where he now boasts his own station.
Log onto Pandora.com and create the “Frank Piombo” station on your laptop or mobile device today!
All cds are available at the following locations: cdbaby, Amazonmp3, ReverbNation.com, iTunes and other locations. They are a combination of Straight- Ahead Jazz, Latin Jazz, Smooth Jazz, and Easy Listening Vocal Tunes.
As well as his own compositions, Frank performs the works of George Benson, Kenny Burrell, Sonny Rollins, Erroll Garner, Larry Carlton, Ronny Jordan, Nick Colionne, Euge Groove, Horace Silver, Lionel Richie, Bobby Hebb, Duke Ellington, Cannonball Adderley and many others.

Links:
www.riggyentertainment.com
www.twitter.com/frankpiombo
www.facebook.com/riggy182
www.myspace.com/frankpiombo
www.youtube.com/riggyentertainment

The Dan Varner Band

We recently just got some awesome photos from the Dan Varner Band (Clayton Endorsee) that we thought it would be fun to share with you all! Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dan has been singing since about the time he could walk. He grew up listening to his dad and uncles (with roots in the Tennessee mountains) picking their guitars. Other family members/friends would join in singing along to old country, gospel and bluegrass songs. Breaking on to the Cincinnati music scene over five years ago, Dan Varner has built a reputation as one of the most talented, hard-working and original country performers to hit the area in quite some time.

http://www.facebook.com/TheDanVarnerBand/

http://www.danvarner.com

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New music video from Hip Kitty!

Hip Kitty has just released a new music video, Nothing Left To Burn! Check the video out here. Hip Kitty is Raw, Honest, American ROCK…music that transcends the expected and inspires the masses! For more Hip Kitty visit their Facebook.

 

Happy Halloween from Clayton!

Our Halloween sale is going on right now! There are only 6 days left to take advantage of 10% off your custom guitar pick order! Also, have you seen our newest materials we custom imprint on? We now custom imprint on Stainless Steel, Copper and Brass picks. To get 10% off your order simply add in the promo code included in the image below during check out. If you are not receiving our newsletters and would like to you can sign up on our this page, you will receive emails about our current promotions. picks1

Tobacco Apache – New album!

On July 9th Tobacco Apache will release their new CD on digital and physical copies will be available on July 12th.  The Apache sound is a mix of original old school,tobacco apache_coverA southern, and roots rock, and other genres, blended into one dynamic sound. Sam Fochtman (guitar/vocals), Josh Lynch (bass/vocals), and Chance Taylor (drums) entered the scene as “Sam Fochtman & Tobacco Apache” with their first gig at Mike Aid II in June of 2010. From that point on, the fellas made sure to bring the heat to every show! In March of 2011 the band took to the studio to lay down tracks for their first EP. John Miller at Tone Room Studios was the mastermind behind the project, and he helped to give the band some new musical areas to explore. The self titled “Sam Fochtman & Tobacco Apache” CD was released on May 22, 2011. The next month, Martin’s Bar & Grill in downtown Roanoke, VA, hosted the band’s album release party. The Riverbank Ramblers joined in on the night’s fun and both bands played to a packed house. The boys finished off 2011 on a high note, preparing for more shows and their first full length album, which would be released the following year. That next year started off with a bang, with the band reaching new heights by placing second (of 20 bands) in one of the biggest Battle of the Bands that Roanoke had ever hosted. The boys also shortened the name of the band, to simply “Tobacco Apache” (it’s easier on the tongue!). In May of 2012 the band encountered a devastating tragedy. Lifelong friend, brother, founding member, and drummer; Chance Taylor, was killed in a car accident. The tragedy, which also claimed the life of Chance’s dad Randy, left the community and the music scene in total shock. Sam and Josh decided to play RoosterWalk 4 as a tribute show to Chance. With the help of some great musicians, including Mason Jennelle on drums, the boys performed and brought everything they had to the stage that night. Unsure of the next move following that performance, the band decided that a break was the best thing they could do to honor Chance, as they decided on a path for the future. In June of 2012, all of the bands that Chance had played in decided to hold a memorial/benefit show in honor of their fallen brother. Ryan Greer, The Baker Bros., Drown the Messenger, and The Aurora Observatory joined forces with Tobacco Apache at Martin’s for a night of music, fellowship and celebrating the life of Chance. The show will forever etched in the minds of the audience members as each band played and sang like never before. As time went on and healing took place the band decided to push on, pick up the pieces, and continue playing. They knew that was something that Chance would have wanted them to do. On July 4, 2012 Mason Jennelle (of Electric Chameleon) joined the band as a full-time member. Mason was a natural fit who plays with the same passion and excitement as the rest of the crew. With the drum seat filled and the addition of Paul Tressel on Keys, Tobacco Apache had finally solidified itself as upcoming act to see. Tobacco Apache has shared the stage with The Dirty Guv’nahs, Dangermuffin, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Cabinet, Folk Soul Revival, Mountain Heart, Adam Ezra Group, The Mumbles, Ten Toes Up and many others. The band has a new album entitled “Inside Job,” that is set for release in July of 2013 as well as a bunch of other numerous shows and festivals dates to round out the year.

http://www.tobaccoapache.com/

Blackbird Sing

We just endorsed the band Blackbird Sing and wanted to share a little bit about the band! Blackbird Sing began in 2010 as the brainchild of Robert Vito Salinas, former singer songwriter of the now defunct, but seminal, “Dieboy” of 1990’s pop-punk fame.  After 13 years Dieboy eventually called it quits in 2006 due to personal differences in the bands direction.  The self-imposed hiatus would almost see the exit of a talented musician, whom after years of being a fixture in the local music scene, was facing the reality of making a living setting in.  It was during these times that Vito continued to use songwriting as an artistic outlet and penned his most emotionally connected songs to date. Vito delved deep into a musical heritage that extended across multiple styles of music due to the influences of the musical tastes of his numerous uncles and cousins, who had introduced him to their favorite artists ranging from The Beatles to The Ramones. However, it was these soul-wrenching songs, written at such a transcendent moment that would sow the first seeds of what would grow into something larger. Vito began collaborating his vision with Andy Salazar also of Dieboy (lead guitar/piano/trumpet) and together the two began consolidating this reality-driven storytelling with experimental forays into blending folk music and country rock with grass-roots Americana.  As the band grew to include George Ransom on bass and the infamous Magallanez brothers, Daniel and James, on drums, percussions, guitar, and harmonica (along with a virtual cornucopia of various sound-making equipment), their sound began to coalesce into something entirely nonpareil. Vito and the Magallanez brothers are first cousins, and growing up so closely allowed them to bring a very close-knit, personal style that made the transition from their previous bands into Blackbird Sing seamless. “We definitely shared a very similar soundtrack growing up and come from a very diverse musical family.”  Heavily Influenced by a menagerie of artists like Cat Stevens, The Stray Cats, Dion and the Belmonts, Social Distortion, The Clash, and Chris Isaak, Blackbird Sing ambitiously set out to create a sound that Vito has described as, “Music that people who like country rock but don’t like rock could enjoy and that people who like rock but don’t like country rock could equally relish.”  And so, in 2010, Blackbird Sing the alt-folk Americana country rock band was born. In less than a year, Blackbird Sing’s seamless blend of modern musical genres combined with heartfelt lyrics that resonate with large swathes of the audience on an individual level catapulted them to the attention of music lovers and critics throughout Texas.  From their first stage performance in June of 2010 at a venue call Club Tonic, Blackbird Sing’s acclaim began skyrocketing, and people began to take notice. In 2010, Robert Vito won the prestigious Rammy award for top vocalist in the San Antonio Texas local music scene and the band as a whole was selected as runner up for best Country/Americana band in the same year. Taking no time to rest while on their meteoric rise to prominence, the band quickly cut a fantastic self-titled EP (to much critical exaltation) the same year.   This showcased the bands chemistry with each member playing an intricate role in the development of the “Texicana” sound.  With a style that echoed shades of current popular folk/country rock bands like Wilco and The Avett Brothers, it wasn’t very long before Blackbird Sing began to spread its influence throughout the region. The self-styled “Heirs of Bexar” (the county in which the city of San Antonio resides) used singles such as the lament-driven “Manxiety” and the esoteric “Hales” to elevate themselves above the masses of garage bands and artistic dilettantes in an industry starved for originality. Their efforts culminated in their being the only band from San Antonio selected to compete in the esteemed Shiner Rising Stars tournament, which brings together the best Texas has to offer in musical acts to vie for the ultimate title of Shiner’s 2011 Rising Star.  Travelling far outside of their sphere of influence and their hometown fans, Blackbird Sing won the contest and is now currently signed to Shiner Records which will be releasing their debut album in early 2012. Seldom has a band so seamlessly blended the swaggering bravado of punk, the emotively captivating lyrics of the grandest forms of folk, rural country music aesthetics, the experimentation of an indie band with nothing to lose, and good old fashioned Americana that can only be described as exclusively their own.  And yet, even though they’ve accomplished more in one year than most bands do in a lifetime, the boys remain humble and focused.  Already at work on their next musical masterpiece, they haven’t changed their focus.  If asked, Vito will tell it like he has countless times before “It’s not how you play. It’s what you play that really matters.”

For more about their band and to check out their music:

http://www.blackbirdsing.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Blackbird-Sing/124142137620576

http://youtu.be/wvKp48sV-xA

 

Custom Drumsticks!

Below are some samples of recent custom drumstick orders. We chose these two since they chose colors so different from the other. The Marina drumsticks used some beautiful pastel lavender and turquoise colors. The ASPHALT shows how great red and black are paired together, of course :). We offer full color and single color imprint on our custom drumsticks. We can imprint any color, except for white ink. Something to keep in mind is that anything that is white in your design will become the color of the drumsticks. Single color starts at just $44 for 5 pairs, and full color at only $59 for 5 pairs. We also ship drumsticks worldwide just like our custom picks! All our custom drumsticks are printed on the finest American Hardwoods in size 2b and the standard 16″ in length. To order your own custom drumsticks visit our custom drumstick site at http://claytoncustom.com/drumsticks/

Brent Ashley

We just recently endorsed Brent Ashley. Brent has in the music scene for over 12 years now. He played bass for the second  half of Tim Skold’s side project Skold. They recorded half an album and did a few shows but that came to a halt when Tim joined Marilyn Manson as their new bass player. Brent also played in the band Leisure which was signed to Dreamworks, they toured for about 6 months in support of bands like CKY, The All American Rejects, Taking Back Sunday, and The Revolution Smile. For the last 6 years Brent has been playing Bass in the band The Dreaming. The Dreaming is signed to FOF/EMI records and their second album Drowning in Silence will be released this winter. Their first album Etched in Blood was self-released in 2009 and sold close to 20,000 copies in Best Buy and Hot Topic. Their music rocks! I especially loved their song “Dead to me” and “It’s no good”. Check The Dreaming out at their myspace. Brent uses our Acetal Rounded Triangle picks in 1.26mm gauge. We are very thrilled to have Brent on our endorsed artist program!