Steve Clayton Blog

Guns out at Sundown

Guns Out At Sundown is a band based out of Western Maryland, finding its beginnings in 2007 with the name LenorAstray. Original line-up included: Jamie Peterson-bass/lead vox, Mike Dennis-guitar, Nathaniel Raley-guitar, and Trav Hensley- drums. Shortly after, we introduced long-time, childhood friend Christopher Tepper to drums, and moved Trav to lead vocals. After many discussions, and a drive for more, the band changed its genre to create a heavier sound. In 2008, Nick Miller joined the band to fill the position of guitarist, but left the band after recording our first professional demo. In 2009, we added Ryan Crosco to the roster. The band recorded its full-length album entitled, “The Comfort In Chaos”with Johnny Burke at Chin Music Studios in Cleveland, Ohio (www.reverbnation.com/vibestudios) in November of that year, but due to a few personal issues, the band took hiatus, planning to return stronger than ever once our lives were back on track. In early 2011, Ryan Crosco decided to leave the band, with Nick Miller rejoining and filling the slot. Now, with a new name, and our final puzzle piece, Andrew Hill on bass, we’re back. Look for the album to release independently soon, along with a music video with FBS Films, and brand new merch.

www.gunsoutatsundown.com

Faith n Fury

Faith n Fury was formed in December 2007. Two extremes fused together to create an explosion of musical energy, delivered to you through the airwaves. In 2008 FNF released their debut EP “Close to the edge” this concoction of epic hooks, driving basslines and eclectic drumming makes you wonder how a three piece could achieve such a giant sound. The band has been firing off live shows across the UK, making their presence known. Notably supported Zico Chain in June 2009 and The Doll that Kicks in 2010, In 2010 FNF released of their follow up EP “Start at the end” (which is available on itunes and Amazon) building up there reputation and following with continuous shows off the back of the release. Now in 2011 with a new single recorded and ready for release accompanied by an awesome music video, a strong fan base and a headlining show at the camden underworld KEEP YOU EYES PEELED!!

www.reverbnation.com/faithnfury

www.faithnfury.co.uk

Urban Bleu

Front-Man Aaron Robbie Fowler takes the lead with his soulful vocals, guitar, and harmonica. Django Lachlan’s skill and power behind his bass guitar are unmatched, along with his harmonizing vocals. Jeff LaCohn completes Urban Bleu’s musical magic with his rhythmic drumming and harmonizing vocals. Aaron Robbie Fowler and Django Lachlan have jammed together for eight years, Jeff LaCohn is a recent and welcome addition. With a wide range of technique and a broad musical knowledge, the power trio consistently produces fresh, dance-able music. Audiences love their blues roots,fused with rock, jazz, soul, and even a bit of country, with a more progressive sound unique to Urban Bleu.They write and play their music to cater to a wide range of listeners, their performances are always heartfelt and powerful. Their gigs have taken them to several cities within their home state, Utah. They have also traveled and performed in Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado. Urban Bleu’s goal is to open their doors to the world through technology and playing live shows initially in the West and Southwest, United States. Urban Bleu is ambitiously embarking on a unique and global distribution of the best their music has to offer. Urban Bleu’s plan is to take the airwaves by storm!

http://www.urbanbleu.webs.com

www.myspace.com/urbanbleu

Warrior Spirit Band

We are excited to announce that we now endorse Levon & King of the Warrior Spirit Band! Here is a bit about their band from their website. “Our Story” The ultimate mission of the Warrior Spirit band is to empower wounded warriors through music. As musicians we have the ability to share our love of music with others and present our story through lyrics and sound. The Warrior Spirit Band has the potential to do so much for our men and women of the armed forces that have sacrificed their ability to lead a normal life after being wounded or disabled in a combat zone. Warrior Spirit will help bring selected veterans outreach programs to the spotlight and will raise awareness of the struggles that our service men and women go through upon returning home and reacclimating to a normal life. According to recent VA estimates, approximately 6,400 veterans take their own lives each year. A growing number of these veterans are those that served in either Iraq or Afghanistan. The Warrior Spirit Band wants to help reduce those numbers by using music as a positive tool for veteran transition and support. Studies have also shown that music can have a positive effect on various mental conditions, including PTSD. Having a disability and struggling through life knowing you will never do some of the things you used to can really be hard on the soul. We hope to aid in the healing process and to bring awareness of veterans issues to the public and beyond, Knowing that the band is comprised completely of disabled or combat wounded veterans sends a message to others that it’s not the disability that stops you, it’s the ability to want to push forward and accomplish what others thought impossible. We want to help veterans and civilians move forward and never give up. That very Warrior Spirit is what we strive to show in our music and throughout our personal stories.

You should definitely check this band out, you can visit their website at http://www.warriorspiritband.com/

Iain Archibald

Iain has been endorsed with us since August 2011 and uses our 0.80mm Full Color Double Sided Acetal & 1.00mm Black & White Double Sided picks. At the age of 12 Iain Archibald picked up the guitar he took to it like it was an extension of his own body, seven years later and Iain completed his degree of Entertainment at JMC Academy Melbourne, where in 2009 he was awarded ‘The Most Outstanding Student’ of the Bachelor year. At JMC Iain received guidance & mentorship from industry veterans such as John Dallimore, Joanne Adderly, John ‘Swannee’ Swan, Pat Pattison (Berklee) & Ian Miller. During his second year (2008) John Swan saw Iain performing & asked him to form and lead a band to back him in his upcoming tour around Victoria. After Iain’s success, Swan teamed Iain with an international country singer, with whom he took on the role of guitarist, backing vocalist & musical director for her upcoming tour of Tamworth, the home of Australian country music. Iain charted over fifty songs in under a month to prove he had what it took. During his time in Tamworth he also accompanied the singer on guitar in the ‘Telstra Road to Tamworth’ competition, the same year ‘Jasmine Rae’ won, the show was viewed by 700,000 people world wide on Tv, Radio & the internet. In mid 2008 Iain was flown to Sydney to play a showcase with the international act for SonyBMG, where the head A&R for the company, ‘Courtney Hard’ first saw Iain performing, Hard asked Iain to enhance one of the company’s new bands named ‘Missing Hours,’ he landed the part after the first interview. By the end of 2009 Archibald decided to use his bachelor to the fullest & follow his passion for song writing & entertaining people, his first real attempt at writing his own unique style of ‘Country Rock’ won the honour of being recorded & played at the JMC Showcase evening at the Forum Theatre. Iain in his short time as a session musician & artist has played with at least a dozen bands, both original & covers, including ‘Dice’ with whom he recorded a 12 song album writing all his own parts as the lead guitarist & backing vocalist. He has also played at many of Australia’s fine venues, such as The Corner Hotel, The Forum Theatre, Central Club Hotel Richmond, Diggers & West Leagues club (Tamworth) & also appearing live on national television twice.

Check out this awesome video where Iain plays guitar and talks about our picks!

http://www.iainarchibald.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Iain-Archibald/290751777434

“MAZ” MAZZA

We recently have endorsed “Maz” Mazza. “MAZ” is the Lead Guitarist for THE TED POLEY BAND.  Born and raised on the border of North Bergen and Jersey City, NJ, MAZ started playing seriously at age 13.   His influences include the likes of Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, Ted Nugent, Pat Travers and Mark Hitt.   At 16 he formed SSSTEELE ( A well known Jersey metal band that still have an underground following today), SSSTEELE enjoyed a good run on the Jersey Metal Scene for 10 years.  Their album was produced by Dae Bennett (Tony Bennett’s Son).  MAZ was voted best guitar player in NJ circa 1996 by The East Coast Rocker Magazine. Maz always kept busy playing more than 100 shows a year.  After the break up of SSSTEELE…MAZ was in various well know cover bands on the Jersey Scene to keep himself busy performing. MAZ was asked to join THE SMOKE– MCA/MECHANIC RECORDS DIV. recording artists.  Although that was short lived he was asked to join Steve Brown and PJ Farley from Trixter in a new project they put together called 40 FT. RINGO.   They  signed to Atenzia/Universal Records and released the album Funny Thing.  While playing in 40 Ft Ringo, Maz shared the stage opening up for David Lee Roth, Alice Cooper, Scoprions, Cheap Trick, Vince Neil, Ace Frealy, Jason Bonham, Foreigner, Faster Pussycat…just to name a few. MAZ’s raw guitar sounds, with his unique and unmistakable back alley style and charisma radiates when he hits the stage.   Because of his passion for playing his guitar, when Maz is not on the road, he performs with his band DETROIT CHEETAH,  a well respected and energetic All Star Band on the Jersey Music Scene. His experience, passion, drive and dedication to any project he is involved in does not go unnoticed by his fellow musicians which led him to become Ted Poley’s (Danger Danger frontman) lead guitarist.  Maz has toured the Midwest and Europe with TED POLEY BAND in the past two years with more dates to come in 2012. MAZ also performed in the video with TED POLEY BAND covering the song “Breathe” by Michelle Branch which can be viewed on Youtube.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ewx665FeOoVisit “MAZ”‘s website for more!  www.mazmazza.net

Donna Grantis

The past year and a half has been an exciting time for Canadian guitarist Donna Grantis.  Performance  highlights include: An international touring schedule consisting of four European tours with performances in Italy, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland and Macedonia, as well as performances in Singapore, Australia and throughout Canada and the United States; a Toronto Jazz Festival main stage performance opening for jazz icon John Scofield; an invitation by Paul Smith of Paul Reed Smith guitars to perform at an exclusive event alongside artists including Orianthi (Michael Jackson) and Mike Scott (Prince); The Sistah’s Project, a concert featuring performances by some of the country’s top African Canadian female vocalists, including Molly Johnson and Jackie Richardson, which later evolved into a nationally broadcasted documentary through VisionTV; and a concert celebrating the 25th anniversary of CBC’s Saturday Night Blues show, that included a roster of fantastic Canadian musicians including Colin James, Colin Linden and Jim Byrnes.  As a session musician, Donna has performed with multi platinum recording artist Amanda Marshall, Juno award winning artists Kardinal Offishall, Divine Brown, Kellylee Evans and Jacksoul, acoustic guitar virtuoso Tony McManus and blues legend Coco Montoya, among others. In 2009, Donna performed in the Women’s Blues Revue at Massey Hall with Maple Blues Vocalist of the Year, Shakura S’Aida – and was the first instrumentalist to be included as a featured performer in the history of the revue.  In 2010, she was appointed to the role of Musical Director and she will be leading the band once again in this year’s 25th Anniversary concert. Recording highlights through 2010 and 2011 include two full-length releases with artists Shakura S’Aida and Saidah Baba Talibah (daughter of renowned jazz vocalist Salome Bey).  In addition to performing as a featured guitarist on Shakura’s internationally released “Brown Sugar” (produced by Jim Gaines – Stevie Ray Vaughan, Santana), Donna co-wrote nine original songs on the album and was the Musical Director of the project.  Similarly, Donna was a featured guitarist on Saidah’s highly anticipated debut album “(S)Cream” (CLK Creative Works), co-wrote six songs on the record and was the Musical Director of the group. Other notable highlights include:  endorsements by D’Addario strings, Planet Waves cables and accessories, Traynor amplifiers, Steve Clayton guitar picks, PRS guitars; and the creation of a guitar inspired jewellery line (the AJA Collection), designed in collaboration with Toronto goldsmith Tarah Zaczyk (Crush Lane). Looking ahead, Donna will be releasing her debut solo album this year with her group, the Donna Grantis  Electric Band.  As a graduate from McGill University’s Jazz Performance program, Donna combines a jazz sensibility with her blues and classic rock roots.  The Electric Band is a power trio with a passion for psychedelic improvisation.  Fans of artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Medeski Martin & Wood, Soulive and Jeff Beck would find a common thread in Donna’s music.

www.donnagrantis.com
www.twitter.com/donnagrantis
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Donna-Grantis/159585473803?v=wall&ref=search

www.youtube.com/donnagrantis

Enzo Penizzotto

We recently just endorsed Enzo Penizzotto! Enzo has been playing the bass since he was 14 years old. He started his first Real band when he was 19. That was called “Speed McQueen”. They were signed to Mercury records, released 3 records and tour the US extensively until Enzo was 26. He then hooked up with Joan Jett & the Blackhearts when he was 27 and has been working with them for the past 11years. He played and sang on the last 2 albums they have released. The “Sinner” album as well as the newest release “Greatest Hits”. Enzo is currently working with Bebe Buell now. He has been using our Acetal Rounded Triangle 1.0mm picks for as long as he can remember :-). 

Angel Down

Hard Rock has long been associated with negative connotations, but some bands have taken the opposite route and put their Christian beliefs in hard rocking songs.
Angel Down is one of those Bands. Based out of Memphis TN, they are currently one of the hottest regional Hard Rock Bands to hit the Southeast area. A.D. formed from members of some of Memphis’s most well known acts. As seasoned musicia…ns, they came together and formed Angel Down. Bassist John Austin and drummer Ken Rowe began rehearsing and writing heavy riffs and thunderous rhythms with the plan to play the music they love combined with the messages they believed in. Lead Guitarist Johnny Parks was added after a chance meeting through some mutual friends, and brought a new style to the groups sound. One thing was still missing though, and the band set out to find the perfect Lead Vocalist. After many auditions, Mindy Howell joined the group in November 2009, and the line-up was complete. With their God given talents, the band set out to show the world that they are ready to praise the Lord in the only way they know how, with loud, aggressive ROCK! You can expect heavy guitar riffs, screaming vocals, and a thunderous rhythm section in a live show that is second to none. While they are a Christian band, they are not here to preach with their live shows. As a band that has very strong beliefs, they feel the best way to get that across to people is through their music. People will know what they stand for, and what they believe in. Angel Down has proven to be one of the hardest working bands in Memphis. In a short period of time, they have played shows ranging from benefits and churches to secular shows at such places as The Hard Rock Cafe, and the legendary Stage Stop. A.D. has played shows at colleges such as Lambuth University, played at benefits for such causes as Toys for Tots and the Race for the Cure, headlined The North Mississippi Hope for Haiti concert and the Shelby County Flood Relief Benefit Concert. They have also done shows for ACTS of West TN (a teen abstinence group), and Cancer Research, in front of crowds numbering into the thousands. Their dedication and hard work can also be seen with the fan reactions. Playing to large crowds and adding over 1000 fans to their fan pages in just their first 5 months. Even with a heavy show schedule, they recorded three tracks at Three Flights Up Studio in Mid Town Memphis with mastering completed at Ardent Studios. They have recently been recording at the Grove Studio in Memphis TN on their debut EP “Believe”. What the future holds for Angel Down remains to be seen, but it’s clear that this is only the beginning for these Christian hard rockers. They are the right musicians playing for the right reasons. BELIEVE THE HYPE!

www.twitter.com/angeldownband
www.facebook.com/angeldownmemphis
www.myspace.com/angeldownmemphis
www.youtube.com/angeldownmemphis

John & Johnny have just become endorsed with Clayton.

Justin Velte of Poisonwood

Poisonwood is a Melodic Death Metal band from Arkansas. Formed in October 2009, the band has already played extensively in their home state and throughout the south, gathering a loyal and devoted following en route. In 2010, Poisonwood released a 7 song EP, titled “Dark Days,” which showcases their full on, brutal and melodic sound. Made up of Justin Velte (Guitar, Backing Vocals), Dan Niven (Drums), Tyler Scalise (Vocals), Matthew Velte (Guitar), Andy Honer (Bass), Kyle Reed (Keyboards), the band cites influences such as In Flames, Mors Principium Est, All That Remains, Amon Amarth and Pain of Salvation. In July of 2011 the band released their highly anticipated sophomore album “Pseudo Utopia,” and embarked on a summer tour throughout the southern and mid-western U.S. “Justin and Matthew Velte just have that natural harmony between them… the Velte brothers are only a label and a few endorsements away from being the new  Alexi Laiho.” -Bubbs Harris (Hails and Horns Magazine ” I must insist that you seek out Pseudo Utopia… This album captures everything  that I love about heavy metal perfectly.”  -Lexington Music Press 2011 sees Poisonwood poised to further expand their audience, as the band signed with esteemed Artist Development and Managment company The Inner Light Agency. As Bruce Swink of iLA says: “Things have been moving fast for Poisonwood and by teaming with iLA we’re going to kick everything into high gear and spread the word far and wide.”

myspace.com/poisonwoodmusic
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Poisonwood/207780721629?v=app_2344061033#!/pages/Poisonwood/207780721629
myspace.com/poisonwoodmusic
youtube.com/meghanthemetalqueen

Billy Sidwell

Born and raised in a small town in southern illinois , Billy Sidwell has spent his entire life exposed to music. After seeing country singer Randy Travis perform at just 5 years old Billy knew that he wanted to be up on that stage. During his teenage years Billy played electric/bass guitar in several different rock bands and to this day he is still heavily influenced by all genres of music ranging from Bluegrass to Metal . After the breakup of his rock band in 2001 he took a long break from writing/playing music then in 2004 billy met & married the love of his life and together they share 4 beautiful children . In 2009 Billy made his return to the music world when he wrote a song called ‘ Battlescars ‘ the song was a true story written about his own childhood growing up from a broken home he then shared his lyrics on facebook with a few friends and soon realized that so many people out there could relate to his words . through word of mouth and self promotion he has obtained nearly 4,000 loyal fans that call themselves ” The B.S Army ” and he has did all of this with no radio airplay or backing from a record label. Billy Recently went into the studio and recorded a 3 song acoustic demo cd called ‘ Battlescars ‘ which is a written reflection of his childhood .What makes Billy Sidwell stand out the most are his lyrics. As you hear them you feel the experience and emotions behind them. These words invoke images that are so clear, so vivid, you feel as though you are right there experiencing them with him.

Scottie Somerville of Tetanus

“Tetanus is a jam, that’s the best way to sum it all up. And I’ll dare to say this-Tetanus is the first band I have heard that really, truly makes the grunge sound of yesteryear come back to life. And if grunge isn’t your bag, that’s no problem, because Tetanus runs a triathlon. They do grunge, they do throwback rock ‘n roll, and they do present day modern rock. It’s hard to fathom that this is Tetanus’ rookie record, because few bands with several albums under their belt would be able to rekindle multiple eras of rock as flawlessly as Tetanus have.”— Tunelab Music (album review)
Tetanus is a full-service rock band from Memphis, TN. The 4-piece outfit puts an emphasis on songwriting and leaves nothing to be desired at their super-solid live show. Early 2006, this group of Memphis-bred musicians began writing and self-recording at 747 Studios- a rockhouse co-owned by producer Skidd Mills- where Scott Hardin (guitar, vocals) was employed. After many long nights of hard work by the band, Skidd heard the music and took an interest in the songs. The band subsequently signed on to Skiddco Music in January 2008 and quickly began adding to, tweaking and recording new songs for their debut self-titled release. 2009 brought opening slots for Saving Abel, Puddle of Mudd, Saliva, 12 Stones, and more. In November 2009 the band signed with Bieler Bros. Records and has set a March 16, 2010 release date for their debut label release, “Such a Loser.” Tetanus is comprised of Scott Hardin (Guitar and Vocals), Grayson Grant (Bass and Vocals), John “Effingham” Adams (Drums), and Scottie Somerville (Guitar).
www.facebook.com/tetanusrock
www.myspace.com/tetanusrock

The Rhythm Dawgs

Ken and Dana of The Rhythm Dawgs have been endorsed with us since 2010. The Rhythm Dawgs are a band made up of four guys from completely different corners of the musical universe.  Take a blues influenced bass player, team him up with a country-rock drummer.  Add a formally trained lead guitarist, and throw in another guitar player who grew up on a steady diet of AC/DC and Grand Funk.  Who could have known that what would come out would be a crowd-pleasing entertainment package that mixes electric blues, classic rock, a little country, and some primetime TV for good measure. The Rhythm Dawgs have been honing their craft on Texas stages since 1999.  With 3 CDs and hundreds of live performaces under their belts, the band knows how to put on a show…not just stand around and churn out songs.  The audience in drawn into the performance. With a sound that is equal parts Texas Blues and British Rock, the Dawgs take the best of the past and make it their own.  Whether it’s a rock-n-roll classis from the 70’s, a gritty blues tune, or one of their originals…you know it’s The Rhythm Dawgs. If you’re looking for a slick, upscale, polished production…then this isn’t the band for you.  But if you’re in the market for a band made up of four ordinary guys who just happen to be some extraordinary musicians, then call the Dawgs.

http://www.RhythmDawgs.com
http://www.twitter.com/rhythmdawgs
http://www.facebook.com/therhythmdawgs
http://www.myspace.com/therhythmdawgs

Nick Ruroede of Lost In Society

Lost in Society is an Alternative/Pop Punk band based in the Asbury Park area of New Jersey. The band was founded in 2004 and is currently comprised of Zach Moyle on guitar and lead vocals, Nick Ruroede on bass and back up vocals and Hector Bonora on drums. Lost in Society had an original history of covering songs but for the last four years have been writing their own songs thanks to the exceptional talent of Zach Moyle, the lead guitarist. This very entrepreneurial band began booking their own shows with one of their first appearances at the PNC Arts Center in New Jersey. In 2005 as the bands music and rousing stage presence became evident, they began their association with Jersey Shows, a production company that books bands around Monmouth county in New Jersey. They had several exhilarating shows in venues such as The Stone Pony , The Saint and Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, Chubbys in Red Bank, NJ and summer concerts at Bar “A” in Belmar, NJ and Seaside Music Festival as well as Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ. They were then introduced to Jon Leidersdorff of Lakehouse Music, NJ in 2006 who produced and recorded their first EP titled “GONE”. While continuing thrilling audiences young and old, they entered Jersey Shows 8th annual Battle of the Bands. Out of 160 bands they placed 4th at the finals at Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ. Since that time they have continued to play to various venues and were nominated for an Asbury Music Award in the category of Best Young Band in 2007, and Best Young Band and Best Punk/Reggae Band for 2008 and again in 2009 which in 2008 had opened the award show at The Stone Pony. During the last two years, Lost in Society has found themselves playing yearly tours encompassing New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Ohio. You can also hear them on local college radio stations such as Monmouth University,88.9, Brookdale College, 90.5, and Seton Hall ,89.5 and many others. Most recently, with the release of their 2nd CD “Eastern Empire”, they are now affiliated with AAM (Advanced Alternative Media) contact person David Casagrande. Lost in Society can also be heard on Reverbnation (ranked #3 best local artist in Asbury Park out of 144 bands), Rhapsody, Jukebox Alive, iTunes, CD Baby, Indierythym and Interpunk. Management for Lost in Society is Kimberley Bierley, Colie Brice for Aeria Records and legal management by Anthony Caruso. Lost in Society generally plays an electric set of original music and select covers providing guitars, amps and drum kit. Acoustic venues are also taken into consideration. Through the ever growing talents of these three young musicians, Lost in Society will be a band that will resound through the years and continue to attract a solid, well rounded fan base.

www.lostinsociety.com

Geno Carlson of Wild Colonial Bhoys

Geno was no more than 3 years old when he saw someone on TV playing a guitar. That was it! Geno knew then and there what he was going to do. By the time he was ready for his first guitar (at age 7), he had saved up enough money to buy it himself. The 3/4 scale Anjo acoustic guitar that cost $100 all those years ago has led this Canuck to a passion for fun, energetic Celtic Rock that Rocks! Geno plays guitar in the band Wild Colonial Bhoys. Started in 2003 as a pub duo by Geno Carlson and Adam Coolong, this band has become a five-piece celtic rock powerhouse featured promenantly at Irish festivals throughout the Midwest.  They’ve performed with such bands as the Young Dubliners, Gaelic Storm, and Flogging Molly.

www.wildcolonialbhoys.com
www.twitter.com/wcbhoys
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wild-Colonial-Bhoys/49368898953
www.myspace.com/wildcolonialbhoys

Cask Thomson

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Cask Thomson is a maverick in the inspirational rock world. He
defines any easy pigeonhole. By turns, he picks an electric guitar to accompany his ballad,
sings a witty song about modern life, plays an eccentric bluesy guitar solo, belts an angry tune
and then reaches deep for a soulful expression of values in a troubled world. He tops it all with
an array of meaningful words and melodies— all skilfully blended into a seamless flow. One fan
said Its music that makes you think makes you wonder and then strikes your heart and eyes.

A mainstay on the inspiration rock circuit these past few years, Cask has toured as a session
guitarist with many Sydney artists. His debut album reached number 8 in the iTunes charts in
Mexico in 2009. Thomson is currently working on his follow up album and has told that it will
be very different and will contain many soft and heavy elements.

www.caskthomson.com
twitter.com/cask_thomson
facebook.com/caskthomson
myspace.com/caskthomson

Bob Artavia of Akasha

Bob has been playing piano since he was 7 years old, and guitar since he was 14. Today at age 26, he’s Akasha’s lead guitar player. Akasha has been around for a little over 5 years. They are the top rock act in Central America. With over 40,000 registered fans, thousands of records sold, and many awards and recognitions- next step is South America. Their videos are always featured on MTV, TELEHIT, and other smaller regional TV Channels. Their singles always reach #1 spot in the top radio stations of the region for about 8-9 weeks each. And concerts are usually sold out.  Currently, Akasha has released their new single and new album. Their new album was recorded in Ocean Way Studios Hollywood, produced by 11 time grammy award winner Benny Faccone. Bob has been endorsed with Clayton since 2011 and using our products for over three years!

www.akasharock.com

www.Facebook.com/AkashaCR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L1b7iaNXJ8

JW-Jones

“One of this country’s top blues guitar stars” writes the Globe and Mail about JW-Jones. JW-Jones has one of the most energetic and exciting live shows on the scene. It is no surprise that this young man has played throughout the world (CANADA, USA, EUROPE, AUSTRALIA, BRAZIL) and some of the biggest names in blues today, including The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Rod Piazza, Anson Funderburgh with Sam Myers, The Mannish Boys and the legendary Hubert Sumlin have invited him to join them on stage.  During a special appearance with the band, Hollywood celebrity and fan, Dan Aykroyd said, “this is an amazing blues band, and I’ve played with the best!” Mr. Aykroyd wrote the liner notes for the 2008 release ‘Bluelisted’. The new record “Midnight Memphis Sun” features special guest stars Hubert Sumlin and Charlie Musselwhite, while past CDs have had world-class musicians David ‘Fathead’ Newman (Ray Charles sax player), Little Charlie Baty, Junior Watson, Colin James, and multi-Grammy nominee Kim Wilson who appears on two discs and produced ‘My Kind of Evil’ in 2004. Their music has garnered radio-play worldwide, including heavy rotation on commercial radio stations, and features on shows such as the internationally syndicated House of Blues Radio Hour.  In 2009, Guitar World Magazine featured a CD called ‘Guitar Masters Vol. 2’ that put Jones alongside guitar stars B.B. King, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana and more. The buzz this band has created over the last decade has earned them a national award – the Maple Blues Award for Electric Act of the Year, and rave reviews throughout the globe. Jones has been featured by Blues Revue Magazine and can be found in the books All Music Guide to Blues and Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings. When working with Jeff Asselin (drums), and Marc Decho (bass), or adding the heavy grooves of Jesse Whiteley (organ), the musicians with Jones always add a powerful energy to the stage.  Canada’s Top Touring Blues Act, Jones and his band are born entertainers, and with their unique sound, they continue to set the world on fire one country at a time!
Check JW out here: www.jw-jones.com, and https://www.facebook.com/jwjonesfans

Boggy Creek

Take a part of the old west, some riding and roping, add a little bit of Southern hospitality, then mix in some country living and you have the makings for some natural country music entertainers. Wash this all down with a little firewater and you have Craig Wise, and Krista Patella. With a taste for tradition, along with their unique vocal talent, now add the sounds of today’s modern country music and you have Boggy Creek. Craig and Krista are the main performers for Boggy Creek. They are paired up with some of today’s top musicians in country music. With their unique blend of vocal harmonies, it doesn’t take long for the audience to start singing along. Their original music is molded after traditional country, mixed with a touch of rock and blues, bringing a new edge to their style of country music. Their songs have catchy rhythms and jingles in them that stay with you for hours. They have captivated a variety of different audiences throughout the southeast. At their live shows, their songs and performance gain momentum with a few improvised sections added to give the audience a memorable and high energy show. They play their own originals; several classic and current cover songs, all in their own style. Their mixing all the right ingredients together for a recipe of success in today’s country music. Watch for Boggy Creek to be in a town near you, and don’t forget you might find yourself on stage and in the spotlight with them as well.

Endorsed with us since 2010, please visit their website for more! www.boggy-creek.com

Jimmy Valentine

Jimmy Valentine is from Chicago, he got his first music lesson at the age of seven years old from rock and roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis. When he was was 13 years old he got a couple intense music theory lessons from jazz legend Maynard Ferguson. Shortly after Jimmy was also fortunate enough to have received a few guitar tips from guitar icon Frank Marino. Jimmy records his music spot on live first take. Improvised from beginning to end, his songs do not exist before he records them. Jimmy was hired as musical director and guitar player by the legendary Sky Sunlight Saxon of the SEEDS to headline the GOODSTOCK 2007 music festival. In 2008 His CD “Pisces Rising” was produced by Sky. Currently Jimmy is working on a project with Mark Schulman from PINK and John Billings from Donna Summers band. Jimmy is also the founder and CEO of the Hoodilidoo music festival an annual event in Southern MI. Hoodilidoo is in it’s third year.

Jimmy has been endorsed with us since 2011, visit his website for more information:

www.jimmyvalentine.biz

Mark Mestre

Mark Mestre plays an acoustic rock show. ‘Out of Order’ began as an acoustic duo when Mark and Bill -a fellow Army pilot- decided to join forces and create a show with a broad musical base that covered over 50 years of rock music.  When the Army pulled them apart, as sometimes happens, Mark continued on as a solo acoustic show, delivering a dynamic sound experience that is constantly evolving- with new songs added regularly.

While he billed himself as Mark Mestre, the clubs he played at and the people who came to listen continued to refer to him as ‘Out of Order’.  Since the name stuck, Mark continues to play as ‘Out of Order’ despite being a solo artist, for the time being.  Mark’s playing schedule continues to increase with local shows each weekend in DeRidder, LA and shows that expand to Fort Polk, Leesville, Lake Charles, and Westlake, LA throughout the month.  It’s no surprise to find him playing on a weekend night at the club with standing room only at the venues that showcase his act.

Mark is still on active duty in the US Army, as a pilot himself, and plans to retire in the spring of 2011- playing music on a more full time basis.  Check back often for show dates and additions to the schedule!

While Mark’s schedule is normally filled with club appearances, Mark is also available for smaller shows and parties.  With songs spanning the decades from the 60’s to today, Mark is a diverse crowd pleaser with a little something for everyone’s taste!

Endorsed with Clayton since 2011, visit Mark’s website for more! www.OutOfOrderRocks.Me

Vans Warped Tour

We are so excited to share with you some photos of our 15 passenger van that is touring this year with the Van’s Warped Tour. It also features guitar picks from some of our endorsed artists that we were able to get printed on the van. Be sure to check it out at any the Warped Tour dates! 

Kenny Welch

Soulful music, strong entertainer, with a following that exceeds all expectations for a country music performer from Cincinnati, Ohio. Kenny Welch is a performer taking his music to the next level. Kenny Welch began singing at a very young age for his family and friends.  Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1973, he was raised in a small town south east of Cincinnati called Bethel.  Kenny never saw himself as a performer or singer until nearly seven years ago, when he began to set his sights on a music career in Country Music. Kenny Welch has been recognized by the local news media in Cincinnati and surrounding areas  The media continues to follow his progress and monitor his career. Kenny is very devoted to his music, friends, and children and is looking forward to a long and prosperous career in the music industry.

Check Kenny out on Facebook! He has been endorsed with us since 2010.

Thom Turner of Wishpool

Thom has been endorsed with Clayton since 2010. Here is a little about the band Wishpool from their website:

“Wishpool is a band based out of Syracuse, New York. The band has been around in one form or another for about 4 years, but it’s current configuration began in late 2007. It is this group which has recharged the Wishpool name with a new creative spirit and a passion for meaning within the music. Syracuse is a blue coller town which has struggled to retain that value and the band’s style reflects this. There is nothing fancy or frilly about the songs or the band’s sound. It is straightforward and to the point with driving rythyms and meaningful, impassioned vocals.”

For more and to listen to their music visit their awesome website  at www.wishpoolband.com

McKenna Faith

McKenna Faith is a 16 year old country music singer/songwriter from Ukiah, California. Singing since she was a little girl, she grew up in the rodeo circuit both singing the national anthem and going all the way to the World Barrel Racing Finals in Texas & Oklahoma. She took first place in the teen and adult divisions at Ukiah Idol, and was the ‘peoples choice’ in the Rising Stars  competition. Having wrapped up a series of sold-out concerts promoting the release of her debut album ‘Sugar & Spice’ that she recorded in Nashville in October 2010, she & her band continue to tour and McKenna’s always writing music and pursuing her dream of hitting it big in the country world…Check out her website at http://www.mckenna-faith.com

Full Color Black Celluloid

We wanted to show off an example of an awesome full color design for black celluloid custom guitar picks that one of our customers submitted. The design is pretty intricate and has a lot of detail, but it turned out really well. We love how the white and bright blue contrast against the black color of the pick. You can create a design like this on our custom guitar pick site: www.claytoncustom.com. Be sure to choose black celluloid as your pick material if you would  like to get awesome black glossy finish picks like the one shown. If your design has any color besides white, you will need to choose the option for full color print. Great colors for black picks include yellow, bright blue, bright green, and red. Black celluloid picks are available in the standard pick shape, and in three gauges; thin, medium and heavy. Create your design today!!

P.U.S.H.

P.U.S.H. is a modern rock band from Baltimore, MD. The group was formed in 2003 by Geo (lead guitar) who was later joined by Mr. Space (bassist), Johnnie Black (lead vocals) and Jamie Loud (drums). Fans are guaranteed to experience a unique and memorable performance at every P.U.S.H. show they attend.


To check out their music visit:

http://www.pushkicksass.com/

Endorsed with Clayton since 2010

Colfax

Whether you blame the decline of the music industry or the cities that never sleep, there just aren’t enough big-time dreamers these days. However, the Brockville, Ontario-reared rock quartet Colfax are at a significant advantage over their complacent peers. They know successful business starts at the source; bands need to make music worth paying for again. Just ask the forty thousand strong visitors to Colfax’s MySpace page. Better proof, however, lies in the massive debut album Keys to the Midway; an aural assault of the band’s patented brand of aggressive melodic rock that finds Cody Humble (vocalist) Brock Tinsley (guitars) Aaron Hopkins (bass) and Joel Hopkins (drums) knitting big top-sized choruses seamlessly with a variety of punishing hooks. While they may not all legally be able to sit at the bar, their first record finds Colfax setting one of their own to heights previously unknown. With a tasteful vision that merges the best possible approaches, the band craft music that is equal parts muscle and melody. Attitude and invention abounds on Keys to the Midway; be it the pummeling-pop insistency of “Run” or the nightmare-gone-wrong “Bigfoot Doesn’t Have Any Sisters” which teeters on the brink of pure catatonia. “We believe music is meant to be played with passion, and we think a lot of bands are more interested in current trends than their own expression,” Brock claims. It’s interesting to note that despite the band’s proficiency (few could resist the exuberant debut single “Lay Low” which showcases Cody’s charismatic caterwaul) the quartet’s influences range from Rage Against the Machine to Daft Punk to soul to Every Time I Die. “There are so many great sounds out there,” Cody acknowledges. “We don’t want to limit ourselves.” Rewind to 2008 when Colfax formed; just one among the myriad of hopeful bands in Eastern Ontario. While juggling part-time work at a restaurant and graveyard shifts at a pharmacy, Colfax successfully recorded and supported a three song demo, An Entrance in the Making. Soon afterwards, Colfax was granted opening slots for fellow Canadian acts such as Hedley, Ten Second Epic, and Theory of a Deadman. It was an easy decision when the band was asked to create their first full length CD during the summer of 2009. Whether it’s the urgent, angular riffs that energize “Little Miss 1565” or the gentle, string-laden sway of “The Act of Breathing In”, each song is created inconspicuously among friends whose bonds stretch as far back as public school. “A good portion of songs all started by Brock and I imitating all the instruments with our mouths while playing video games together, just hanging out,” says Cody. “That’s what makes it so fun and memorable. Every song represents so much more than the lyrics let on.” Colfax have been touring high schools extensively educating students about the music industry and their potential place in it as budding musicians. The band combines a uniquely designed presentation (which covers many topics including band chemistry, songwriting, royalties, financing) with their signature high-octane rock show; Colfax are taking this EducaTOUR cross-country in the fall of 2010. Thanks to their intelligent embrace of technology, Colfax have mastered various outlets to virtually connect with their fans. The most popular of which is ColfaxTV, a YouTube channel that features original videos documenting the band’s adventures. The Dawg and Pwny Show is an hour long feature that provides a walkthrough of the album’s creation; this popular series treads the fine line between comedy and professionalism flawlessly. If their intentions are simple, they also seem pure. Says Aaron, “There’s a reason we’ve sacrificed as much as we did to come this far. There’s nothing else we would rather do.” This band has the keys and the world is ready to be unlocked.

For more of Colfax and to hear their music visit http://www.colfaxrock.com/

Endorsed with Clayton since 2010

In Bloom

Hailing from Portland, OR in the great northwest, In Bloom is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. With influences from Jimmy Eat World and U2, to Leonard Cohen and The Beatles, In Bloom puts it all together in a punk/indie infused power-pop sound that screams heart, honesty and energy. Timothy Reed (Wheelchair Renegades), Tony Robles (Alter Ego), Max Hampton and DJ Eickhoff have come together and created something completely original in today’s segregated and sub-genred world of rock.

Though In Bloom is new to the scene, its members have being paying their road dues for years, touring on the east and west coastlines. Timothy Reed booked and orchestrated years of west coast D.I.Y. tours with previous bands.

No matter the direction In Bloom’s music takes them, they show absolutely no fear and a relentless passion to reach people. No one said honesty was easy, but In Bloom has found it’s the only recipe for success.

Visit their website for more at http://inbloom.tv/

Endorsed with Clayton since 2010

Dean Seltzer

One of our new endorsees is Dean Selzter, we thought the best way to share a little about him is to share his bio which is real and humorous :). Dean’s Bio from his website: “Hi – I’m Dean – I play music.  Like any male musician on the planet I started playing guitar and singing to pick up girls – and any guy with a guitar in his hands that tells you differently is a frickin liar – especially if you’re cute and female when you ask.  I figure if Mic Jagger can get women with his ugly mug there must be something to this whole music thing.  For those that care about history – I was born in Odessa Texas behind Nimitz Junior high (well, not literally behind the school – like in a dumpster or anything) I was born in a HOUSE which was directly behind the school.  Growing up I lived in Austin, Dallas, and Nashville and went to college in Tallahassee Florida.  I’ve back packed across Europe, lived in a Colorado ski town teaching snowboarding for a season, worked as a horseback riding instructor at a YMCA camp outside Fort Worth, been on a movie set with Jet Lee as a stunt man, was a division 1A cheerleader for 3 seasons, spent a summer as a surf bum in San Diego and have earned an A class skydiving license – oh and I’m in a band too.
I play music because I love it and have no desire to do anything else – you’d have to – this job is not easy, steady or lucrative work (well, sometimes it’s lucrative…)  We put up with scheister bar owners, ding-dong drunk bimbos, obnoxious intoxicated college guys, biker riots, and worst of all each other!!! We sleep in flea bag motels all over the state, drive the worst excuse of a van, eat dinner at Exxon and waffle house and pathetically pretend we’re big rock stars while playing hotel bars – in places like Kerrville – for rooms full of middle aged overweight white ladies who request Rick Springfield hits from 2 decades ago…. then again sometime we’re fortunate enough to occasionally play kick ass shows that somewhat resemble that rock and roll dream we’re chasing…If you’re impressed by name dropping we’ve done shows with Dwight Yokam, Aaron Tippin, Molly Hatchet, Bad Company, Jimmy Vaughn, Charlie Daniels, David Allen Coe, Billy Joe Shaver, Pat, Cory, Roger, Reckless, Cross, JJ Walker…… you get the idea yet?  Biggest crowd I’ve ever played in front of – 56,000.  Smallest crowd I’ve ever played in front of at a public establishment – 2 (not counting my dog.)
The Music – the first album is very country oriented, I produced it myself with Darren Fleming in late 2000 (who is now Kevin Fowler’s road manager).  At the time I had only been playing music for about 8 months.  It’s good – in a tame, very polite sort of way, has professional production value, but hasn’t been representative of our live show in a long time.
This second album we just finished is way different and in my opinion much better. Very rock oriented – with recognizable influences from The Cult, The Refreshments, System of a Down, ACDC, The Beatles, Hank III, Green Day – stuff like that. At one point during recording the producer turned to me and said – isn’t this supposed to be a country album? I told him, “Let’s just make some good music – if it turns out country great, if not – oh well then.  Call the rock station instead of country radio when it’s done!”