Steve Clayton Blog

Happy Halloween from Clayton!

We like to trick instead of treat! Now through Halloween get 15% off your Custom Guitar Picks PLUS a FREE 12 pack of our Duraplex 0.60mm picks! You don’t even have to say the old line “Trick or Treat…” just enter promo code BOO16 during checkout to get your discount.

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Shine On!

Hey Clayton Fans! Just a post to remind you that, even though we specialize in making guitar picks and custom picks, we do offer other amazing guitar accessories! These guitar essentials include polish products, and we offer two different types!

We carry Pro Lemon polish that will replenish the essential oils in your guitar without the odors and harsh chemicals of other polishes. When used, it will clean and condition the finish of any wooden instrument…so try it on your ukulele too! 😉

The other polish that we offer is called Pro Shine. This cleans and finishes your guitar with a beautiful shine without any build-up. It is non-toxic and is made from all natural and organic oils.

Try out one of these today! http://www.steveclayton.com/polish.php

Don’t forget to have a look at our Pro Buff and String Zip cloths as well!

accessories_proshinefull_prolemon

 

 

 

 

Pro Lemon vs. Pro Shine

We get asked often what the difference between our Pro Lemon polish and Pro Shine is. Along with this question we are usually asked if they are non-toxic. The answer to that is yes, they both are non-toxic :-). The Pro Lemon is an oil-based shine. It can be used to polish your guitar or piano, even your furniture, and condition your fret board. The Pro Shine guitar polish is special, as it will not lead to any wax build-up from continual usage.  We suggest that you shake the guitar polish before applying. Both products offer the same high quality finish for your guitar; it is just a matter of personal preference for which one is chosen. Seeking a protective wax finish? Then try out our Carnauba wax as this product would be best for that :-).

ZZ-Zinc-redible!

Looking for a premium pick that will stand the test of time? ZZ-Zinc picks are a new Clayton item that was added to our product line this year! These picks are crafted out of genuine Zinc alloy metal. They are made for producing tones that are clear and high, along with punchy bass and unprecedented volume, due to their heavy mass/metal composition. These picks are popular amongst electric, acoustic and bass guitarists alike. To help maintain grip on the picks and prevent slipping since they are metal, we have added a matte finish and a reversed embedded epoxy logo. These are heavy-duty picks that are designed to last throughout years of guitar playing! They are available in both a 1.0mm and 2.0mm gauge. To order your own ZZ-Zinc premium picks, visit http://www.steveclayton.com/premium.php today!

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

 

Jim Cairo of Infinity

We just endorsed Jim of the band Infinity! You have probably seen their guitar pick around our website :-). Here is a little bit about the band from their bio:

Formed in 1985, Infinity grew from being not only a Journey Tribute band, but one of the top drawing cover – bands in the Midwest.Two-plus decades rocking the hundreds of local music festivals lighting up the Chicago suburbs each summer have put Infinity in front of hundreds of thousands of fans. Consequently, the band has built an incredible following, making them the Top most successful cover bands in the nation’s third-largest metropolis. Infinity continues to break attendance records at Clubs and Festivals across Chicago and the Midwest. But more importantly, Infinity maintains the intangible ability to include the audience and make them feel as if they are part of the show. A quote from the Lead singer Bob ” this is not our show, it’s yours” Infinity enjoys thousands of fans young and young at heart, who sing along and become the chorus to their music. This is the difference between performers and genuine entertainers. Perhaps this is the reason for the perpetual following and return to area Festivals and Clubs across the Midwest year after year after year.

You can check out their music, videos, show dates & more at their website:

http://www.infinity2k.com

 

Story of a Ghost

Last week we had a Facebook contest to share your band’s story on our blog, the winner was Aaron from Story of a Ghost :-)! Story of a ghost began their musical journey from the release of their single “Akimbo”, based loosely on the May 22 2011 tornado. Akimbo, was recorded in their home town of Joplin, Mo by producer Jerrod Naff, at Zombielife Studios. It has been featured on radio stations in their home state, as well as on the 2011 compilation cd for magazine, “The Dead Timez”. They are currently in the studio working on their self-titled e.p “Story of a ghost” that is expected for release on ITUNES and AmazonMP3 in early 2012. A national tour for 2012 is definitely in the works. (Bio)      links: www.reverbnation.com/storyofaghost

Claire Sinclair – NAMM 2012

2011 Playmate of the Year Claire Sinclair came out to sign at our NAMM booth this year. Here are a few photos we wanted to share, also for more about Claire you can visit her website http://www.pinupclairesinclair.com/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Sechrest

We’d like to introduce one of our new endorsee’s Michael Sechrest. Michael has been using our products for over 7 years now! Michael Sechrest is a Vocalist, Guitarist, Emmy Nominated Composer and Producer:
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio Michael started playing guitar at a young age. He has been Music Director and/or performed with various artists including Lakita Garth, Jon Gibson, Israel Houghton, Eddie Money, Lee Greenwood, Wayne Newton, and currently plays with Diana Ross. Michael has also produced and composed music with Susan Kay Wyatt, Lakita Garth, International Star Coco Lee, Rich “Rico” Henderson, Teddy “RedSun” Orii and many more. Michael has been a staff songwriter for several Publishing companies and has had works published with television networks NBC, ABC, and CBS. Also received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Original Song in 2003. Michael is also a co-owner of Sound Vision Studios in Harbor City, CA.

Paulo Morete

Paulo is a Spanish guitarist  and songwriter of the band Einsof (www.einsofmusic.com) and is very influenced by the more aggressive styles like hard rock and metal, in 2008 edited the successful debut called Neverending, with the single Paradox. After that came the collaboration with other bands like Satrapa (www.satrapaweb.com). He is currently recording the second album of 2012 Einsof and other projects with musicians in Spain for 2012

Paulo uses: Custom white pearl and Ultem picks 1mm pick.

More information :

 

www.paulomorete.com

 

www.einsofmusic.com

 

www.myspace.com/paulo5150

Jim Luparello of Car Party

Jim Luparello of Car Party has been endorsed with us since 2011. Here is a little bit about the band:

Car Party is an American pop-rock band from Baltimore, Maryland. Although they did not come under their current lineup until early 2011, they began their journey in late 2009 through a Craigslist ad posted by drummer, Taylor Hughes. Because of their pop-rock sound and tightly woven rhythm section, Car Party has been compared to the likes of Death Cab For Cutie, Jimmy Eat World and The Early November.

In 2010 Car Party released their debut EP, “Excuses” and quickly began work on their sophomore EP, “High & Low Places,” released independently in August 2011. For the follow-up effort, Car Party teamed up with producer and friend, Ace Enders, of The Early November and I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business – Ace is also featured on the single, “Please Me”. As credit to the band’s hard work, “High & Low Places” received a warm reception among fans and critics alike, landing them in Alternative Press, Substream Music Press and an exclusive interview in Modern Drummer magazine. The video for the single “Please Me” will be launched exclusively with Substream Music Press later this year.

In Fall 2011 the band was able to land an endorsement from Orange Amplifiers, begin a PR partnership with the New York-based firm Big Picture Media and wrapped up a successful US/Canadian tour. Dedicated to hard work and making music, the band has their sites set on the future with a new EP and an independent east coast tour in the works.

Car Party is Michael Natzke, Taylor Hughes, Chris Martin and Jim Luparello.

Check out the Band’s pages to here their music and more :-):

http://www.carpartyband.com
http://www.twitter.com/carparty
http://www.facebook.com/carparty

Adammo

Ádammo is the revelation of teen pop rock music in Latin America. Ezio, Nicholas, Renzo and Diego are Ádammo, four teenagers that share one same dream and one same passion: music. The band’s name originates from a Greek dialect that means “The pleasure of doing something”, in this case, the pleasure of making music. It all began in 2008, when Adammo decided to participate in the biggest contest of music in Peru called “Garage Band” organized by Studio 92, the country’s most important radio station. More than 500 bands around the country participated and Adammo won. This launched the band to popularity creating a new musical movement in Peru and Latin America called Power Pop. Towards the end of the year, Adammo’s first video for their single “Sin Miedo” began to rotate in the well-known TV channel MTV Latin America (MTVLA). In two weeks it was among the 10 most requested videos and eventually reached the top of the ranking of “The 10 + voted MTVLA” for more than 30 days. In early 2009, Adammo contacted Kandavu Productions, a renowned entertainment company in Peru, who agreed to manage the band. Now as a team, the band recorded their first album “Sin Miedo” and began a short but successful tour around Peru, gaining passionate fans that still follow them today. The band presented their first album “Sin Miedo” at venue that holds up to 3000 people. An unforgettable party took place: fans waited for hours in line, tickets were quickly sold out, girls and boys were screaming and singing every single song and finally, after the rock show, every single fan got the autographs of their favorite band in a 2 hour autograph signing event… Adammo is now officially a fever within Peruvian teenagers. Eventually, the opportunity to perform in big music festivals came. The first one was opening for Mexican band Camila with more than 10 000 attendees, who knew little or nothing about Adammo, but this didn’t intimidate the band and the crowd responded cheerfully. After this, the band was invited as an opening act for artists such as Beyonce, Backstreet Boys, and more…Adammo’s second single, “En Tus Suenos”, also spent more than 30 days between the most voted videos, as well as reaching MTVLA’s first place in “The 100 most requested videos of 2009”. The success of these videos led MTVLA to nominate them in the MTVLA 2009 Awards in 3 different categories award, winning the category for “Best New Central Artist”. In early 2010 Adammo travels to California to record their latest production “Amber”, leaded by Grammy-nominated producer Joe Marlett at Signature Studios in San Diego and Chalice Studios in Los Angeles. In this album, the band decides to record their first song in English “Catch Me”. The band’s video for their single “Algun Dia” is Peru’s largest audiovisual production yet. This video had such an impact in the Latin American audience, that towards the end of 2010, the Latin Grammys nominated “Algun Dia” for Best Short Video, making them the youngest Latin band nominated yet.
“Amber” is then released in early 2011 in a music festival leaded by Adammo called “Amber Fest” with national and international guests such as Andrea Guasch, who is featured in the English and Spanish versions of their latest single and video “Siento Que Caigo”/“Catch Me”. The band eventually becomes a phenomenon of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, becoming an important and basic tool for the band’s marketing strategy. Thanks to the internet, language and distance isn’t a barrier for the band, who have already received messages all the way from Japan, Indonesia, Italy, Spain and others through the band’s Verified Twitter Account as well as Ezio’s, Nicholas’s, Renzo’s and Diego’s Verified Accounts… Twitter names Adammo as the most recommended and influential people to follow in Peru and Latin America. Most recently, Adammo has been nominated for the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards as World Wide Act Latin American that will take place this upcoming November 6th in the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland. In these 3 years of musical career, Adammo has appeared in different TV shows such as MTVLA’s hit teen series “Ninas Mal”, as well as Nickelodeon’s latest series “Grachi” with the songs “Hechizo De Amor” and “Algun Dia”. The band had the opportunity to appear in one of Grachi’s episodes performing both songs that are part of the original Grachi Soundtrack. Musically, producer Joe Marlett defines Adammo as a “great new band with a very interesting musical purpose, mixes with great results rock’s aggressive style and pop’s versatility. The songs have a very good handle on composition and mixes; that along with the solid distortion from the guitars and the strength of the vocal interpretation, give as a result a disc (Amber) with a new sound and full of energy”.  Adammo is this and much more… It’s an energy that exists between four brothers; Ezio, Nicholas, Renzo and Diego.

http://www.adammo.net
http://www.facebook.com/adammoperu
http://www.myspace.com/adammoperu

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

Justin Pietrowski

Born and raised in Western New York, Justin Pietrowski spent his entire life being exposed to the classics of the rockin blues. Pietrowski’s theories, inspiration and sound come from the best of musicians from Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Robin Trower, Robert Cray, The Allman Brothers Band, Warren Haynes, Joe Bonamassa and many more. It’s safe to say that Justin’s IPod is full of the classics. So it’s been a hell of a ride for Pietrowski. Originally starting his professional career in Northern Japan, he spent a lot of stage time with music greats in Japan. Pietrowski had the privilege of having Japan-great guitarist, Hiroshi Sasaki as a personal mentor and great friend. Sasaki and Pietrowski have been seen on many different stages all over northern Japan. Pietrowski also had a very close friendship with Japan professional, Masato Yonaiyama. Yonaiyama and Pietrowski sat on various stages together as well as shared a great friendship together. Masato Yonaiyama, nearly 60 years old has played the country of Japan professionally for over 40 years. Off Stage he has spent time sitting in on venues in Australia, Japan, and the US. During a short experience in Australia, Pietrowski met up with Triple-J recording artist Gareth Dawkins and had several recordings and guest appearances with him. Gareth has several nationally ranked songs in Australia. It was an honor for Pietrowski to be able to unleash such great music with Dawkins. (www.myspace.com/garethjdawkins). To listen in on what Gareth and Justin were able to create, check out the track: “Today Was Yesterday”. The song, written and composed by Pietrowski had Dawkins sit in on the vocals. The song reached into the top 500 songs in the Play Crossroads guitar contest. In May 2010, Pietrowski entered his music into the Play Crossroads guitar contest which privied him the chance at playing the Crossroads Guitar Festival thrown by Eric Clapton in Chicago. Although not selected as winner, Pietrowski in only one month in the contest climbed all the way up to #165 overall in the contest of over 1000 bands. Guitar for Pietrowski is the outlet. It puts him in a world of his own where there are no bosses or bureaucracy– just him and a guitar. It’s the way for him to talk, scream, cry, bitch and complain all at this piece of wood and then let it do the talking for him. Now based in Hampton Roads, Virginia, Pietrowski has joined forces to create the power blues trio, JP3 which is destined for greatness. Justin refers to his band, Ron and Dave, as his winnings in the Virginia State Lottery. They are his lucky scratch off ticket. The JP3 is now a premier level power trio that is taking the Hampton Roads area by storm. When you walk in and JP3 is on stage, plan on staying the evening because the next song is always just as good and better as the one you walked in on. The soul and sync of JP3 is amazing and it’s bound for a great show every time they take stage. Each musician in the band holds their own and incorporates such a great style that really makes every song a great version to remember.

Endorsed with Clayton since early 2011, and has used our picks for many years! Click here for Justin’s Website!

The new way to scratch your lottery tickets!

We just got done with a very large order for the California Lottery. These were printed with white ink on our baby blue celluloid material. untitled-1This material is offered on larger orders, and it’s available in many other colors. If you are interested in pricing or more information please give us a call and we would be happy to assist you with your questions. After we ran these picks I realized that picks are a handy tool to use to on my scratch it lottery tickets. It’s amazing how versatile guitar picks can actually be! What are some of the things you use your guitar picks for other then pickin’? We’d love to hear your answers! 🙂