Steve Clayton Blog

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 :-). 

Pick of the Week — Video Games Live

We are proud to feature an amazing pick design for this week’s Pick of the Week! They were designed by Clayton customer Tommy Tallarico. “Tommy is a veritable video game industry icon.  As one of the most successful video game composers in history, he has helped revolutionize the gaming world, creating unique audio landscapes that enhance the video gaming experience.  Tallarico has been writing music for video games for more than 21 years.  He has won over 45 industry awards and has worked on more than 275 game titles; to date.  No one in the history of the video game industry has ever worked on more titles and projects.  In 2008, he was enshrined in the Guinness Book of World Records and currently holds 3 Guinness World Records including the person who has worked on the most commercially released video games.  In 2005 he launched his highly successful worldwide Video Games Live concert series which opened at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic.” The team here at Clayton was really exited about Tommy’s picks, because the design is intricate with a variety of shading, but came out beautifully on our white pearl pick material. They were created for a special event called Video Games Live. “Video Games Live is an immersive concert event featuring music from the greatest video games of all time.  Top orchestras and choirs around the world perform along with exclusive video footage and music arrangements, synchronized lighting, special fx, solo performers, electronic percussion, live action and unique interactive segments to create an explosive one-of-a-kind entertainment experience.  VGL has been featured as a PBS Special (2010) and their album debuted at #8 on the Billboard charts.
To find out more about Tommy Tallarico and Video Games live, check out these sites:
Video Games Live website:  www.videogameslive.com
Tommy Tallarico website:  www.tallarico.com
Video Games Live Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Video-Games-Live/62865898389
Tommy Tallarico Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/tommytallarico
To design your own awesome custom guitar picks, visit www.claytoncustom.com!

Pick of the Week — Borrowed Time

This week’s Pick of the Week is for a Blues/Rock jam band/cover band in suburban Chicago called Borrowed Time.  Here is a little about the band from guitarist Michael Sommerfeld: “What we really are is a bunch of old friends with wives and kids who started getting together at a studio on Thursday nights to just jam for the hell of it.  After about 5 years we realized we were making some good music and we should start playing in front of people.  So we started playing local bars, and had our friends come my.  The gig offers just kept coming, and we will continue to play as long as we can (or the wives let us).  We pretty much will play for free (or at least beer), as this is not our career, but rather an escape from our careers.  Our song repertoire includes Beatles, Petty, Dylan, Grateful Dead, and basically any song that sounds good with a jam.   You can see a a little more about us in a very incomplete website www.borrowedtimefan.com.  Also would add that we have a face book page
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Borrowed-Time/175263943986. I was very proud of my pick design, so I am very excited that it is being acknowledged.  Your website interface is superb, and I can’t say enough about the timing of the delivery, as well as how great the picks turned out.  So thanks!!!!” Michael designed his picks for your white pearl material, which gives a cool, almost 3-D appearance for their logo. Create your own custom picks today at www.claytoncustom.com!

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.

Pick of the Week — Mike Goncalves of HIP KITTY

This week’s Pick of the Week was created for guitarist Mike Goncalves. Mike is the lead guitar player for HIP KITTY. HIP KITTY is a female-fronted rock band based out of Nashville, TN. They play over 250 dates a year from Key West to Alaska. They work with AFE (Armed Forces Entertainment) and play military bases all around the globe in support of our troops. They have 2 songs; “Other Personality” and “Stuck in a Rut” off of their album The Art of War that appear on ROCK BAND. They just released their latest self-titled album. It is now available on itunes or can be purchased at hipkittyband.com. Mike’s site: facebook.com/mike.goncalves2. The HIP KITTY picks were made on our white delrin material, which is great to showcase the bright colors in the design. Create your own custom picks today at www.claytoncustom.com!

Ultem-ate

Ultem material guitar picks are the ultimate in quality! Even on dull strings, these picks are sure to create crisp, clean tones. The sound of these picks is meant to resemble that of true tortoiseshell picks, but, unlike real tortoiseshell, they are not susceptible to fractures. These are some of the strongest picks on the market, and you will be sure to love the bright sounds that they produce! They are available in eight different gauges. They are tan in color, and available with the Clayton eagle logo in white epoxy (http://www.steveclayton.com/ultem.php), or for customization (http://www.claytoncustom.com)! They are also offered in three different shapes including standard, rounded triangle, and small teardrop. 

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

Pick of the Week — Taking Fire

This week’s Pick of the Week was created for the band Taking Fire. “Near the end of 2009, former members of A Bitter End Ash Abdullah, Gabe Zagarolli, and O’bryan Ruiz hooked up with virtuoso guitarist and guitar instructor Albert Burrola and young phenom guitar shredder Anthony Burrola. All sharing in similar musical taste and the need to create the most dynamic, intense, and melodic music they could, the five musicians began collaborating on their first album together under a new name; Taking Fire. Brutal, intelligent, thought-provoking and inspiring are of but a few words that describe Taking Fire’s brand of metal. Since their union, the band has played all over the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, gaining new fans at every show. Recently, Taking Fire finished up the recording of their debut album ‘Battle Plan.'” Find out more about Taking Fire on their ReverbNation site at http://www.reverbnation.com/c./rpk/174536. Taking Fire’s picks were made on our acetal material in a rounded triangle shape. The logo for the band is a perfect fit for the oversized rounded triangle picks. Design and order your own custom picks today at www.claytoncustom.com!

Eco-nomize

Hey Clayton fans!! This week only, we are running a special on our custom guitar picks! We are offering free shipping on your order, to anywhere in the US, along with a free pack of our Eco-Picks (for both international and domestic orders). Our Eco-Picks are made from environmentally friendly material, and are certified compostable…in addition to being professional quality and producing an awesome sound. All you need to do to take advantage of this offer is to enter the code ECO897 when placing your order through our website at www.claytoncustom.com. Be sure to put all letters in capitals, and have no spaces when entering the code. This sale only goes through August 30th, so don’t wait to place your order!

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

Pick of the Week — Priest

This week, we are proud to feature Priest as the musician who ordered this awesome design for Pick of the Week! “Priest is the former guitarist for Shadows Lie, Sick, and Sikbellamuerte and is the  creator and founder of the rock band The Deadlyz. Do you know Priest? Chances are you have heard about him, or sensed him in the music you listen to. As versatile as a circus performer, he is a true entertainer in his own indistinguishable way. Priest has been everywhere from Anchorage, Alaska to Orlando, Florida with many memorable stops in between. Having the opportunity to perform with such notable musicians such as Erben Perez (Bassist for Latin music sensation Marc Anthonys) and Ernie C (founding member of Body Count), Priest has proven himself a dedicated musician, whether it be writing/performing original material with his own musical creation, or session musician-for-hire gigs. While living in Hawaii at age six, a $3.00 Ukulele would change Priest’s world forever. By age seven, he not only mastered playing, he also got to experience the stage life, thanks to his first mentor: Hawaiian sensation Uncle Willie K encouraged Priest to perform in front of crowds, not only in small venues, but also on the sidewalks of the Fishermans Warf on Front Street in the section of Maui known as Lahaina. After Hawaii, Priest returned to his hometown of Anchorage, Alaska where he began to form bonds and bands with fellow musicians. Taking those acts to the next level by entering (and winning) Local Battle of the Bands, and Guitar Riff Contests, Priest was privileged enough to take his Band Se7en to the Seattle Music Experience Projects main Stage in Seattle, Washington. Upon his arrival in New York City, Priest sought out the many musical facets the city has to offer. Among those was the opportunity to work with hard rock band Shadows Lie, who, at the time, was being produced by uber producers Todd Terry (the godfather of house music) and Bill Klatt (Rolling Stones, Cher, Jay-Z, Days of the New). With a new guidance of performance and professionalism, both on stage and studio-wise, Priest still utilizes those lessons today. Priest notes his influences as (but not limited to) the following: Prince, John 5, Robin Fink, BumbleFoot, Carlos Santana, Zakk Wylde, Queen, Pink, H.I.M , Keith Sweat, Rob Zombie, Nine Inch Nails, Sevendust, etc. Available for hire as a session musician, and touring guitarist, visually and creatively, you can check out more on priest at www.youtube.com/priestworld, http://www.myspace.com/priestsworld, and www.zazzle.com/priestworld.” Priest’s picks, with a the clever purple cartoon graphic, were made on our marbleized white pearl material (they also feature his signature on the back side of the picks. Create and order your own custom guitar picks today at claytoncustom.com!

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

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

NEO GEO

NEO GEO has been making waves since 2008 with their original and unpredictable brand of electro-tinged rock, described by Sugar Buzz Magazine as, “like Paramore, may remind you of No Doubt, with a touch of Evanescence and lots of EDGE and DRIVE.” The band’s name is indicative of their attitude towards their sound. “NEO GEO means new earth,” says lead vocalist Rainy Terrell. “We wanted to create something new and special, something groundbreaking and different.” “All of us coming from different backgrounds, you can hear the influences  in the music of the different genres we come from. We also wanted to incorporate an electronic vibe, so we thought NEO GEO was fitting in all aspects.” In 2009 the five-piece from Orange County gained sponsorship from Roland, and was a featured artist on their showcase stage at Winter NAMM ’09 alongside Shiny Toy Guns.  The band also teamed up with Hardline Entertainment in 2010, enlisting the expertise of Ken Seaton and Fletcher Dragge (Pennywise). NEO GEO worked tirelessly on their debut studio album with Grammy award-winning producer Cameron Webb (Kelly Clarkson, Motorhead, Pennywise, Weezer).  Their self-titled debut album is scheduled for release on Hardline Entertainment in June 2011. “What blows me away the most about Neo Geo is that this is their first album and their ability to write and perform such great songs.  One listen to Rainy and you are blown away by her melodies and passion to sing from the heart,” affirms Cameron. No strangers to high-profile shows, NEO GEO has already rocked the stages of several infamous LA landmarks, including the Roxy with Dead By Sunrise, the House of Blues with Strung Out and their own headline show at the Whiskey A Go Go. Following the incredible success of their 2010 warped tour, Neo Geo has signed on for 15 shows on the 2011 tour starting in Florida. They will be performing among bands like Black Veil Brides, Less Than Jake, and Yelawolf marking their second year in a row playing the festival-  http://vanswarpedtour.com/band/neo-geo. Their song, “Can’t Catch Me,” is to be featured on the Official 2011 Vans Warped Compilation CD. Capitalizing on the international impact of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and online marketing tools like MySpace and Reverb Nation, NEO GEO already has an ever-expanding global fan base as far-flung as Australia.

We are proud endorsers of Neo Geo :-). Check out their website here:

http://neogeomusic.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

Joe Hero

Joe Hero was originally formed by three long-time friends and local music veterans who have performed together for years under different scenarios and with different bands. Drawing upon this experience, they formed as a rock trio in 2005 and recorded their initial 4-song demo that summer. After writing numerous songs and playing numerous shows in their area, Joe Hero completed the recording of their debut album which was released in 2007 with the title “A Hero’s Welcome”. Described as “in-your-face hard rock with a turn-it-up attitude and no BS” by Darryl Gregory of Indie-music.com, A Hero’s Welcome is available through CDBaby.com or iTunes. Music from the album has received traditional radio and online radio airplay, and has also been featured in at least twenty different online podcasts across the globe. In August 2010, the band released their follow-up recording, a 4-song EP titled “The Vandermint Sessions”. For booking or other info, contact JoeHero@nc.rr.com.

In summer 2011 Joe Hero created and began booking dates for “A Salute to the Foo Fighters”, a set of FF cover songs inspired by one of their favorite bands.

Endorsed with Clayton since 2011, check them out! www.reverbnation.com/joehero

My Amends – “Slaves” [Music Video] « Videos « PureGrainAudio.com

My Amends – “Slaves” [Music Video] « Videos « PureGrainAudio.com.

Check out this video from our endorsed artists My Amends, there new song Slaves rocks! And check out our pick in the beginning!

Frosty

Looking for a “cool” pick that won’t let you down during your sizzling summer concerts? Give Clayton Frost-Bytes a try! Made out of a frosty blue nylon material, these picks have a textured grip on both sides that make them feel like they are actually frozen onto your fingers! There is no slipping around with these, no matter how intense your playing is. They are also made for long-lasting durability, and awesome sound. They are available in standard shape, and six different gauges. Order yours today at steveclayton.com!

Pick of the Week — Alien Blues Project

This week’s Pick of the Week was created and ordered by Dave James from Norwalk, Ohio. He has played all sorts of music for the past 30 + years. He fronted the band Dave James and the Twang Factor for fifteen years, recorded 7 cds, and came as close as you can get to getting a deal in Nashville. After that he started a band with his wife called “Jamestown.” They recorded a couple of cds and have since parted ways. The next logical step for Dave was blues, something he’s always wanted to do… hence “Dave James Alien Blues Project”. A five piece band with 3 girl backup singers. Dave reports:  “I’ve gotta say it’s the most fun I’ve ever had playing, performing, singing  and writing. This is a new project so all promo is in the works, we have started to record the first cd ” Cigars, Guitars and the Blues”. I wanted to bring in all my influences so it’s blues based, but with some rock, funk and country flavor.We’ve done a handful of concerts and what a blast. Keep checking in the future for music and videos.”  Visit their website: davejamesalienblues.com ( under construction)  or email  davejamesalienblues@yahoo.com. Also, check out YouTube  Dave James Alien Blues Project  for a promo video: http://youtu.be/SUBQwV5wE38. Dave’s picks were made on our white pearl material, which gives them an awesome, almost 3-D appearance. Design your own custom picks today at www.claytoncustom.com!

Allies Aside

We just recently endorsed the band Allies Aside. Here is a little about the band from their FB page, “Forming in January of 2011, going through some member changes but never giving up on the passion they have for the music they create, being known for their great live performances and strong Stage Presence they bring to every show. Allies Aside is a band about effort with the determination of being remembered. Not by looks, not only by talent, but just sharing our music with those who will listen…. Allies Aside is a band about putting on the best performance they can, by doing what they love, hoping their music will move the crowd into the right direction with their positive influences. They hope to take their journey as far as they can. Music is about passion, and they live for making music their passion.” Check them out of Facebook!