Endorsed Artists


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:


Endorsed with Clayton since 2010


In 2001 the band FORERUNNER was formed with a purpose of applying a message of Holiness threaded throughout the original God inspired lyrics blended with a solid musical progressive rock sound. Ryan Adkins, The lead vocalist and Lead guitarist, along with the band, stepped into the recording studio in the spring of 2002 intent upon laying down tracks that would be true to an era of simplicity and the solid sound of the live unhindered music. Twelve continuous hours of work spawned their first album entitled “Etched In Stone.” This record is not the typical, but ten songs done virtually in one take, and some of which, mirroring the so called “long songs” of rock and rolls past at over seven minutes in length. The ministry of the group has spent time all across the state, and surrounding states, at youth functions, church services, and festivals pouring themselves out in obedience to God’s call. The connection produced from the mixture of these two languages of theology and melody has experienced many transformed lives for the kingdom of God and many more to come. Ryan Adkins is originally from Magnolia, Ohio, near Canton, where he has been involved in a variety of eleven different bands in eighteen years. He has written and produced most of the music they perform and is a graduate of Ohio Christian University having received a degree in Christian Ministries and Music. He received a Masters in Divinity from Wesley Biblical Seminary. Also, Ryan is ordained through the Churches of Christ in Christian Union. Jeff Lutz is the Percussionist and also sings back up vocals. From Lancaster, Ohio, he has impacted the group with his classic rock style and successful arrangements. He has played drums guitar and bass for a combined more than 20 years.  Brian Sponseller is originally from North Canton, Ohio. He received a BA in Christian Ministry from Ohio Christian University in 2002. In 2006 he completed a Masters in Divinity from Wesley Biblical Seminary and was ordained in the Churches of Christ in Christian Union. His rhythmic hooks and intensive lead-work lay a foundation for the group€™s originality. In addition to the guitar work, he provides a high tenor harmony to help complete FORERUNNER. Mike Culp, the newest bass player of Forerunner joined the group in November 2007. Born in Dayton, OH, Mike’s family moved to Circleville in 1992. He graduated from Circleville High School in 2002 with Marching/Concert Band being his favorite course. He then went on to study Christian Ministry and Psychology at the Circleville Bible College now known as the Ohio Christian University. He is licensed by the Church of Christ in Christian Union and is called to preach. He is a vital part of the ministry at Praise Memorial Church and is an active member of the Ohio Air National Guard. He hopes to have many long years working with the band Forerunner and spreading God’s word to the younger generation through their music. The group has extended its abilities with the opening of Forerunner Recording Studio. You can check out several demos from this album at the links listed below. FORERUNNER has begun scheduling dates to promote this upcoming project.


Endorsed with Clayton since 2010

A Friend Called Fire

A FRIEND CALLED FIRE.. is a high-octane rock trio hailing from The Windy City. With a foundation based upon an infectious rhythmic assault, the band’s music is a pairing of heavy grooves based in rock and metal influence fused with hooks and melodies both genuine and purposeful. The trio, consisting of Jon Allegretto (lead vocals, guitar), Powers (bass, backing vocals) and Aaron J. (drums, percussion) are quickly making headway in their native Chicago in addition to many regional markets through touring and relentless marketing and promotion. Lyrically Allegretto’s words seek to entice listeners to view their own lives and strive for improvements in the world around them. A Friend Called Fire’s music is the catalyst for songs concerning love and hate, grief and ecstasy, the current state and future of the world we live in and beyond. The band’s explosive live shows prove that much like their name implies, A Friend Called Fire in many ways creates and destroys with passion and power. Think Muse hanging out with Strata and Social D., while on the phone with Sevendust, Breaking Benjamin and Clutch who just left a party at System of a Down’s house that was just crashed by Mute Math in a rebellious frenzy. Or something.


Endorsed with Clayton since 2010, Photo by Sarah Scott.


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

My Amends

Based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, My Amends is made up of of five very talented individuals, each with a long history of playing with bands including Remembering Never, Hiatus, Aeons Apart and Razorblade Romance. Since forming in 2008, My Amends has achieved an impressive list of accomplishments, including sharing the stage with national acts like Poison the Well, Every Time I Die, Remembering Never, Vanna and Straight Line Stitch. My Amends was also the only non-Spanish speaking guests to be invited to the TV show Estrella2. My Amends joined the Ingenious Records roster in late 2009, released their debut EP “That of a Lion”, and premiered the music video for their single “Get Help” at Auteur Explosion Ft. Lauderdale. Beyond these achievements, My Amends’ passionate music also caught the attention of a national non-profit organization, the Human Rights Torch Relay, who approached the band to write and perform a song about persecution against the Falun Gong spiritual practice in China. While working on “That of Lion”, My Amends wrote and recorded a song dedicated to raising awareness about this cause. The song “I’d like you to see” was donated to the public and can be downloaded for free here. My Amends will be touring through the summer and hit the studio this winter to record and release their next album by spring of 2011.

Check out more about My Amends here http://www.reverbnation.com/myamends

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

Spotlight on Clayton Celebrities at NAMM

As you know, this year’s record-setting NAMM was an exciting time for Clayton and our endorsed artists. After the show was over, a final closing video was created to review this major yearly event. We are proud to announce that two of Clayton, Inc.’s endorsed artists, BooBoo Stewart and Kyle Gass, were chosen to speak for this important public service announcement. Be sure to check out the video entitled “NAMM Show: That’s a Wrap!” at http://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2011 to get all of the highlights!!

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!”


Salient has risen to the forefront of independent music with its dynamic live show, melodic rock sound, and lyrics that depict the universal search for hope and redemption in a broken world. Salient originally formed in the fall of 2002 and gained momentum quickly. A full-length album was independently produced and released in June of 2004, and an EP showcasing the growth of the band’s sound followed in January 2006. The EP resulted in the first acclaimed Salient song “Immortalize Me” thanks to the impact of online promotion and distribution through sites like Garageband.com and iTunes. Vocalist Mark Duckworth and guitarist Bobby Reinsch have traveled the world playing music and bring a confidence to the stage that can only result from the tests of time and experience. The addition of Jeromy Rowe on the drums and Craig Woelber on bass has truly brought their songs to life. Intent on learning from their lessons in the music business, these four have formed a bond that seeks to weather the cyclical nature of industry approval and come out stronger together on the other side. From the beginning the response has been overwhelming. Fans from across the world have taken notice of Salient and a broad cross-section of society has found a band that they can truly relate to. “I believe that people are tired of having musical superficiality shoved at them by executives in suits,” remarks Duckworth. “Our goal is to share our lives through our music. It’s time to get real.”


(Endorsed with Clayton Since 2010)

Kose of This Grace

Kose is one of the two guitar players for This Grace, a five-piece rock band formed in 2005 in northern Italy.
”7 Faster Heartbeats”, the full-length debut, was completed in the spring of 2008, after a very intensive recording session. Soon after the band was chosen from over 2600 Italian bands to play at Heineken Jammin’ Festival in Venice, backing up renowned bands such as Linkin Park, Queens Of The Stone Age and Sex Pistols.
The video clip for the single “To the top”, by director Fabio D’Orta, was shot in late 2008 and gained the first place on the MTV Brand New Italian chart.
The band is currently recording a new album. Kose has been using Clayton custom picks for years now and became endorsed with us in 2010.

Gino DiGeso of Stoned Fire

Stoned Fire is a New York City Classic Rock Band featuring Singer Petar Krsikapa, Guitarists Gino DiGeso & Sean Battista, Bass player, David Alva and Keyboard player Georgios Pesios. Stoned Fire is upcoming rock band that is making a statement in the rock scene. “Once you hear us, you will feel dirty!” See what the NYC venues are saying about us .

“Stoned Fire is the type of band i love to see reppin in this music scene of ours. A Straightup kickass Hard Rock outfit with good tunes and unlimited potential. A perfect example of the kind of band talent the nyc rock underground has to offer to the masses” – Kevin of Ace of Clubs NYC

“Great turnout…very exciting band to watch live a must see! Walter of Trash Bar Brooklyn

“Watching this band play live is like being back in 1966, great band!” Don of Don Hills NYC”

“Stoned Fire are an impressive harmonic hard rock band with a vintage sound that was a refreshing surprise and they also drew a nice crowd.” DJ SuperMorgan, F*Bomb. Delancey

Stoned Fire gives the flash and energy of a time when rock and roll was raw and real in a time where other acts get lost in the ambient noise of most venues. boom! Dan of Turnstyle Music Group (Public Assembly, Uncle Mikes, National Underground)

“Stoned Fire is a standout among young New York City rock bands. Great musicians and creative songwriting make Stoned Fire a fresh new twist on a classic style. Keep an eye and an ear out for them… CT Tamura – Gotham Rocks NYC (Crash Mansion, Gramercy Theater, Bower Ballroom, Highline Ballroom).


Endorsed with Clayton since 2010

Gino Meregillano

Gino Meregillano is the U.S. guitarist for the Guana Batz.  Now based in the United States, the Guana Batz were one of the founding fathers of English Psychobilly in the mid eighties.  When Gino’s not on the road with the Batz, he can be found playing Surf Guitar around southern California with the group Mo’ Wasabi as well as fronting  his own three piece Rockabilly/Vintage Rock and Roll band, Gino and the Lone Gunmen.  The Lone Gunmen’s self produced debut CD (featuring Gino on guitar and lead vocals) was released in early 2010.  Gino has professional endorsements with Gretsch Guitars and Coffin Case Accessories.


Endorsed with Clayton since 2010

Chris Brotherton

Chris has a celebrated ‘duality’, known throughout the midwest as a singer/songwriter and performer with his own band the Western Plainsmen, but also known coast to coast as the drummer for the critically acclaimed Alt. Country act the John D Hale Band.

Chris was nicknamed the Modern Day Renaissance Man referring to his ability to do multiple jobs and do them well. His showmanship on stage is equally impressive whether he is behind the mic, the drums, guitar, or bass. In addition to performing, Chris is an accomplished songwriter, not only having penned his new solo project MDRM, but also has multiple writing credits on the acclaimed 2008 release ‘LOST’ by the John D Hale Band. He’s worked as a producer, a studio engineer, and was the original FOH sound engineer for the reknown Snorty Horse Saloon

Chris began his music career in radio, spending over ten years in behind the mic. Since Chris began pursuing his own music full time, he has performed and worked side by side with, and opening shows for some today’s best and brightest stars in Country music as well as many legends of the business, including… Billy Joe Shaver, Billy Currington, Bruce Robison, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Confederate Railroad, David Allan Coe, Eric Church, Fred Eaglesmith, Jamey Johnson, Jack Ingram, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Josh Turner, Junior Brown, The Kentucky Headhunters, Lucero, Randy Rogers Band, Reckless Kelly, Shooter Jennings and countless others.


(Endorsed with Clayton since 2010)

Guitar Pick Collecting

I found this amazing article on Guitar Pick collecting that was done by The Ottawa Citizen. It incredible how popular and lucrative pick collecting has become. I love how they mention a $1,000 Johnny Cash pick going for sale on ebay. I love that since we worked with Johnny Cash for several years making him custom Black Acetal Custom guitar picks with his signature on them a long long time ago…. Read more here at a past blog posting. 

A Pick from our Archives – Johnny Cash

You can read the pick collecting article below (original source The Ottawa Citizen):

The Guitar Pick Collector

In 1986, Alex Golota picked up a Pat Travers pick from the stage at Barrymore’s. Today he has more than 700 picks from rock’s biggest names.

By Bruce Deachman, Ottawa Citizen January 16, 2011
Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/Guitar+Pick+Collector/4116340/story.html#ixzz1BbYwO2AY

The first guitar pick that Alex Golota recalls picking up — off the stage at Barrymore’s Music Hall, back in the mid 1980s when he did lighting at the Bank Street club — belonged to Pat Travers. The picks were initially an accompaniment to the 8×10-inch promo photos of musicians Golota collected as reminders of the shows he’d attended or worked; he would glue the picks to the photos and then have them framed. If he could, he’d get one or both autographed.

As the years passed, Golota’s collection of picks grew. Some, like Travers’s, he picked up after a concert. Guitarists would sometimes give him one of their picks, or he would ask one of their technicians for one. Friends in the sound and lighting trades, aware of his hobby, would acquire picks on his behalf. He has picks from some of the biggest names: The Rolling Stones, with their trademark tongue and lips; ZZ Top (both); one from Prince, via Jon Bon Jovi’s guitar technician and instantly identifiable by the unpronounceable “Love Symbol” he adopted as his stage name in 1993; a metal guitar pick from Def Leppard; Eric Clapton; Stevie Ray Vaughan; Buddy Holly; The Edge; a yellow pick that bears Alice Cooper’s name and likeness; and Avril Lavigne and Steve Earle, who each have skulls adorning their picks (his in green, hers in pink).

“I recently got Jeff Beck,” says Golota, 51, “which is really hard to get because he doesn’t use a guitar pick. But I managed to catch up to his road manager on stage, and he has a bag of guitar picks that Jeff had 30 years ago, and he keeps them for real true fans. It actually says ‘This pick was stolen from Jeff Beck’ on it.

“I have that.”

He keeps his collection — 726 picks at last count, but growing all the time — in a pair of binders, one carrying the monogrammed and autographed picks, the other holding picks you’ll just have to take his word that they’re from who he says they are, like the Fender pick used by Bruce Springsteen.

“I found it right beside his guitar stand, and I know he uses a plain white Fender pick and I know it’s Bruce Springsteen’s pick.”

Curiously, perhaps, he doesn’t play guitar himself. But growing up in Old Ottawa South, his idols included Jimi Hendrix and Procol Harum’s Robin Trower.

“I started keening on guitar players,” he recalls. “They’re the heroes in the

rock ‘n’ roll field.”

The first show he attended was an April Wine concert at the Civic Centre when he was 16. As he watched the roadies and technicians set up the stage be-between acts, he decided that was what he wanted to do for a living. Currently a lighting designer with the Canadian Museum of Civilization, where he’s worked for the past 18 years, he started out with Wall Sound, then moved to Barrymore’s. In between, he toured for two years as Stompin’ Tom Connors’ stage manager, and spent six months on the road with Charlie Pride.

He takes his summer holidays during Bluesfest, where he does lighting and, with the help of the other techs, collects more picks. Last summer, he added 17 to his collection. The year before that, a record 48.

“That’s my vacation,” he says. “The museum is so corporate — I have to wear a suit there most of the time.

“And my roots are in rock ‘n’ roll, so I want to go back every year and make sure I can still do lights for rock ‘n’ roll.”

Some of the picks in his collection are definitely rarities. A pick used by Gene Simmons bears the KISS bassist’s thumbprint in theatrical blood. One that belonged to Jeff Smallwood — guitarist for Roch Voisine and Luba — is fashioned from a hotel room key card. He has a Spinal Tap pick used during a Canada Day show in St. John’s, as well one used recently by Crash Karma for a concert for Canadian troops in Afghanistan. Golota even has a pick used by NDP leader Jack Layton.

Then there are the ones missing from his collection. He’s resigned to the fact that he’ll never own a Hendrix pick, while an online search for one used by Johnny Cash uncovered a $1,000 price tag, too steep for Golota.

“These are actually rarer than stamps and coins,” he says, “because stamps and coins they produce hundreds of thousands or millions, but when a guitar player goes out on tour, he may only take 1,000 picks — a bagful. Over his career he may not buy another bag. So the rarity of these things is crazy.

“We had an insurance adjuster come in and look at the stuff, and he said ‘You’re sitting on a dream home here. There’s somebody out there who’s interested in buying it, somewhere, somehow.'”

But he’s not interested in selling. “It’s not about making money,” he says. “It’s just trying to get it all in one place. I’m a curator and trying to keep it all together, and if people can appreciate it, that’s great.”

Through profiles here and online, Bruce Deachman uncovers the people who bring Ottawa to life, people who exhibit and unusual passion or obsession. Do you know someone who is one in a million? E-mail the details to

Visit ottawacitizen.com/million to see more photos and listen to Alex Golota, or to see past stories.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/Guitar+Pick+Collector/4116340/story.html#ixzz1BbYrAd6M

Kyle Gass and John Konesky of Tenacious D at the Clayton NAMM Booth 2011

This year we were so happy to have the amazing Kyle Gass of Tenacious D come sign at our booth for a 2nd year in a row! Tenacious D has a very loyal fan base, and the lines were wrapping very long all over the place to get to meet Kyle and John this year! Very amazing! This year he brought along the VERY talented John Konesky also of Tenacious D. Kyle and John are both Clayton Endorsed. They were there to promote their youtube channel called Guitarings, which shows you how to play many of the popular Tenacious D songs. Below is a clip of them showing how to play the Tenacious D song “Tribute”: Below are some pictures of them signing for all of their fans at our NAMM booth!

Twlight Star Booboo Stewart and Fivel Stewart Clayton Booth NAMM 2011

We had lots of different artists singing at our NAMM 2011 booth this year, which included Booboo and Fivel Stewart of “Booboo and Fivel”.  You may recognize Booboo from the very popular Twlight Saga movies. He plays the youngest werewolf Seth Clearwater in the series. Him and his sister Fivel are currently in the band “Booboo and Fivel”, and have released a single titled “Rainy Day”.  You can view the video at the bottom of this post.  Booboo is an official endorsed artist at Clayton, Inc. so we brought him into NAMM to help promote his amazing talents as a guitarist and drummer.  As he waited for the limo to pick him up to bring him to the convention center, he played around on the drums.  See the video here: Below are some pictures from the signing at our NAMM booth.

NAMM 2011

We are back from a very busy NAMM show, and we wanted to share some photos from our booth this year! We had several artist signings including, Playmate Kassie Lyn, Twilight Saga Star Booboo Stewart and his sister Fivel, Kyle Gass and John Konesky of Tenacious D.  We will post more detailed information on all of our NAMM happenings soon!

Andrew Synowiec

You may not have heard of Andrew Synowiec by name, but chances are you have heard his guitar playing. Whether on the theme to The NFL on FOX, the CBS hit drama Without A Trace, a blockbuster movie trailer or a Billboard hit, Andrew is one of LA’s busiest young session musicians.  Andrew has recorded for an incredibly diverse spectrum of artists  ranging from Aimee Mann to Rob Zombie.  He has garnered five Grammy nominations and contributed to records selling over 10 million copies worldwide.  In addition, Andrew plays on numerous film and commercial music sessions for clients such as Sony, Warner Bros., Universal, MGM, Disney, New Line Cinema and many others.  Productions featuring his performances achieve numerous top positions on the Billboard Charts and continue to be broadcast all over the world. Andrew’s live performances take him around the globe to venues ranging from The Blue Note in Tokyo, Japan to New York City’s own Madison Square Garden.  He has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, MTV, VH1 and performed with a wide range of recording artists from indie rockers A Fine Frenzy to platinum-selling American Idol winner Jordin Sparks.  Andrew is also the youngest member of the acclaimed LA Big Band, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band.  He recently recorded their latest album, which features guest artists Lee Ritenour, Chick Corea, and Patti Austin.  As a member of the Phat Band, Andrew has performed with Nataile Cole, Manhattan Transfer, and Johnny Mathis. Andrew’s productions and arrangements have been released by EMI records, performed by the United States Air Force Band, and can be heard on ABC, FOX and MTV.  Andrew holds a Master’s Degree in Music from the University of Miami, where he performed with some of the most renowned artists in Jazz including Maria Schneider, Vince Mendoza, Joe Lovano, David Liebman, Bob Berg, Bob Mintzer, Jim McNeely and James Moody.  He was twice honored with Down Beat Magazine’s Outstanding Performance Award. He is endorsed by Taylor Guitars, Aiken Amplification, Elixir Strings, TC Electronic and Mogami Cables.


(Endorsed with Clayton Since 2010).


NEEDMORE, hands down, is one of the hardest working musical groups today. Originating from Los Angeles, California in 2007, they have been writing, recording, and touring non-stop ever since.

Recently named the Number 1 Rock Band by MTV’s OurStage, NEEDMORE is one of the biggest buzz bands around. The New Music Seminar have actually teamed up with AOL Music, MTV, and OurStage to name the band one of it’s Top 5 “Artists On The Verge” of 2010. With their new single ‘Lost My Way’ quickly gaining traction, the spotlight is on them!

The band yields an exponentially growing fan-base, which was first noted when they sold out the Key Club in Hollywood for a major record label showcase. It has since grown into a national following, which is evident, given the fact that NEEDMORE has garnered over 8.5 MILLION spins on the social networking platform MySpace Music; accruing thousands of spins per day. Working very closely with TV & Film has also allowed NEEDMORE to acquire placements of their songs in major motion pictures (20th Century Fox, Lakeshore Entertainment), nationally televised commercials, and on soundtracks, along side of many accomplished and successful names in the music industry.

The new NEEDMORE single ‘Lost My Way’ caught the ear of Jeff Juliano (John Mayer, DMB, Lifehouse, Train, Paramore, etc.). It was recorded at a private studio in Washington D.C. with Tony Alany, mixed at Milestone Studios on the Atlantic coast of Delaware (with Jeff), then mastered at Sterling Sound in New York with Dave McNair (Flyleaf, OAR, Sara Barielles).

NEEDMORE’s previous self-titled album was released by DMG through Universal Music Group. It was recorded in Los Angeles with Grammy winning producer/engineer Wyn Davis (Guns N Roses, Sublime, No Doubt, MuteMath), Grammy nominated Producer Tom Keane (Kanye West, Chicago), and Grammy nominated engineer Joe Gastwirt (Pearl Jam, 311, Jimi Hendrix, S.R.V.). It features songs such as ‘Late Night Drive,’ ‘All I Need,’ and ‘Go,’ which has been placed in television commercials, films, and on soundtracks.

NEEDMORE is not just a great recording artist though, they pride themselves on their LIVE performance. The members of NEEDMORE have played in many venues across the world (from the world-famous ‘Hollywood Bowl,’ to New Years Celebrations in Mumbai, India, to national college tours across the country).

They currently support major label acts on national tours, as well as headline their own. Recently, NEEDMORE headlined two successful back-to-back national college tours! Their live show is a MUST SEE.

Their relentless touring schedule is in part due to the fact that they have been invited back to 100% of the venues they’ve played.

“It is fantastic to walk off stage, and have either the venue owner, promoter, or concert chair say “that performance was incredible! When can we have you back?” It it just so humbling as a band, and shows us how much we’ve impacted everyone that night,” says NEEDMORE’s frontman, Garrett McArthur

Their schedule is also in part due to the fact that NEEDMORE was the number 1 booked act (that didn’t showcase) at the N.A.C.A. National Entertainment Convention, and has been invited to perform at N.A.C.A. Regional Entertainment Conventions as well. It is now just a matter of time before NEEDMORE is a household name.


(Endorsed with Clayton since 2010).

Pick of the Week – Stephanie & THREE

We have a really cool picks and a really cool band this week! This lovely pick is by the band Stephanie & THREE, which is local to Clayton, Inc. here in Southern Oregon. I love the shades of pink on the pick, and the design is just way to cool! Stephanie & THREE is an aggressive Rock ‘n’ Power-Pop Trio, that plays in clubs and venues throughout the Northwest.  We always love seeing local bands being successful. I posted a video below so that you can really see how awesome this band is!  Make sure to check out their website to find out where you can catch their next performance. www.threemusic.net

Pick of the Week – Patrick Vega

We have another endorsed artist this week! This time it is for Patrick Vega! Patrick’s pick featured this week is printed on our Acetal material with a lovely colorful design.  Patrick has ordered tons of different designs in the past from us, so he is quite the guitar pick designer. Our custom imprint department talks to Patrick quite often and they all really love him.  Patrick showed the love back by doing a video all about Clayton picks! Which is totally awesome! Check it out below.

A little background on Patraick is that he is a player that is capable of great technique. In general though, he follows the unexpected, adventurous route rather than the (expected) technical/theory route. Alternate tunings, tasty leads and heavy but ambitious rhythm guitar parts that are accessible yet eclectic.

Patricks’s playing and songwriting displays a blend of vintage grace & modern rock/metal attitude. The music is influenced by acts such as Nine Inch Nails, Alice In Chains, Joe Satriani, The Cure, Rage Against The Machine, KoRn, Puddle Of Mudd, Seether, Tool, Classic Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, PJ Harvey, Tricky, Ozzy Osbourne, Vega’s former guitar teacher Brett Garsed and various movie soundtracks.

All I can say is Way Cool! Check out his website at: http://www.patrickvega.com

Pick of the Week – Eldebrock

This week we have a different style of pick.  This is a full black overbleed on our Acetal material.  It looks like a black pick, but it actually is white on the other side.  This is a great option because you get the look of a black pick, but it is printed on our popular Acetal material.  We really loved Eldebrock’s design, plus they are an endorsed band here at Clayton. They have a very cool website at: www.eldebrock.net. Really, it is quite impressive there is some amazing flash animation on their site.  They currently have just released their debut album, which can be downloaded on iTunes. Their music is really unique, and they have clips of it on their website, so make sure to listen.  The band Eldebrock took shape in the early spring of 2009 when founding member, Del Bannerman(rhythm guitar), along with Richard Lalonde (bass guitar), recruited Jay Wegenast from Vancouver B.C. as the lead singer. The spring and summer of 2009 was spent in a small town in Saskatchewan writing the music for the debut album. Barrett Moore (lead guitar), who grew up with Jay in Forestburg, Alberta joined in late 2009 adding his own touch of Zakk Wylde and Slash influenced lead guitar to the tracks that finished off the sound they were going for.

Bad Animals

We recently just endorsed The Bad Animals! The bands offical bio: “Recreating the passion and power of an institution like HEART isn’t an easy task for a tribute band, which probably explains why there are very few Heart tributes currently working in the United States. The Bad Animals are one of the select few that capture the raw energy of a live HEART concert.
Hailing from Minnesota, The Bad Animals are made up of 6 of the most accomplished and recognized musicians from the region : Lisa Ebbers on lead Vocals, Joelle Negaard on Lead Vocals and Guitar, Tim Davis on drums, Aaron Carlson on Bass & Vocals, Lewis Sego on Keyboards and Leni DiMancari on Guitar & Vocals.
Taking on the task of recreating a band like HEART takes incredible musicianship, and the members of the Bad Animals have previously laid down their own history on the music circuit throughout the United States.
In concert, the band is incredible, with Lisa covering the power of Ann Wilson and Joelle capturing the subtle and softer side of Nancy Wilson, creating breathtaking harmonies.
Their show spans 3 Decades of Multi platinum HEART Music, performing their Chart Topping Singles, Rock Classics and Arena Rock Power Ballads.
The Bad Animals have been dubbed one of the hottest Tribute bands on the circuit, and give an energetic performance capturing the Power & Energy of HEART. Catch the Bad Animals on the Call of the Wild tour this year.”

Pick of the Week – Bret Michaels

So pretty much everyone knows who Bret Michaels is.  If for some reason you don’t, he is the guy who is practically everwhere you look! He started his career as the lead singer of the metal band Poisen. He also starred in the hit shows, Rock of Love with Bret Michaels , its sequels, and was the winning contestant on NBC’s reality show Celebrity Apprentice 3.  He is also known for his signature bandanna.  Bret is an endorsed artist here at Clayton.  We have done a couple different picks for him, which are shown below.  Also below is a picture of him on stage using our picks. Currently Bret has a new show on VH1 called Bret Michaels: Life as I Know It., which is on Monday nights at 10/9 central, and repeats countless times a day on VH1. If you have not seen it yet please click this link to see a full episode of his amazing new reality show: http://www.vh1.com/shows/bret_michaels_life_as_i_know_it/series.jhtml Bret is also currently touring right now on his ROSES & THORNS TOUR. To check out if he is coming to a venue near you please check out his tour date schedule: http://www.bretmichaels.com/2010/schedule_files/schedule.htm


We recently just endorsed Susan Hyatt and Michael Birnholz of the band rock/new wave/alternative band Stimulator.

Stimulator is back with a vengeance playing biting alternative rock music enhanced with heavy electronic grooves and brutally honest lyrics.

Sporting fresh shiny new black locks and her naturally strong candid female presence, Singer Susan Hyatt teams up once again with original Stimulator guitarist/producer/co-songwriter and co-founding member Geoff Tyson.   The result is signature Stimulator with sweeping melodic guitar melodies and world class James Bond style production.

The third CD, appropriately entitled “Lovelier in Black,” showcases Stimulator simply doing what they do best, rocking out with no apologies. Susan plays every inch of the Gothic princess but admits to having more in common with vintage PJ Harvey than with the blockbuster epic dark popsters Evanessence.

“I grew up listening to and watching artists like David Bowie and Debbie Harry experiment and take artistic chances. ” It’s no surprise that Susan has played with so many different musical genreswith Stimulator. From wrapping herself up in duct tape embracing her punk rock and new wave roots crawling around onstage on the WARPED TOUR to playing artsy sophisticated ballads to huge crowds opening Arena Tours with Duran Duran and the GO-GO’s; Stimulator has been on the forefront of reviving new wave rock and roll and classic Disco.

“I think it’s really important to always try and reinvent yourself as an artist both musically and visually to stay relevant.” It is this artistic commitment that keeps fans so loyal to Stimulator. When Stimulator’s record label, The LAB, went defunct in 2006, fans donated their own money and paid for the production and release of the second album. It was that kind of faith that kept the band going even through the roughest times of the music industry.

Stimulator now consists of singer/songwriter Susan Hyatt (Pillbox/MP3TV UK TV Host), guitarist and music director Geoff Tyson (T-Ride, Snake River Conspiracy), drummer extraordinaire Chad Stewart (Faster Pussycat/Motochrist/Gilby Clarke/LA Guns) and the welcome addition of fresh new bassist Michael Birnholz.

Band’s bio from their website http://www.stimulatortheband.com/

GUITARINGS with Kyle Gass and Kones

We wanted to share with you that our endorsed artists Kyle Gass and Kones have a YouTube channel which they teach you how to play guitar! In this video http://www.youtube.com/user/Guitarings#p/a/E5965FD68668A3FD/0/vBffFLxPyCA they teach you how to play to “Tribute”.  If you are looking for a very entertaining guitar lesson definitely check out their channel! They have had over 200,000 upload views to date, and over 1,800 subscribers.

Wayne Smith

Wayne Smith just became endorsed with us! Wayne is the guitarist and vocalist for the band Hicktown that was formed in 1996. They have gained a rapid demand throughout their tri-state area. Hicktown has opened for many of Nashville’s Recording Artists such as The Warren Brothers, Andy Griggs, Jessica Andrews, Gary Allen, David Lee Murphy, Chris Cagel, and John Berry. They entertain for wedding receptions, corporate functions, private parties as well as performing for the local club circuit. They cover Classic Country, Classic Rock, Progressive Country, R & B classics and Pop favorites. You can check them out at their website by clicking here.

Cody Jones

Cody Jones is one of our new endorsees and has been using our delrin guitar picks,slides and polish for 7 years now. Cody is a artist, songwriter and producer. He was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was adopted at a young age by a family from Texas. At 13 he had begun performing and touring with local and regional bands in Texas. By high school he had made a name for himself as a guitarist and performer in West Texas. He began playing for the Texas club circuit at the age of 16, toured the entire U.S. by the age of 20 and is still gaining attention from music fans across the country. Cody released his first CD Dying Incomplete in 2000 with his band Voodoo Poet, and signed his first independent record deal. He also signed a publishing deal as a nationally recognized songwriter for ASCAP in April 2000. In 2005 he started pursuing his solo career. In 2008 he was nominated for best in Texas singer/songwriter at the Austin Music Awards. He released his EP “Music is Blood” digitally on iTunes in October 2009 on Power Ballad Records. For more on Cody and to listen to his music visit www.codyjones.net

Jackson Deerfield

We recently endorsed Jackson Deerfield from Nashville, TN! Jackson is a solo country rock artist, and has been the opening act for Box Car Willie, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils and state fairs with Alabama! Jackson is an accomplished writer and performer who performs his own compositions as well as covers of other country rock artists. In 2009 Jackson begun getting extensive radio air play in places such as New York State. You can check his music out by going to his website http://www.jacksondeerfieldband.com/


Tommy, Matthew and Shane of Shaken are newly endorsed by us! They have been using our yellow and green delrin guitar picks for years now, and have also used Acetal .80mm. Shaken is a rock/metal christian band from Mississippi.  Here is Shaken’s bio from their Facebook, which we suggest you go to their Facebook or Myspace to check them out!

“In an industry where fads seemingly come and go as quickly as night and day, It is difficult to find a group of musicians whom have been able to endure the rigors of touring, and the everyday life of being in a serious band beyond a couple years. Shaken is one of the few exceptions to this trend. Having been playing music together for nearly 7 years, these guys have seen countless fads, scenes, and bands rise and fall with the tides of an ever-changing industry, only to press on, and continue to pursue the passion that God blessed them with. Driven by God’s grace and a passion to minister to people by showing them the everlasting love of Jesus Christ, Shaken strives to create music that others can enjoy, while constantly progressing, and adding their unique flavor to whatever they write. With nearly 400 shows, 3 full length albums, 2 EPs, and countless demos behind them, and a brand new 5 song EP produced by Travis Wyrick (POD, Pillar, Disciple, Toby Mac, Spoken, 10 Years Etc) coming soon, it is a safe bet that Shaken will not only continue to solidify their status as a mainstay in the music community, but also push to make their mark on anyone who is willing to listen to their music and message.”