Clay Walker is one of my all time favorite artists.
A song that always makes me smile every time I hear it on the radio is What’s It To You. It’s just one of the best country songs ever. The track is catchy. It’s fun. It’s upbeat and it always brings a smile to my face. A catchy song like that has a way to brighten your entire day no matter what’s going on or what you’re doing.
So since the ’90s I’ve been a fan of Clay’s I finally got to see him perform a couple summers ago at Country Jam in Eau Claire and he didn’t disappoint. He covered all his classic hits and filled the evening with great country music with his southern style twang.
Now it’s 2011 and Clay’s coming off the second single from his latest album. Last spring Clay had a high charting single with She Won’t Be Lonely Long. The track climbed into the top five on the charts. It was a good way to kick off the decade for Clay. He had only had two top five hits in all the ’00s after having twelve in the ’90s.
After the success of that single Clay had a bit of an argument with his label over the next single. The label won and Where Do I Go From You was released. The track made it into the 20s, but appears to have stalled and run its course.
Now things are a bit of question mark for clay.
What will the rest of 2011 have in store for this veteran country artist…
Clay Walker 2011
Clay Walker’s 2011 is off to an interesting start. Clay always makes his touring rounds each year. He has a single that made it into the top 30 on the charts and that’s never a bad thing. Clay was out in the Carmel, California area earlier in the year. He always seems to make time for the PGA Tour event out in Pebble Beach. I’ve been lucky enough to play there myself and it’s something I wouldn’t miss if I had the chance to go each year.
Beyond the normal touring and events there appears to be a bit of question around Clay’s future. Will he have any surprises in 2011 for his fans?
Clay’s been busy out on the road this year. Clay played the rodeo in Houston recently. That’s always a huge show for the rodeo crowd in the middle of the heartland. It looks like Clay’s event schedule is full again for the rest of the summer. He’s even coming to my neck of the woods for the local Country Fest in Cadott in June. I hope to be able to make it. He always puts on a good show. He’s got enough hits to play longer than his scheduled one hour slot that’s for sure.
A lot of artists heading into the later years in their career seem to get by with touring each year on their past success. Clay’s been able to keep things going somewhat over the last five or so years. He’s been able to switch labels a couple times while still finding the top five on the charts on occasion. That’s a big accomplishment for an artist later on in their career and it shows Clay is not just satisfied with hitting the road and touring on the same tracks. The passion for new music is still there.
Maybe this summer he’ll have some new songs to showcase for his fans as he heads around the country playing the fairs and fests.
As most country fans know Clay has been a supporter of MS benefits for a long time. He found out he had the condition some time ago, but from the fan’s perspective you’d be hard pressed to find that it’s slowing him down in anyway. In fact it seems he’s just as driven today as he was when he was a new artist back in the mid ’90s trying to make a name for himself.
Clay recently had an event for MS and once again raised awareness for the condition that affects just about everyone in the country that either has the condition or knows someone that does.
It’s hard to know if we’ll have new music from Clay this year. I speculated earlier that perhaps we’ll hear Summertime Song this summer, but I’m not entirely sold on the idea. Old Curb Records has some quirky ways at their business and maybe they’ll be asking Clay to head back in the studio to find some new tracks. We’ll have to wait and see.
The last drought we had from Clay was back in 2005 and 2006. Since then he’s been steady in his new music releases. There’s been at least one single released each of the year’s since, but you never know if any new music will be out in 2011. There have been droughts in the past with Clay Walker and I have a feeling this could be another drought year as Clay heads back into the studio and finds some more tracks to gear up for a new release perhaps in 2012.
I hope I’m wrong though. New music would certainly be a welcome addition to the radio from one of country’s greatest artists.
A new album would be interesting from Clay. His record label Curb Records has been known to have the model of waiting for a hit at radio before releasing any kind of album. If that’s the case we likely won’t see any kind of new album until 2012 at the earliest from Clay.
And I think that’s fine. It’s not a bad business model to wait for the artists to find the right music for fans. Things have worked well for Curb for many years and there’s no reason to change things at this point.
We’re at a wait and see point for a new album from Clay, but hopefully he’s been thinking about heading back in the studio with some new tracks. He’s a great songwriter and I always like when he released his own tracks.
Moving to New York
A bit of surprise came earlier this year when Clay appeared on HGTV’s Selling New York. I like watching the channel for the Do-It-Yourself kind of shows and saw the previews saying Clay was going to appear. I thought it was interesting so I had to watch.
Clay and his wife were on the show looking for an apartment. It turns out they had met in NYC and were looking for a place to stay when they were in town. I think sticker shock hit the couple when they found out the apartments they liked were in the $6 million range! That would scare any country boy off his horse.
In the end Clay said he loved looking around the Big Apple, but with he and his wife building a house in Nashville it really wouldn’t work out financially to have a place in NYC also.
It was probably a smart move. For someone on the road as much as Clay it would be tough to spend that much on a second home when you really can’t spend much time there. He and his wife will just have to get the nicest hotel rooms in the city when the visit so they can reminisce about the time they met.
I really don’t know what 2011 will have in store for Clay.
He’ll be hitting the road to play shows for fans. He’ll be earning the money to pay the bills and get that new house in Nashville built. Perhaps we’ll have a new single from his current album out at radio over the summer. That would certainly be welcomed.
There was a bit of sad news recently when Clay shared that his father passed away via Twitter. It’s tough to lose family members and I can’t imagine what it’s like losing a parent.
Hopefully there’s good news for Clay over the rest of the year. The hard working country performer has never really let up much since becoming a star so there’s no reason to bet against him having another happiness filled year with perhaps some new music by the fall.
Until then I have to go and work on some tickets for his show here in Wisconsin.
What’s It To You – Clay Walker