MuzikReview: Livin' Out Loud

Donny Harvey- Staff
March 17, 2011
Key Tracks- Whole Lotta Work, Gone to Mexico, Bigger Bang a Comin'

Clay McClinton's Livin' Out Loud is just exactly what the album title says. This is McClinton's testimony on living life today. Each song addresses a concern of the songwriter, and I'm sure many of these concerns you'll find you share with him. After all, if you're not a trust fund child then I'm sure you do a “Whole Lotta Work” just to have a little fun. And how about a sticky situation when you found trouble a little too easily? Well, as the man says on track 10, “Trouble is Easy to Find”.

The music on the album (as opposed to the themes as presented in the lyrics) is straight forward without being boring. The liberal use of other instruments in addition to your basic rhythm section keeps each song fresh to the ears. Good examples include the use of muted trumpet on “Trouble is Easy to Find”, the fiddle playing on “”Puttin' Down Roots”,or even the finger snapping on the last song of the album, “Gone to Mexico”.

On his website McClinton lists influences that you would probably expect from an artist in this genre, including acts such as Mark Knopfler and Willie Nelson. A careful listener will hear other influences as well, though, even if they happen to be unlisted. “Gone to Mexico” is highly reminiscent of Tom Waits' “Jockey Full of Bourbon”, for instance. That's not to say that this is imitation, of course, but that the music here is more diverse than even the artist gives himself credit for. At other times he quotes more directly from other bands, like the Creedence Clearwater Revival musical reference on “Bigger Bang A Comin'”. “Some folks are born, raised to wave the flag...” says Creedence. It seems that McClinton is saying that though decades have passed and the wars have changed, there are still dangers we should be aware of...

If you like country, or honky-tonk, or even the blues, and you want to hear a different opinion on the crazy world we live in then you should check out Livin' Out Loud. You might just hear things you've been thinking yourself, or then again, you might hear things that you'll want to think about, now that you've heard them.

More Articles