For McClinton, Evergreen encore is special

The Canyon Courier

Evergreen, Co

By Brian Muir

March 22, 2006

Clay McClinton lives like Johnny Cash sang: "I've Been Everywhere". And while the entertaining son of Grammy winner Delbert McClinton has called several places home, he refers to Evergreen with a singular exclamation, "What a cool town!" he hollers, recalling his Little Bear debut late last September. Clay and his band return for an encore this weekend with four Little Bear shows opening at 8 p.m. Thursday and continuing at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, before bowing out at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, McClinton caught the travel bug more than 10 years ago with extended excursions to Austin, Texas, Europe, Flagstaff, Ariz., and now Nashville. "It's been a very progressive two years in Nashville," he says. "We're busier and busier, and the phone keeps ringing. We've got a European tour in the works for September, then Canada in October. Traveling allows you to really smell the culture and know the people. McClinton also saved some choice words for the legendary Bear, a place his dad had recommended from past experience. "The place has a great vibe with everyone dancing," he remembers. "As my dad said, 'It's a great place to sweat.' I love it."

Clay knows he's been blessed, and while expectations can be high for second-generation performers, he's attracted to the challenge. "Being raised with people like my dad and Willie Nelson, there aren't any categories for our music," he says. "We're in charge of all the good stuff that falls through the cracks. I'm working on another album due out later this year, and there are a few songs co-written with my dad."

His 2003 debut "Out of the Blue" included two collaborations with Delbert. Like his father, Clay is in constant music motion, especially upstairs as a songwriter. "There's always a song going on in my head," he says, "and I carry around a pocket voice recorder to keep track of my ideas. Usually there's a melody in my head first, then I'll come up with the words."

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