Dragon's Concert is McClinton family affair

Famed vocalist, bandleader and harmonica soloist Delbert McClinton said he neither encouraged nor discouraged his son Clay from pursuing a musical career. But now Clay McClinton is developing his own reputation on the Americana circuit as a singer/songwriter and recently issued his first CD Out of the Blue.

He'll be joining his famous father tonight for a performance at the eighth annual Dragon's Concert for the Nashville Children's Theatre (NCT). Both McClintons will appear with their own bands and be joined by special surprise guests during the event that helps NCT provide free and reduced-price tickets for schools with students that need financial support to attend theater events. "I got involved with Nashville Children's Theatre a long time ago because I saw it as a way of giving something back to the community, and I also really appreciated the things that they do for children," Delbert McClinton said. "The first time seemed like a good idea, and this event has kind of taken on a life of its own in the last few years. Now things have worked out so that both my band and Clay's can perform on the show."

"I'm definitely looking forward to this concert," Clay McClinton added. "It's a perfect opportunity and a real pleasure to be working on the same event with my father, who has been extremely supportive of my career and a real inspiration." Although this event marks the first time that Delbert and Clay will share a stage, the two have already collaborated on two songs featured on the release Out of the Blue. "We'll be doing some more things together down the line," Delbert said.

Clay McClinton has an interesting take on his new CD. "[It's] all the good stuff that falls in the cracks, kind of a similar way to a lot of my Dad's music," he said. "There's a little jazz influence, some contemporary blues, Americana. I've been working on my own writing and singing style, while also learning a lot from my father." Out of the Blue is currently available online at ClayMcClinton.com.

Delbert McClinton's newest release Cost of Living will be released in August on the New West label. "My daughter has been involved with Nashville Children's Theatre for many years, and I've seen first hand a lot of the wonderful things they do for children," Delbert McClinton said. "Their programs are fantastic and I'm very happy to help them with this event and also have this be the first event where Clay and I have worked together."

NCT is a nonprofit, professional Actor's Equity theater serving more than 75,000 children and adults each year. It provides more than 7,500 free tickets for schools throughout Middle Tennessee and was recently ranked the nation's fourth best children's theater by Time magazine. It was founded in 1931 by the Junior League of Nashville and is now recognized as the oldest professional children's theater in the country.

Click HERE to listen to interview on NPR with Clay McClinton and his father, Delbert.

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