1. Hello Clay, can you tell me a little about yourself before becoming a country musician? Clay Barker is a passionate and experienced musician who was self-taught at the early age of 15. His music career took off in his hometown of Alexander City, Alabama in 2012 with the launch of his Contemporary Christian band, Raised in Glory. Clay was the lead vocalist and guitarist in Raised in Glory for 6 years until he decided to begin actively pursuing his own music as an authentically unique country music singer/songwriter. Clay obtained his exercise science degree from Auburn University and is now focused on growing his fan base across the southeast through his work with 65 South. Alongside Riley Green, Muscadine Bloodline and Tyler Reeve, Clay Barker is proud to be involved with 65 South – playing in local venues such as Birmingham’s Zydeco, Bourbon Street Bar in Auburn, Gallettes Bar in Tuscaloosa, as well as many others in Atlanta, Huntsville, Cullman and Alexander City. Clay has played alongside Country’s Top 20 artist Mitchell Tenpenny, BBR Music Group’s Stoney Creek Records’ Walker McGuire, Thirty Tiger label’s The Steel Woods and Make Wake Artists’ Jobe Fortner.
2. When did you start listening to country music and when did you know you wanted a career in it?I started to listen to country music the moment I came into the world. My parents grew me up listening to all of the classics (Hank, David Allen Coe, Willie, Waylon), as well as a huge range of other music anywhere from classic Motown to singer/songwriter folks to the best of classic rock music. I went through a plethora of genres as a drummer before finally picking up the guitar and pursuing country music at the age of 22 and haven’t looked back since.
3. What is the background story behind your newest single “Hold My Beer?”Clay’s debut single “Hold My Beer” represents the trademark sound of Clay’s authentically rowdy take on country music. “Hold My Beer” is a song written as the poster-child story of how a little “liquid courage” can go a long way. Written over a couple of drinks on the back porch of Losers Bar in Nashville, TN; Clay Barker, Tyler Reeve, and Cole Taylor unravel the events of a country boy’s night out on the town with his boys that needed some true down home southern help to get things headed in the right direction… a little rowdy. “Hold My Beer” is the anthem to anyone who has ever had just enough to drink to become the life of the party that they were never invited to. It’s the song that you’re singing when you walk into your favorite bar and the tune that’s running through your head the next day when you wake up getting ready to tell your buddies once again “hold my beer and watch this”.
4. Who are some of your musical icons? Some guys that I look up to as a country music artist are Chris Stapleton, Mike Ryan, Cody Johnson, just to name a few. There are many other modern day upcoming country musicians that I really look up to.
5. What are some of your favorite venues or events to play at?My favorite venues to play are always the college town bars. They’re always my kind of rowdy and have never disappointed.
6. Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2019?I have another single that I will be releasing hopefully in the summer of 2019. As for the rest of my plans, you’ll just have to stick around and see 😉
7. When you are not working on your music, what are some of your favorite things to do in your free time? I am a huge lake bum. Every time I’m not playing music or working on my music I like to be on the lake wakeboarding, fishing, and riding around on my ‘83 Mastercraft Stars and Stripes.
8. What is one of your favorite quotes?Hold my beer and watch this.”
9. Is there anything else you would like to share? I’m overwhelmingly thankful to be able to have the opportunity to play music and pay the bills doing it simply because of my fans that stream the songs, come to the shows, and support me in so many different ways. It’s something that is so humbling for a small town boy like me to see.