Cass Clayton Band exudes a passion and energy that has made them a favorite in festivals and venues across the region. Cass has made her way into the hearts of music lovers everywhere with her evocative lyrics, smoky-smooth voice and a belting vocal range that will knock you flat. Cass Clayton Band blends influences of rock, funk, soul, gospel and blues in a new way with plenty of inventive sounds and unexpected twists. Cass, along with co-writer/producer, Taylor Scott, have been praised for their unique approach to contemporary American rock and roots music. CCB’s most recent album, Play Nice, was #1 R&B Album in the U.S. for 11 weeks in 2019 and 2020 (Roots Music Report).
Cass is known for her big, soulful voice and broad vocal range that comfortably goes from Rock to R&B, Soul and edgy Country sounds alike. Early influences of old-school blues, gospel, R&B and jazz can be heard in her powerful vocal style, song choices and lyrics. Cass and co-writer Taylor Scott are an award-winning songwriting team, passionate about making sure the lyrics are the center of the song. Regardless of the genre in which Cass is singing, she feels most connected to the blues and gospel vocalist tradition. Influences include Mahalia Jackson, BB King, Elmore James, Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, Albert King, Koko Taylor, Etta James, Nina Simone, and Aretha Franklin.
For more information about CCB, click here.
About The Music – w/ Cass
“I think the audiences now are sophisticated because they have endless access to streaming music. They want great music that is inspiring and I’m not sure they care about genre as much. It’s my hope that people are ok if we can’t call it one thing, like rock-n-roll or blues,” says Cass.
Based on the belief that good music doesn’t always fit snugly into a single genre, Cass is taking her blues foundation and stretching to make music that is contemporary and inspires her and hopefully those around her. The result is a new CD release in June, 2018, along with a gig line-up featuring Taylor Scott.
“I wanted everything I wrote lyrically for this project to be from deep within me. My early songs were really drawing on ideas about life in general that I thought would be ‘cool’. I didn’t feel safe putting my real self out there. This is more personal, and I feel a bit exposed, but I feel more free too. I don’t want to hide behind lyrics about other people’s lives.
‘When It Comes To My Heart’ was a song I originally wrote as a ballad, but as a producer Taylor immediately heard it as a more upbeat percussive song. There’s an African beat that takes the song to a new place that’s really exciting. I liked the song before, but now it’s really powerful – you feel that heartbeat that drives the message within.”
With regard to how the collaboration came about, Cass says, “Occasionally someone comes into your orbit who adds that creative spark and takes you to the next level creatively. For me, it was Taylor. I hope there will be many more geniuses I run into, but just one is good too. (laughs) I hope I can add to someone else’s artistry as well and make their vision come true.”
For the instrumentation on the upcoming CD, Taylor brought in musicians he had worked with over the years who are seasoned session and touring artists. Larry Thompson (Otis Taylor Band) on drums; Todd Smallie on bass (with JJ Grey and Mofro, and formerly with Derek Trucks Band); Jon Wirtz and Tom Amend on Keys, Matt Wilkolak and and Jeff Miguel on horns and many more. Each musician added their own flavor with Taylor composing all of the parts.
“I don’t see this as a departure from what I’ve done so far as a blues singer and slide player, but I do want to evolve and grow as a musician. It wouldn’t be exciting for anyone without walking the high wire a bit!
Whatever is coming up in my consciousness or his that week is what lands on the page. We’re drawing inspiration from past musical influences, but I think it’s really important that the music go someplace new and be uniquely yours. With the song ‘Least A Brother Can Do’, for example, I had a close friend from a long time ago, and she helped me in a terribly down time. I wanted to thank her and say, ‘hey, I’m here for you now too.’ The groove of that song and the way it builds just thrills me. I hope she loves it when she hears it too.
Working with a producer with the vocabulary that Taylor has is freeing. I can lean back and know he’s going to push the artistic boundaries that might be holding me back. We both hear different things but are committed to letting the music lead us to someplace new.”
Come see a Cass Clayton Band show at your favorite Colorado venue.