ISLETA RESORT & CASINO PRESENTS

CLAY WALKER

WWW.ISLETA.COM

at Isleta Resort & Casino - The Showroom

December 30, 2022 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
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Time: 8:00pm     Day: Friday     Doors: 7:00pm     Ages: 21+ Ages     Price: $35 - $55

  1. There's more to the duality of Clay Walker's debut Show Dog Nashville albumTexas To Tennesseethanthe title.Certainly,the realities of place are as central as this comeback album'sname implies:Nashvillebusily working toward the next fresh hit; Texas moving at its inimitable and familiar pace. There's also amix of songwriting and production approaches,evident and more nuanced relationships between thesongs themselves,and the overarching presence of a naturally gifted vocalist whorelentlessly pursues hisown development as a singer. But don't mistake those dualities for dichotomy–and certainly not polarity.In a storied career dotted with smash singles, platinum albums and countless honorsand acclaim, maybethe connection between country's timeless themes and music-of-the-moment timeliness has been there allalong.Many of the country fans behind thealmost 20 million on-demand and video streams for hislatest single"Need A Bar Sometimes"–who may also be among his 750,000 TikTok followers–are wholly unawareof Walker's history.Discovered in a Beaumont area bar by noted producer and head of Giant RecordsJames Stroud(Toby Keith, Tracy Lawrence,TimMcGraw, Kenny Rogers), Walker was in his earlytwenties when he started rattling off a string of smash hits. Among them,“Live Until I Die,” "DreamingWith My Eyes Open," “This Woman And This Man,” "Hypnotize The Moon," "Rumor Has It," “ThenWhat,” "I Can't Sleep" and "She Won't Be Lonely Long."His self-titled debut album rocketed to platinumstatus, the first of four to cross the million-sold mark. Racking upmorethan 30 chartedsinglesand11No. 1swasn't without its struggles, however."Being bornand raised inthe Houston area, Ithought of myself in the line of George Strait and ClintBlack, but my first producer had other ideas," Walker says. "James Stroudpushed me more towards popsounds I fought with. Whathe was saying, and I think he was right,was,'Clay, you've got some gears toyou that will excite people if you let it.'I was young–23–and didn't really settle with that. But now I'min a sweet spot in music, in life, and I definitely feel the audience has swung around toappreciating musicthat makes those connections."Thoselinksare obvious onTexas To Tennessee. "Anything To Do With You" opens the album withsmooth bore countrythatwould feel right at home on any of Walker's four platinum CDs. Song two is thecounterweight single,with its processed steel guitar lick, wistful pandemic-perfect theme and explosivestreaming numbers.Production was handled in tandem by acclaimed multi-platinum producer Michael Knox (Jason Aldean)and chart-topping songwriter Jaron Boyer ("SomewhereOn A Beach," "Hell Of Night," "Girl Like You").Recording took place in Galveston and Nashville."Jaron Boyer is the best songwriter I've ever written with," Walker says. "He's had a bunch of No. 1s andlots of album cuts. Plus, he's a phenomenal singer and track builder. The total package. As a writer, hisphrasing and melodies are just insane."
     
  2. Clay Walker Bio 2023.docx
    While Boyer is second only to Walker himself on writing credits, theduo of songsat the heart of thealbum finds Walker working with the formerly married songwriting powerhouse of Jennifer Hanson andMark Nesler. "Cowboy Loves A Woman" embodies the "Texas" in the album title. It's sequel, the titletrack, narrates Walker's journey. Together, they are the most direct encapsulation of his core as an artistand as aman. "Catching Up With An Ol' Memory" is perhaps the album's singular moment. Theexception that stands astride both worlds with its fresh sonic bed, echoes of heroes past and an airy,vocals-up mix."The studio can be intimidating for artists because wedon't do this all the time," Walker says. "I'm surethis is part of producers doing their job in being cheerleaders, but when I was singing 'Memory,' MichaelKnox got on the talk-back mic with the band and goes,'We got us a real singer, boys. I think this might bethe album take.'That was nice to hear. And then for him to show the respect for that vocal in how it wasmixed with vocalsat the forefrontand all that space around it... Singing wellis important to me. Havingintegrity in my vocal cords, continuing to take voice lessons and working on having what I'm going to callfree tone–hey, if you're not trying to get better you never will.""Cowboy" is inarguably the album's "Texas" anchor. "Itreminds me of what made country music great,"Walker says. "Not that it's the greatest country song. Don't misunderstand. Nor am I the best singer incountry music. I have never and would never claim those things. But I might be in a place where I canconnect the value in a song that sounds like'Need A Bar'and one like'Cowboy.'And vocally, I'm at mybest right now. There's an ease in my voice–particularly on'Cowboy'–that just makes sense. I sang itthrough a couple times and we were done. I didn't have to press. We just had it."Elsewhere on thealbum, "CountrySide" is a slow roll on a two-lane built around a hook so pure, it's awonder the song wasn't written before 2020. "I Just Wanna Hold You" flips the title track's seeking themearound to come to a similar conclusion, while "You Look Good" offers the album's most of-the-momentsound in embracing the satisfaction of life well loved. The album closes with the sure-fire in-concert partyanthem "One More."Texas To Tennesseeis also a modern album that nods at an earlier era in its time economy. Clocking inunder 30 minutes in its entirety and with more than half its songs under three minutes,itrecalls someofcountry's historical best in terms of uncluttered writing, directness of message and finely shavedconstruction.Walker is quick to point fingers. "Throughout my career, there have been key people who helped me putalbums together, find or write good songs and get them out to fans," he says. "But I saw something withthis album I've not experienced:what it takes to make a championship happen. The songs are your deep-threat wide receivers. The full support of your record label is the offensive line. Michael and Jaron–theseguys ran through walls for me. Everyone has done their part and it's impressive. You can have talent, befamous or have a few hits, but you can't win the Super Bowl without champions around you.Man, I'vegot 'em.Teamwork is also at the core of Walker's battle against Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Diagnosed in 1996, hehas become a passionate advocate and fundraiser for others with the disease through his Band AgainstMS. Among his efforts are the annualClay Walker Charity Classic at Pebble Beach.Thegolf eventhighlights the highly active way Walker has approached MS, continuing to perform and raise a growingfamily while showing no signs of slowing."It's very gratifying to be at a point in my life where I can offer something in its fullness," hecontinues."I've never quite had that before.I was pegged as a neo-traditionalist early on, but I don't think I fit thatmold. For a lot of reasons–maybe the pendulum of music is in the perfect spot–but today's music andmy style have hit center on this albu