IN 5 SECONDS
Clay writes stories we've all experienced in an unique, but accessible style, similar to John Mayer and James Taylor.
Billboard, February 24, 2001
"This mid-Atlantic indie act dispels any hint of a sophomore jinx with this superlative follow-up to its 1999 debut. After a few spins through "Can't Be Wrong," one can't help but describe this group as as distinct match for Dave Matthews Band. Mottley is a cleaver, catchy and ever-inventive songwriter who deliver originals that sparkle like sunlight on gemstones. Mottley's warm pleasing voice - and his deft touch on such diverse instruments as acoustic guitar, accordion, and Hammond B-3 - is seamlessly merged with a tight , well-balanced three-man band. Mottley and company lend a self-assured, ready-for-prime-time flair to "Can't Be Wrong." Gentle balladry ("Nothing on You") brushes shoulders with literate, acoustic driven rock ("Hymn For Saturdays") and tender introspection ("In My Town"). Major label A&R execs take note: These follows are ready."
Billboard, January 15, 2000
"Hooky modern-rock foursome delivers a self-produced indie debut that should reverberate well beyond the act's mid-Atlantic base. Leader Mottley, who wrote the album's nine selections, has a strong, warm rock tenor voice and a master craftsman's touch for melody and words that are unfailingly substantive and intriguing. Acoustic and electric guitars, fluid percussion, and bass are perfectly colored with mandolins here, a sax there, and seamless vocals throughout. The band proudly shows such a multitude of influences (latter-day Doobies sophistication, America-with-guts, Fogelberg/Weisberg jazzy/pop) that it can rightly lay claim to a sound uniquely its own. Though there's not a weak moment here, "What I Call Life" is one of several cuts that simply beg for AC and top 40 airplay and portend great things to come."
Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, VA - October 22, 2015
"Clay Mottley is proving that there are second acts in American lives, and in American music." READ MORE
Whether a full band with horn section, a backyard three-piece band or a coffee-house environment, what makes Clay Mottley stand out are the songs themselves. While they sound both contemporary and accessible, they just as easily fit in a playlist of singer/songwriter era of Jackson Browne and James Taylor.
Born and raised in Virginia and living now in Richmond, Clay's musical roots run deep from touring choirs and pit band in high school and college musicals to open-mic nights and local and regional concerts. The two albums released under Clay Mottley Band each garnered glowing reviews in Billboard, citing Clay as a "clever, catchy and ever-inventive songwriter who delivers originals that sparkle like sunlight on gemstones" and as having "a master craftsman's touch for melody and words that are unfailingly substantive and intriguing."
"Music is as much about the song itself as it is the performance. I think the song has to be strong on all three levels: the melody, the rhythms and chord structure and lyrics that people can related to and connect to some shared experience."
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