As unique as the American red clay they hail from, mobile Alabama’s own red clay strays made their Chicago debut at Joes On Weed.
One look and listen at the group and you are instantly transported to another time. With influences ranging from Johnny Cash, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jerry Lee Lewis and Waylon Jennings to southern gospel, they blur the line between country and southern rock while bringing an authenticity that defines who the Red Clay Strays are as a band.
From the moment the show opened with my favorite Good Godly Woman, I knew I was dealing with a special group.
When I caught up with the band before their set, bass player Andy he said that “We just go on stage and have fun. It wasn’t till recently we had a set list. We always used to get up on stage and do what feels good.”
The Red Clay Strays as they said “are a band of strays.” The never felt that they fit in, but found each other and bonded over their love of good lyric and a memorable hook.
The nearly ninety minute set ebed and flowed almost like your favorite movie. From a town tapping “No Way To Know,” to a soulful “Stone’s Throw” to an introspective “Sunshine.” The boys from Alabama painted not only a powerful visual for the crowd, but told who they are through song. I am not sure if the guys realized that as they put together the show. Or maybe as they told me in our pre show chat, “they do what they feel.”
I think “doing what they feel” served them well at their debut Chicago show. Taking a step back to watch the crowd was insightful. All ages loved the story that The Red Clay Strays told. All eyes were always on the stage.
I hope a lot of other country bands take this approach. While it’s not easy to always “stick it to the man” and back out a record deal, I think The Red Clay Strays found themselves when they let their music speak for them. Clearly it’s paying off.
Check out their debut album Moment of Truth