Friday, February 13, 2009

Clay Nightingale-The River and Then the Restless Wind

Clay Nightingale
The River and Then the Restless Wind

The River and Then the Restless Wind is the first self-released EP for local folksy Americana act Clay Nightingale. The band consists of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Daniel Schaetz, Barry Walker on guitar, Jeremy Whiteon on keyboard/ glockenspiel/percussion, Joe Trent on pedal steel/guitar/percussion, Drew Schaetz, drums, vocals, and Dave Yelacic on bass.

The symbolism behind the album’s title refers to the San Marcos River popular in many recreational activitiesm, and the oldest San Marcos bar, The Restless Wind, which is located right off the square on North LBJ. Titular to the album’s title, the theme of all the songs on the EP include the subject of drinking or floating on the river. Sounding like a puree of the Silver Jews, Townes Van Zant, and The Hold Steady, Clay Nightingale embodies and exudes a timeless alt-country sound.

“Eureka” features soft percussion, doo-wop guitar, a rich country twang and a church bell sound effect. Schaetz vocals, mildly sprechgesang with a down tempo rhythm may suggest that he is unable to hit high notes. However, it remains essential to the entirety to the album. Missing Missing sweet, sleepy and indicative of a broken heart throughout. Schaetz is accompanied by female vocalist Stephanie Briggs, who chimes in on certain lyrics to show mutual emotions.

The duo croon in harmony, “I sure miss missing somebody, I sure miss missing somebody. If I could only miss you,” in the last stanza of the track. “The Bar is a Wonderful Place” is a playful ditty about the joys of hanging out at a bar personified by country riffs and a drunken circus-esque drum rhythm.

The album art is plain and brown, with the band’s name and album title printed in front. The back features a snapshot of two individuals who are most likely in the band clad in hair-rocker garb.

Clay Nightingale is currently working on their second album, which is set to be released mid-year. The River and Then the Restless Wind is the perfect album to hear at a dive bar which believably can be found on the jukebox at the Restless Wind.