Cass Clayton Band review…December 18, 2019….

CASS CLAYTON BAND

PLAY NICE

DAWES COUNTY–LITTLE THINGS–PLAY NICE–B SIDE–NO USE IN CRYING–TATTERED AND TORN–YOU’LL SEE–THE MOST BEAUTIFUL–DOESN’T MAKE SENSE–FLOWERS AT MY FEET–SLOW KISS–STRANGE CONVERSATION

Cass Clayton’s father was always playing the blues around their house when she was growing up, and she always knew that singing was the path she’d travel.  She  preferred writing her own material, as she had things to say that no one else on the contemporary scene was putting down.  As well as blues, Cass weaves soul, funk, jazz, and roots into the mix, and the results can be heard on her latest album, “Play Nice.”  This is twelve strong cuts of all-original material, save for one cut, and all the rest are co-writes with Cass and guitarist Taylor Scott.

Leading off, Cass leaves life in a small town, with “fifteen churches, but you can’t buy a drink,” in “Dawes County,” to forge a better life for herself.   A chance encounter with a guitarist in a bar sets the theme for the hookup in “Play Nice,” set over a percussive, primitive, pounding groove.  That thumping groove bleeds over into the next cut, as a lover is compared to “the A Side” of a record, but, “sooner or later,”  “The B Side” has to be addressed, warts and all!  Another lover who always seems to be at odds with himself is consoled by Cass in “Tattered And Torn,” while  the funky strut of “Doesn’t Make Sense at all” has our girl swearing off men for good, that is, “until you took me down!”

The set closes with our favorite.  Again set over that percussive groove, Cass has a “Strange Conversation” with her soon-to-be-ex, who’s ready to leave.  She begs him back, and her soulful voice reaches soaring heights in her pleas, for “without your touch, I have no love.”  A powerful ending, indeed.

One cannot put Cass Clayton into any one particular genre’.   She may have roots in the blues, but her command of soul, R & B, funk, and even gospel into the equation makes “Play Nice” a set that is not to be missed!   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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