‘Turning It Up’ by Ohio’s Jay Clark Band
This December, the Jay Clark Band will release Turning It Up, their newest full-length album. During his college days, Clark played in several cover bands before putting music aside to focus on his family. Years later, he decided it was time to get back on stage, writing his own songs and posting his music on Facebook. By 2016, the Dayton-born singer-guitarist had released his first demo EP, dropping a full-length record, Cocked and Loaded, soon after.
The cocksure title track of the band’s upcoming LP wouldn’t normally be in my wheelhouse, but fans of revved-up country-fried rock have plenty to be excited about. There’s some skillful musicianship on deck, with excellent guitar work by Clark and Rob Carlson. Next up are “On My Way” and “Won’t Let You Down,” two riff-heavy numbers that feature dense, hard-hitting drums courtesy of Coby Utterback.
The nostalgic “Backroads” shifts gears by slowing things down and injecting some soul, making for the one of the LP’s highlights. “A Storm Is Coming” is faintly political, with Clark referencing protests and sensationalist media, decrying the “hate and division” that weaken the U.S.
“Loud” steps back toward the party rock prevalent in the first few tracks, followed by the road-weary love song “Coming Back to You.” “Hometown” is another nostalgia trip featuring refreshingly subdued vocals by Clark, and it’s a wistful but upbeat capper to the album.
The lyrics are essentially what one might expect from modern southern rock, covering booze-filled parties and small town charms, but the production is solid and there’s an earnestness to Clark’s approach that keeps things chugging along enjoyably.
Turning It Up is scheduled to drop on December 17th, and you’ll be able to listen to it on Spotify and other streaming services. In the meantime, check out the album’s lead single right here:
To learn more about the Jay Clark Band, check out their website and social media pages:
You can also stream the group’s previous releases, including this year’s Cocked and Loaded, on Spotify, Bandcamp, SoundCloud and Youtube.
Jay Clark – Singer, Guitar, Bass
Rob Carlson – Lead Guitar
Dwayne Russell – Keyboards
Coby Utterback – Drums