Dunn, North Carolina, native Clint Alphin is set to release his fourth album, Straight to Marrow, on March 29th. A collection of bluesy, folksy, and straightforward American roots music, Straight to Marrow finds Clint’s easy tenor vocals and down-home guitar picking entwined in his most eclectic album yet. Part of what makes Alphin’s new record ebb and flow with ease is producer Neilson Hubbard (The Apache Relay, Matthew Perryman Jones) and his careful song-by-song approach, allowing Clint’s skill set to shine as each new tune unfolds. Today, Glide Magazine premiered Straight to Marrow’s first single, “Out to California." Glide praises the release and notes that “Alphin explores moments in life that move you to the bone, as he embraces and celebrates risk taking and dream chasing.” Glide also nods to Hubbard’s work, noting that “the production is carefully constructed to suit each song.”
A finalist of Merlefest’s esteemed Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, Alphin moves from whimsy to heartache to reassurance with the ease that only a veteran writer can, and there are often secondary, deeper meanings behind even the happiest songs on this record. Clint says of mid-album track “Bless Your Heart”, “This is a rumination on a traditional southern turn of phrase that many of us are all too familiar with. Taken a little more earnestly, it’s a call for a little more peace, love, and understanding.” Straight to Marrow closes with “Grandfather; Grandmother”, a vibrant, finger-picked ode to his grandparents, Jesse and Allene Alphin, who passed away in September of 2014, both in their 90’s. Clint found inspiration in memories and an interview with the pair while they were still around, some of which can be heard in the final moments of the record. Alphin finds solace in the album-closing number, remarking, “They were the most encouraging and true inspirations of my life, and I’m happy to have captured a bit of their essence here.”
Clint Alphin had a childhood epiphany while attending a Randy Travis concert, realizing immediately that he was meant to make music. Although he grew up in a musical family, there was always a looming idea in Alphin’s greater community that music was meant to be a hobby, not a career. As Clint puts it, “In that town, there aren’t a lot of models for how you can be a professional musician. The perception is that you’re either world famous, or you’re eating beanie weenies out of a can for your whole life.” That didn’t discourage his youthful dream, at least not enough.
Alphin tried his best to be a businessman with thoughts of following in the footsteps of his family who ran a second-generation meat and seafood distribution company. He even went as far as earning a business degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. But Clint found that his passion belonged elsewhere and decided to start paying his dues in the music industry. Hard work always pays off, and that hard work has won Clint the Telluride Troubadour contest at Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2017, twice gotten him to the Kerrville New Folk Competition finals, and earned him the title of Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist. Not bad for a kid who decided not to take over the family business to pursue a childhood dream.
Catch Clint Alphin on tour:
January 22 - February 4 - Sundance Film Festival - Park City, UT
February 10 - Steve’s Guitars - Carbondale, CO
February 14 - Still Cellars Distillery - Longmont, CO
February 19 - WDVX Blue Plate Special - Knoxville, TN
February 23 - Commodore Grille - Nashville, TN
March 8 - Third Coast Comedy Club - Nashville, TN
March 21 - Bluebird Cafe - Nashville, TN