On May 28, the long-awaited and highly anticipated release of T.A. Clayton & The Soulminers’ most recent EP, Young Again, was shared with the world.
The five-track project is the first music we’ve heard from the group since 2019 when they released their debut album Shortcomings.
Having played live and written music in various rosters of the band’s lineup for around five years, Young Again is an attempt to slow the writing process down and really hammer out an incredible set of songs while taking the time to ensure they are produced well. Taking a hiatus from live shows during the 2020 pandemic was exactly what they needed to reflect on where the music had brought them and dial in on where they wanted their next set of tunes to lead.
The variety of genres throughout this EP, and even within each individual track, is impressive and is the direct result of letting the music guide the writing sessions, instead of the other way around.
“We certainly aren’t trying to be something we are not,” said frontman Todd Clayton. “It’s an attempt to let the creativity flow, and not steer songs to fit nice and neat into a particular box.”
It is true that there is no easy way to classify these songs by genre, but there is an underlying thread that connects all of the music - Clayton’s songwriting style and signature voice. It is difficult to put into words, but his acoustic guitar and authentically raw yet pure voice control the music as the rest of the musicians explore soulful, country, heavy, and groovy avenues to accompany him. The end result is 5 songs that work together beautifully and flow seamlessly into one another.
This combination of musicians and sounds seemingly blends all of the musical happenings within the state of Kentucky, where most of the artists involved are from.
Besides being the master engineer and producer of the album, Tom Hnatow is supporting Clayton on electric guitar, keys and bass throughout the entire project. “His talent is scattered all throughout the EP and you will not hear a moment in this compilation, without hearing his work,” says Clayton about working together with Hnatow.
Two other additions to the roster of musicians that Clayton was excited about are Rod Elkins, who plays drums for Tyler Childers, and bassist Roddy Puckett, who has played with Wolpen Branch and The Wooks. Female backing vocals by Lyssa Halley and Haley Stark on the title track “Young Again” are also a new and welcomed addition to Clayton’s music.
Besides working with several new musicians, some of the original members of The Soulminers were included in this EP. Andy Lenihan returns on keys/organ and Jamie Ritchie on percussion.
Fans who are interested in diving deeper into the catalog of music from T.A. Clayton & The Soulminers can check out their debut EP, Crookeder Past, Vol. 1, which was recently added to streaming services to help promote Young Again’s release.
With live music returning everywhere you look and another batch of songs that are halfway recorded already, we can only hope that we will see a lot more of these musicians in the future. Follow them on Facebook to keep up with show announcements, new music, and other updates from the band.