Brady Clampitt Offers First Single “Daydreamin'” from New Album
Brady Clampitt is a singer/songwriter, guitarist, and keyboard player. He has been on the music scene here in Florida since 2014. He has been a successfully solo artist, co-leader of the Corbitt-Clampitt Experience with Isaac Corbitt, and now of member of the outstanding Melody Trucks Band and a working wedding band with members of that group. His first album was Things Are Different Now. Clampitt lives in Jacksonville, and he has a brand new single, “Daydreamin’,” which he is releasing today. We had the opportunity to sit down with Clampitt recently to discuss his musical journey and this excellent new single.
MFN: How are you, Mr. Clampitt?
BC: I’m good, doing really well. I’m just trying to navigate the waters of COVID-19. It looks like people are booking out into next year, and they’re just going to open up, or not, but it looks like they are. I’ve been sitting on this next album for a good bit of time, and this is a great opportunity to work on this with the break from Melody Trucks Band and not playing out. Trying to get this album ready to release.
MFN: Let’s go back in history. We ran into you first with the Corbitt-Clampitt Experence in Tallahassee on a double-bill with Heather Gillis. [Actually, before that at Roosevelt Collier’s Suwannee Getdown and, as you said, at Orange Blossom Jamboree.] How did things evolve? What were you doing individually, and how did that work into the Melody Trucks Band?
BC: I knew Isaac (Corbitt) before I went to study at Berklee in Boston. We had just met and jammed together. I had seen the Corbett Brothers. When I came back, I was solo-gigging, doing some shows, working with a wedding band not too long after, and we put out our record in 2014. By the time Isaac and I got hooked up, the Corbitt Brothers were planning on taking a break, getting off the road after hitting it hard. That was when I decided to take a break from everything else I was doing to do something with him. Heather was around, then, too, and that’s the time I met Melody as well.
So it was jamming and talking with Mel and Heather and Isaac and other friends who came out to see us. It was a short time later that Melody called and was putting this band together. It was going to be Willis Gore (from Bonnie Blue), and at the time Issac was traveling and couldn’t do it full time but would be an honored guest when available. Willis called after I talked to Melody and said, “Are you in?” “Hell yeah,” I said. It was as easy as that. Ginger Beard (West Brook) is in, and it’s going to be fun. We fought tooth and nail to get where we were last year before everything stopped in March. I’m just trying to be ready when things open back up. I’ve got some new music.
MFN: I recall that first performance a Great Outdoors Jam (2017), and then Orange Blossom Jamboree (2018) and the album release party (2019). Everything was soaring along real well until March.
BC: Everything was good. Putting together a band with some of your friends, just wanting to get out there and hammer it, put a record out (Walking in Gratitude). Probably the most rewarding part of that for me was being able to get a record with seven people writing is quite a challenge. I had worked with another songwriter and did a bit of co-writing but never in a group like that where you truly have to work together.
MFN: And you have writing credit on five of the nine songs on the album, four with Isaac, a couple with Melody, and one with West Brook. Those are really fine songs.
BC: We all brought in songs, and we’d say, let’s see what we can do with this one, and we’d just run with it. It was interesting remembering the original demos and chord progressions as the songs developed, playing them out and eventually recording them.
MFN: One of the satisfying parts about watching this band from the audience is that it’s a band of equals; everybody’s got a hand in it, and it is clear the teamwork involved, everyone in the same mindset.
BC: We all came into it knowing that, if we all pulled our weight, it would make it easier on each other, doing what we want to do getting out there on a professional level and playing for people the kind of music we really like to play. It’s every musician’s dream, to do enough to get by salary-wise.
MFN: At your show at Dunedin Brewery, we also got to hear “the wedding band.”
BC: Yes! That was without Melody and without Willis (except for a sit-in). We had some opportunities to play weddings with that part of the group. It was fun to mix in some different music.
MFN: If you’re not having fun, what are we doing?
BC: That’s right.
MFN: So speaking of dreaming, talk about “Daydreamin’,” your new composition, because that is a lovely song.
BC: I’m working on the promotional release for this single, and the get this out of the way, then the next songs after getting this front and center and off my plate. I’m leaning toward one of the tracks being the title track, “Good Music.” I‘ll be looking to roll out a couple more singles off the album, possibly in March and then May, that one with the album. I’m looking to put this out and working on a video for it. I didn’t want to release this and have it go by the wayside. I want to take my time with the post-release. I have a friend who just got off the road with Justin Timberlake. He works out of Atlanta, Cole McSween. He’s going to do a remix and get it out there over the next couple of months. Just trying to build momentum around the song.
MFN: One of the aspects I found appealing about “Daydreamin’” is that it focuses on your voice in a way we just haven’t heard. We know it in the context of a rock&roll band, but here it was very smooth and almost laid back. The acoustic guitar is beautiful. Where did you record this; I’m especially interested in the horns, percussion, and backing vocals.
BC: I wrote the song about four years ago on ukulele. I’d been traveling around, and that really inspired a couple songs. This was the first song to come from that. I wrote this in less than 30 minutes, put the pen down, and walked away. And thought to myself, “What just happened?”
MFN: That’s when the magic happens.
BC: Once I recorded the demo, I began working on it, got it dressed up really nice. I fell in love with it as I walked around the house and on the road, just the little worked-up demo. I started rebuilding the track here at home in June. And I worked with John Lumpkin II to co-produce the recording; he’s a great jazz drummer from FSU. So here, I laid down what you hear as the vocal. I thought that was going to be a scratch take and that it would not be the vocal we went with, that I would redo the vocals. But I was happy with the original. From here, I sent him the vocals and other scratch stuff. I played the keys and the organ, and I also laid down three different acoustic tracks with the tenor ukulele, the 12-string guitar, and my six-string. I sent him that, and he sent me back the first drum and percussion tracks within about an hour! I was blown away. I was listening later that night when I got home from a gig. When you ask somebody to work on something, and they nail it like that first time, it just brings so much joy and laughter, thinking about him doing something so perfectly on the first try.
At this point I knew that the rest of this process of doing this remotely was going to be OK. It had already exceeded my expectations at that point with just the drums and percussion. Kelly McCarty laid down the bass from Atlanta; he’s a good friend of mine. He’s put out a great jazz album. He’s also from Florida State and has worked with John quite a bit. The Terminus Horns (The Floozies, String Cheese Incident) are some other friends of mine from Atlanta, and they sent their tracks in remotely. The background vocals were by Tori Peeples, and those were done at John’s studio as well. In the end, it all came together, and it sounded to me like a symphony, after remembering the original demo and then hearing the full potential of the song. It was pretty amazing.
MFN: This mirrors the experience of others who have been accustomed to working together in a studio but discover it is possible to create beautiful music like this even remotely. It is great to recognize just how talented you and so many musicians are during this terrible time.
BC: Yes. You wonder about quality, but everything has advanced so much that what you can do with your equipment out of your home studio can really hit the mark and get the point across.
MFN: What is your vision for the next couple of months?
BC: I’m looking at lining up a tour, possibly in March of next year. I may do a pop-up show near the release. Other than that, I’m working with the wedding band pretty consistently. I’m trying to make this leap from a working musician to an artist. I am Brady Clampitt, artist, already, but I think cutting back a bit on playing out will allow me to focus on my songwriting and recording.
MFN: Thank you so much for this. We are excited to debut the single and look forward to more singles and the rest of the album.