Red Clay Strays to close out Balloon Fest May 6 at

Red Clay Strays to close out Balloon Fest May 6 at 7 p.m.
By Fran Thompson
Our beloved Red Clay Strays are now officially a national band, hitting their stride at world renowned festivals and opening for country superstars in the midst of releasing their first full album.
The band played the Tortuga Music Festival (headlined by Eric Church, Kenny Chesney and Shania Twain) and will have played multiple gigs in Central Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas before the Balloon Fest homecoming, where they will take the stage at OWA on May 6 at 7 p.m.
After that gig, they leave Foley for Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee before playing the CMA Music Fest on June 8. The band also has multiple arena/amphitheater gigs opening for Dierks Bentley & Elle King, and Ashley McBride & Eric Church. In addition, they will make their Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza debuts later this summer.
The Red Clays first album, Moment of Truth, is a crowd-funding project recorded completely in analog that is already drawing solid reviews, as the band cut every track live to translate the explosive chemistry from their live performances.
The title reflects an introspective look at their journey from young musicians to a band that is about to explode on the strength of the connection they make with their audience every time they play one of their mesmorizing live shows. By focusing on their fans, The Red Clays have continued to amass fervent supporters as well as much-deserved industry attention.
The bands origins can be found in the styles of classic country, rockabilly and gospel-fed soul.
Led by the unique sound of their rhythm section, they’ve created their own rock-and-roll style that produces a palpable musical synchronicity as distinctive as South Alabama dirt
Brandon Coleman (lead vocals/guitar), Drew Nix (vocals/electric guitar/harmonica), Zach Rishel (electric guitar), Andrew Bishop (bass) and John Hall (drums) spent five years growing their home base of fans by burning down every stage, with Coleman’s high-energy, emotive stage presence serving as catalyst.
Besides their incredible takes on Elvis and a Who’s Who of Classic Country stars, the band from the start played their own songs like “Good Godly Woman,” “Doin’ Time,” and ballads like “Wondering Why” and “Heavy Heart.’’
For The Strays, music is simply a way of life. They eat, sleep, live, and breathe it. It is obvious that when they are on stage, they are fully motivated to make sure they leave no unanswered questions.
These five guys from Mobile could easily be country music’s next big thing, as they honed their sound and paid their dues in dives and small venues around the country wowing audiences nightly.
Formed in 2016 from a band that included Coleman, Nix and Bishop, the Clays also include Coleman’s brother Matthew as a songwriter.
Influences stretch from Laurel Canyon to Muscle Shoals. And Lynryd Skynyrd, Jason Isbell, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings are also part of their roux. But just like fellow Mobilians Wet Willie, who hit the big time before them, their sound is their own.

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