JD Clayton Band at Dreamy Draw Festival 2023 by Laura Ord.
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JD Clayton Steals The Show At Dreamy Draw Festival 2023

November 8, 2023 3:22 am GMT
Last Edited November 9, 2023 3:44 pm GMT

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Where JD Clayton's debut record was a drowsy, day-drinking delight, their live performance is a soulful rock n roll stomp - Clayton and his band delivering some naughty, bluesy inflections that are fruity yet go straight to your head.

The band certainly jam, but they do so in a super punchy way.

While lead guitarist Bo Aleman absolutely rips, his riffs sliding into existence before taking you on a '70s LA rock thrill-ride, it's JD's voice that the crowd completely lose themselves to; those in attendance hollering in appreciation as he croons at the top of his register across another sun-flecked railroad ode.

With the sun beaming down in the early evening, an ice cold cerveza in hand and the hue of weed in the air, it’s a pretty loose and idyllic hour on the second day of Dreamy Draw, the band subverting expectation by descending into 'The Joker' and a spicy, honky-tonk take on 'The Weight', which actually feel pretty pertinent for the moment.

“Alright, we’re just gonna keep on, do you guys like train songs?”

Riding straight into a deep, stomping interpretation of ‘Folsom Prison Blues’, Clayton’s voice is scrappy and raspy, Aleman's guitar submerged in the fuzz of '60s rock before they rip into another bouncy instrumental.

It shows why JD Clayton is such a suitable early evening act - bringing you up to the party and putting a beer in your hand, but then hitting you in the feels and making you thankful for where you are, which is epitomised by ‘Long Way From Home'.

They aren’t afraid to go a little tender for 'Brown Haired Blue Eyed Baby' either, Clayton possessing the same sentimentality and dynamism as Stapleton as he sheds the fuzz and distortion for something warm and romantic.

“I was hoping there’d be some clouds, but it’s a clear blue sky so this song doesn’t really apply,’ Clayton notions as he introduces 'Cotton Candy Clouds'. The mid-era Beatles influence mixed in with the inspiration of tender yet kooky songwriters like Jeff Lynne becomes even more trippy live, as the band hammer on the flange for one last tab as the sun sets.

It's another beautifully blissful moment from the group, who want to offer one last twist in the tale to tease what's to come. Closing out with ‘Arkansas Kid’, the new single, is a statement, and the correct one.

Perhaps a sign of the even fuzzier, garage rock-esque direction they intend on taking with their new album, 'Arkansas Boy' is an absolute ripper; not too sharp, but still a grooving ride.

It settles it for us, JD Clayton is our find of the weekend.

For more on Dreamy Draw 2023, see below:

Written by Ross Jones
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