- Dates: September 29, 2018
- Venue: Hargett Street Stage
- Location: Downtown Raleigh
- Address: 5 W Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601
- Times: 5:30 PM to 6:15 PM
- Admission: Free
ClayBank, a powerful new bluegrass band from the music-rich Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, chose their name to relate to their identity, their roots, and their journey ahead. Band rehearsals happen on Claybank Road in the Claybank community in West Jefferson, North Carolina. They delivering straight ahead bluegrass dosed with impressive vocals. The group features 17-year old mandolin player Zack Arnold, 19-year old guitarist Jacob Greer, 25-year old banjo picker Tyler Thompson, and veteran musician Gary Trivette on bass. This quartet showcases three lead singers accentuated by church-inspired harmony singing and top-notch musicianship. ClayBank has recently completed their sophomore project to be released with Mountain Fever Records. Produced by Danny Roberts, the award-winning mandolin player for The Grascals, this new album will showcase a fresh slate of original songs with wonderful lead and harmony vocals backed by excellent musicianship. No Escape is poised to be ClayBank’s breakout album in the bluegrass world!
In February of 2015, teenagers Arnold and Greer went to the Appalachian State University Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention held in Boone, NC, which is the long-time home of Trivette. At the festival, Trivette found himself in a jam room with the two young pickers and the musicians quickly clicked together. Trivette soon connected the dots and found out that his former bandmate, Tyler Thompson, had known Arnold and Greer since they were little kids in church. That led to a weekly jam session in next door Ashe County, NC, that began to rapidly evolve and advance. Within months of forming in early 2015, ClayBank began to enter regional band contests at music festivals along with playing at local music events and churches. In February 2016, they entered the prestigious Bluegrass Band Competition at the annual Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) convention in Nashville, TN and came in 3rd place. It was there that they met acclaimed artist manager and booking agent Andrea Roberts, which lead to them being signed to the ARA roster for booking/management representation. In March 2016, ClayBank entered the band competition at RenoFest in Hartsville, SC, where they came in 1st place. The win at this event coupled with the SPBGMA performance really brought the band into the bluegrass spotlight. Later in 2016, the band released their debut album Playing Hard to Forget on Rural Rhythm Records. The first single from the project, “Up On ClayBank,” climbed to Number 2 on the Bluegrass Today Weekly Airplay Chart and reached the Top Ten on the Billboard Bluegrass Album chart.