Daniel Clay was born in Jackson, Mississippi and was first exposed to music as an infant laying on a blanket on the floor during choir rehearsals at a small Southern Baptist church in central Mississippi where his mother was the pianist and his father sang in the choir. As a child Clay would shut the television cabinet doors to block the screen and listen to the soundtracks of his favorite films. At age thirteen he began playing the guitar and exploring a wide range of musical idioms, among them early acoustic-blues, 20th century Minimalism and avant-garde music, classical Indian ragas, 80\'s political punk, 60\'s folk, and classical choral music. He began writing music for the guitar almost immediately and continued writing throughout his formal study of music in college. After college Clay began writing lyrically driven folk-music thematically concerned with his personal critiques of modern American Christianity and culture. Write Ups: \'The first thing you\'ll probably notice about Daniel Clay is his voice, crisp and smoky. Throughout The Protestant, it sounds assured and unwavering, but on Clay\'s collection of railyard ballads and backroad hymns, all kinds of doubts sneak in even as his register rises. In the most startling example, he sings, \'Though I claim your name, I curse it every day.\' Though that should sound like blasphemy, Clay\'s earthy timbre somehow still sells it as devotional.\' \'Clay\'s songs are filled with a dark, almost bleak, uncertainty against which his characters, and by extension all of us, struggle. That struggle is both spiritual and existential, though the difference between the two may be little more than a shade of degree. Casting himself as a wayward follower, he thoughtfully explores the many contradictions embedded in modern belief. But like his choir-boy delivery, the structure he uses to do this is both surprisingly traditional and thematically ingenious. Even at his most critical, he sounds reverent and hopeful that things will change for the better.\'
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