Every day brings a new artist into my network. Some are young and new to the scene, while others have been doing this thing for decades and have wisdom and experience I can’t yet fathom. Some are content to make a few extra dollars here and there, while others have dreams and aspirations of Nashville and “making it big.” One of the more recent musicians I’ve had the privilege to connect with is Clayton Hackle.
This Metter boy has started building a fan base and some name recognition here in Bulloch County and beyond, so when I got the chance to sit down and talk with him, I had to take it. I’m so glad I did. More than just a fellow musician, Clayton is a genuinely good guy, too. We chatted about his influences, folks like Dierks Bentley, Josh Turner and Brad Paisley. Drawn to songs that connect with folks on an emotional level, he’s chosen a solid musical base to draw inspiration from.
As we talked about the ins and outs of the grind, I was impressed by the maturity of such a young artist. You won’t find him getting drunk at shows or using his popularity as a musician to chase the ladies. In fact, only two years into his marriage, what is often a challenge for musicians with spouses and families is a boon for him! His wife Leah often joins him on stage. A fiddle player and artist herself, she understands the pull of the stage and supports in many ways including sharing in the creation of good music.
Hackle’s been playing music in our area for a few years now, and has recently signed on with Little Bird Big Sound out of Savannah, and his schedule is filling up with shows and studio time. That’s right. A new EP is in the making, and for his fans, it can’t come soon enough.
“I want to take my time and do it right,” Hackle acknowledged when I asked how soon we could expect the release. The EP which he called a “thank you to [his] fans who’ve been following [him] for a while” is due to be released in early December. He’s excited about getting his own songs out there where the public can enjoy them.
Any artist can relate to that yen to create and share original songs with an audience. These projects can feel like your children. “I feel like I have the ability to relate to people,” he confesses as he shares his love of meeting audience members between sets. “To me, it’s about giving people the outlet to escape.”
And isn’t that what music is really about. Isn’t that why our favorite songs touch us the way they do? They help us escape, either to a memory or a dream. The best music taps into something within us, and that’s what Clayton Hackle hopes to do with his new release. Clayton’s fans can see him on Oct. 13 at the Real Squeal in Vidalia and on Oct. 19 at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair. For your regular updates, some song clips and more, follow him on Instagram at ClaytonHackleMusic, or check out his soon to be published website, claytonhackle.com where you can follow his performance dates and snag your copy of that upcoming EP just in time for Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas, that’s when you’ll see your next printed edition of Discovering Bulloch. In the meantime, find us on Facebook, or track me down on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat and let me know if you’ve got an article idea for The Music Scene. Until then, I’ll see you around!