Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tried and True

Tried and True…Tested and proven to be worthy and good
(Merriam Webster)

It has a nice ring to it. It’s one of the phrases that sounds like what it means. It’s also a contradiction in the feel of its sound. Kind of hard and soft at the same time.

Clay Aiken has announced that his upcoming album will be a collection of songs from the 50’s and 60’s. The songs like the album title are tried and true. To some people they are classics, to others “oldies” with memories. But to some, they will be new. In fact, thanks to the touch of Chris Walden, we may just be in for an audio version of “everything old is new again”.

While my preference is for original music, I’m intrigued by what Clay and his collaborators can do with this music. He seems to be involved in every aspect of the album and on his last cover album, the song that had the most Clay influence was Broken Wings. And he made it completely new. I would expect that some songs will have a traditional arrangement but Clay has hinted that some of the arrangements are the most incredible he’s ever heard.

And if that wasn’t enough to whet the appetite, the album is being previewed next month at a onetime only concert that will be taped for airing on national television, likely in the second quarter. In my wish list blog to Decca a few months ago, that type of promotion was right at the top. I can hardly wait for the general public to see Clay in his natural element. Capturing your senses with his voice in one minute and tickling your funny bone with the next breath. Most of the audience that discovered him on Idol knows he is a great singer but only those who have seen him in concert know of his frighteningly quick wit.

The concert is being filmed in Raleigh, NC. I wasn’t planning on going but there’s something about Clay’s excitement for this project that sort of compelled me to agree to drive down from New England with some other crazy friends who also got caught up in the sensation of a new beginning. Fans are called it the new Deccade in honor of his new label, Decca Records.

Clay and his team set up a special fanclub presale last week. It was funny to see Clay posting and answering questions during the time leading up to the pre-sale. I don’t think he ever realizes what we go through to get tickets for his shows. He probably doesn't realize that on the day of a Ticketmaster Tango, you wake up early with your heart beating. You review the seating chart and the buying strategy a hundred times. You panic when you momentarily forget your Ticketmaster password. You swear at the screen when the jumbled word requires the Rosetta Stone. (The real one, not the one that Michael Phelps used to learn Chinese.)

You totally freak out when Clique doesn't put your password up on time and you have to get to work. So you back out of your garage while forgetting to put the garage door up.

Not that I've ever done that or anything.

So Clay’s excited, the fans are excited and the label seems excited. The promotion of Tried and True (or TnT as it will likely be affectionately abbreviated) will begin in the late spring. There’s magic in the air this time, not wishful thinking.

Tested and proven to be worthy and good

Seems to me it describes the singer as well as his album.

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