Clayton Smalley Releases New EP Dirt Road Therapy
Utah-based country music artist, Clayton Smalley, has teamed with hit Nashville songwriter Steve Dean for four songs on Smalley’s sophomore EP, Dirt Road Therapy which is out today. It follows his 2019, iTunes charting, Whiskey Sunrise EP and his summer 2020 Top 35 (Music Row Country Breakout Chart) radio single ‘Happy Place’.
Dirt Road Therapy features four songs co-written with Dean, who has six number one Billboard country hits including the most played song on Country Radio in 2007 and Country AirCheck’s Song of the Decade Rodney Atkins ‘Watching You’. Dean’s other hits include the Grammy nominated ‘It Takes A Little Rain’ by The Oak Ridge Boys; ‘Southern Star’ by Alabama; ‘Round About Way’ by George Strait; ‘Hearts Aren’t Made To Break’ by Lee Greenwood and Reba McEntire’s ‘Walk On’.
“It is especially awesome to see the songs we wrote over a six-month span of Monday nights transformed into killer sounding records,” says Dean about the collaboration.
Produced in Nashville by David Flint for YN Records, the production on the EP blends elements of 90’s country and 70’s rock. The lead off track ‘Two Lane Time Machine’ showcases an Eagles vibe with tight harmonies a la ‘Already Gone’. ‘Modern Day Merle’ is a nod to new country artists who carry on the tradition of iconic artists like Merle Haggard who toured the country playing music for the love of music. The ballad ‘Phoenix Rise’ is an introspective song of reflection featuring a haunting pedal steel guitar. The title track, Dirt Road Therapy, is the most contemporary sounding song off the 6 song EP, while still leaning to the traditional side of the format. Rounding out the project is the self-described party song of the EP, ‘I Never Let A Good Time Get Away’ and the previous released ballad, ‘Watch Me Fall’.
“When I turn on the radio I want to hear the country music I grew up listening to, the music that molded me when I was a kid,” says Smalley. “Now I want to make that same country music that is a part of who I am now as a man and a musician. I feel like this EP is a step in that direction.”
The six song set taken as a whole illustrates the impressive artistic growth Clayton has worked towards since his 2019 EP. Dirt Road Therapy effortlessly unites personal, detail-driven lyricism with an irresistible and infectious sound that truly represents why people love country music. After a single listen, the listener will have no question as to who Clayton Smalley is as an artist and songwriter.