Terry Baucom has announced the newest member of his touring and recording group, the Dukes of Drive. And it’s someone who has been associated with Bauc for a good many of his 50 years in the business.
Clay Jones joins the Dukes on guitar and vocals, a position with which he is familiar supporting the banjo legend. He first met Terry when they did a long west coast tour together in a band Larry Rice assembled in the late 1980s. Then when Bauc and Lou Reid formed their group, Carolina, in 1993, Clay was invited in to play guitar. They found themselves on the road together again a decade and a half later when Jones was with Mountain Heart, and brought Baucom and Tony Rice along on a tour.
When his Mountain Heart stint was completed, Clay dropped off the bluegrass radar when he moved to Texas for a time and worked as an electrician on a pipeline job. After experiencing some major health issues, he moved back to North Carolina a few years ago and is getting involved in the music once again. A recent catch up phone call with Baucom came at an opportune time, as the Dukes’ previous guitarist, Will Jones, was becoming increasingly unavailable due to his separate country music career in Nashville.
So Clay is back with Baucom again, and Terry is happy to have someone on guitar who drives the music as much as he does on banjo.
Jones tells us that he is living now with his fiancé, their three cats, and a hound dog in Asheville NC, and is glad to be back home with Bauc.
“I guess you could say I felt relieved that Cindy and Terry called, ’cause it’s been my home for so many years standing beside Terry, it’s like a family reunion. He was the first person I ever played professionally with and hopefully my last.”
You’ll have a number of chances to catch Clay with The Dukes of Drive this summer. Check their web site for details.
Cindy Baucom also shared a number of photos of Terry and Clay together over the years.