Clinton Gregory would appear to be another country music artist taking a stab at bluegrass. The Virginia native had some chart success in the early ’90s, particularly with the song If It Weren’t For Country Music I’d Go Crazy.
Gregory went into a deep decline after going through a painful divorce, and losing his record deal in 1996. He all but disappeared and even family and friends had trouble finding him through this time, until a friendship with country legend Hank Cochran and a religious conversion brought him back from a life of drugs and rebellion in 2005.
Since then, he has continued performing and recording in country, but his newest release, Roots Of My Raising, finds him in the midst of banjos and mandolins.
But Clinton isn’t just some random country guy dipping his toe into bluegrass waters. He comes by his roots quite naturally. Before moving to Nashville in his early twenties, Gregory was active on fiddle and guitar in the southwest Virginia music scene. Before he was 10 years old, he was playing fiddle on stage at bluegrass festivals, and folks back home still talk about the local boy who went to Nashville to make good.
Roots Of My Raising was recorded with The Clinton Gregory Bluegrass Band, who will be touring in support of the album. Harold Roper is on banjo, Doug Flowers on mandolin, Scott Terry on bass and Gregory on guitar and fiddle.
Clinton says that not long ago, he got re-bitten with the bluegrass bug, and this new record is the result.
“This bluegrass album has been 40 years in the making.
The project came to life when we spent a weekend up at a cabin; we played until our fingers couldn’t play anymore. Something really rare happened and we knew we needed to get into the studio. In fact, the songs on the record are the very same songs from those inspiring evenings at the cabin.”
Most of the material consists of bluegrass and country favorites (How Mountain Girls Can Love, Sittin’ On Top Of The World, I Never Go Around Mirrors, Little Cabin Home On The Hill, Somehow Tonight, New Patches), but he also lets loose his fiddle on Katy Hill, and includes an original Gospel song, Crucifixion.
Audio samples are available online, and Clinton put this video together to introduce his bluegrass sound and new band.
You can keep an eye on concert dates for the Clinton Gregory Bluegrass Band online.