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album artwork / click for hi-res version

photo credit: Robby Klein / click for hi-res version



The Red Clay Strays Made by These Moments A good song can pull listeners out of life’s deepest valleys. It can be the final push when scratching toward hard-to-reach mountaintops. And it can be a guiding light during those moments in-between, when a few chords and warm melody help steady a world often spinning out of control.

Those in search of songs to fuel life’s soundtrack – the highs, the lows and the rest – need to drop a needle on Made by These Moments, the new album from fast-rising Alabama band The Red Clay Strays. Cut by Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb, the 11-song Made by These Moments chronicles love worth searching for, knock-down fights with self-prescribed demons and a hard-earned faith found by the end of each day.

Or, as singer-guitarist Brandon Coleman described it: “There is a message of going down and being in low spots of life and finding your way out of it, climbing back to the top and realizing that you’re alright. It has a message of preserving and getting through something and coming out having hope.”

Hailing from Mobile, Alabama, The Red Clay Strays – Coleman, Drew Nix (guitar and vocals), Zach Rishel (guitar), Andrew Bishop (bass) and John Hall (drums) – bonded as young, working-class men raised on Lynyrd Skynyrd riffs and the songs of Sturgill Simpson. Anchored by Coleman, whose voice channels country gold and old-school rock ‘n’ roll soul, the Strays cut its teeth with gigs on sticky barroom floors.

With a sound straddling fiery Southern rock riffs, tender-hearted soul music and tried-and-true country crooning, the Strays rose from backroad Gulf Coast gigs to become one of the most sought-after acts in country and rock circles. Backed by crowdfunding campaigns for recording and touring (a nod of the dedicated following built during years of do-it-yourself road-dogging), the band self-released debut album, Moment of Truth, in 2022. The album featured a handful of what quickly became staple songs for the band: “Stone’s Throw,” “Do Me Wrong” and “Wondering Why,” among others. “Wondering Why” gained viral attention on TikTok, propelling the song to peak in the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot Rock & Alternative songs chart, as well as inside the top 20 of the Hot Country Songs chart. The album also helped earn the band a nomination for Emerging Artist of the Year at the upcoming 2024 Americana Honors & Awards.

The success of Moment of Truth led to the Strays inking a deal with RCA Records and enlisting Cobb – known for his work with Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Greta Van Fleet, Jason Isbell and more – to produce Made by These Moments. The band and Cobb cut the album at the producer’s home studio in Savannah, Georgia, largely tracking live in Cobb’s living room. Listeners hear the result on lively numbers like the speaker-scorching blues rocker “Ramblin’” and throwback country-rock jam “Wasting Time” – songs with the power to pull\listeners from couches and long commutes to feel like they’re sitting next to the band at a rowdy recording session.

“It was incredible,” Coleman said of the record-making experience. “It was a nice house on the river. We would just record. When we wanted to take a break and walk out to the pier, try to fish a little bit. … Sit in a living room and record music. It was very relaxing and the way it was supposed to be done.”

Hall later added, “The whole thing was incredible. It was a dream come true. We used to sit around and talk about, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if [we recorded with Cobb]?’ and then, boom, we’re in there.”

The album opens with “Disaster,” a slow-brewing number that grabs attention from the moment Coleman’s opening lines reverberate: “I’m a giant slayer/ I’m a music player I’m a young king walkin’/ Now the prophet’s talkin.’” The album rolls on, showcasing the band’s jukebox-like ability to jump between high-flying rock to soul-inspired songwriting – like the myth-making groove on “No One Else Like Me” – and roof-rattling gospel-roots, such as the timeless “On My Knees.”

For Made by These Moments, the Strays largely kept to a tight-knit group of co-writers, including Cobb, Coleman’s siblings Dakota and Matthew Coleman, and a one-off credit from singer-songwriter Anderson East (on penultimate album number “Moments”).

And no song may grab attention on first listen like “Wanna Be Loved,” a soft-touch ballad where Coleman delivers a familiar story in his warming voice. He sings, “I just wanna be loved, I just wanna be loved/ Can you tell me I’m worthy, or important? Am I working hard enough? I just wanna be loved.”

“I feel like everybody can relate to it,” Coleman said. “Everybody's just wanting to be accepted. Wanting to be heard. Wanting to be loved. I’m hoping people hear it and relate to it in that way. When the music connects to people and relates to it, that’s when you make a difference.”

On the band’s ability to create songs that dig beyond surface-level love, Nix said, “The world needs it. Brandon’s been saying that a lot lately. We need to write more love songs because we think the world needs it, and I agree.”

The album digs into life’s dark members with songs like “Drowning” – a balladeering plea for help where Coleman howls that “I lie awake at night/ Tears in my eyes/ My heart beatin’ out of my chest … I’m drowning” – and “Devil In My Ear,” a song that finds the narrator wrestling with demons – depression, anxiety and self-doubt, to name a few.

“It’s important for us to shine a light, because you don’t need to go there,” Nix said about the song, “because there’s somebody out here who does love you.”

After traveling through the darkness, the band leads listeners to a ray of light on album closer, “God Does,” a folk number that finds Coleman singing “Sometimes I don’t have the strength to go on anymore, but I know that God does/ But I know that God does.”

“That song says, ‘If I can leave you with anything, let me leave you with this,’” Coleman said. “I may not feel like I can. I don’t think I can, but … I know God does.”

This year, the band takes Made by These Moments on the road with their “These Moments Tour,” bringing its magnetic live show to Austin City Limits, Railbird Music Festival, an opening slot for the Rolling Stones and three sold-out nights at the Ryman Auditorium.

And now, when life takes you on your next up-and-down journey, you know what music to turn on, and turn up – The Red Clay Strays.

For more information, please contact Carla Sacks 212.741.1000,
Asha Goodman or Catherine Snead 615.320.7753 at Sacks & Co.