Red Clay Strays buses in some Alabama rock music this weekend

November 17, 2018
The Red Clay Strays bring in some Alabama rock and country music Friday, Nov. 16, at the Black Sheep stage.

Hailing from Mobile, Alabama, the Red Clay Strays have been together for less than two years yet are already touring the country with their roots rock and country stylings.

A band that aims to please, they are in the process of releasing their first-ever album and touring into the Tri-State.

The Red Clay Strays are a mix of roots country music and southern rock and more. They claim Sturgill Simpson, Tyler Childers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Drive-by Truckers as influences.

Now recording for the Skate Mountain Records label, the Red Clay Strays will perform in Huntington for the first time.

Friday, Nov. 16, the Red Clay Strays will play at the Black Sheep Stage venue located at 279 9th St. Opening the 9 p.m. show will be Tony Harrah.

The members of the Red Clay Strays include Brandon Coleman on lead vocals, rhythm guitar and piano, Zach Rishel on lead guitar, John W.

Hall on drums, Andrew Bishop on bass and Drew Nix on backup vocals, rhythm guitar and harmonica.

Being a new group on the road that is trying to establish fan bases all over the country, the Red Clay Strays are traveling on a low budget. That comes in the form of an old bus that breaks down often.

“We played at a brewery in Virginia a couple of months ago, but that isn’t West Virginia, so we are looking forward to coming there,” said Brandon Coleman.

“We have been together as a band for about a year and a half now, going on two years. We just keep playing the best that we can and doors keep opening for us. So, we are taking it as far as we can.”

The Red Clay Strays walk the line between country and rock music.

“We are definitely a southern rock and country music mix,” said Coleman. “We also play a lot of hard rock songs and country songs that reflect our influences. We will even play some Allman Brothers Band songs and some Stevie Ray Vaughan stuff, mainly because we have to play covers in the bars at times. But, we also play our original songs as well, which will be on the new album. The album is full of all original music.”

There are times when life on the road is meant for the young.

“This has been an adventure, to say the least,” said Coleman. “Especially when our old bus decides to start acting up on the road. The turbo went out not long ago, and all kinds of stuff. We have been stranded in the desert and have been stranded in the mountains. We got stranded out in Texas and it was real hot. We work on the bus ourselves, which is a 1999 bus with a rebuilt diesel motor. They rebuilt the engine, but they put all of the old stuff back on it. We have had to spend the night in the bus when it was broke down. Then, we get up first thing in the morning and start ubering to the auto parts store and get what we need. Then, we come back and fix it and get back on the road again. But, we are thankful for every bit of it. It’s just another story to tell.”

Once back on the highway, the highlight of the day is when the Red Clay Strays can finally get onstage and play some music.

“The best part about it is being onstage and performing for people,” said Coleman. “We want to make people happy while we are playing music. We are very fortunate that people enjoy our music and that we are able to do it like we do it. Whatever mood I’m in, I sing the song that I am feeling at the time, and that becomes my favorite song. Being from Mobile, when we see the mountains when we are driving on the road, we can’t take our eyes off of it. So, we are looking forward to being in West Virginia. It is going to be fun. Every time we get home, we start to itch a little bit, wanting to get back out on the road after about two weeks. We get excited about getting out to meet people and talk to people. We love going to new places.”

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