HEADLINES

"New Vibes from Texas" by Tanya Tolbert St. Clair

Crash House Saloon
Songwriters Blake Ballinger, musician and vocalist, along with Clayton Gleason, lyricist and manager, have established a unique new Americana sound. Since meeting in 2012 through a mutual friend, the two collaborated on their first songs, “Don’t Abandon Me” (2014) and “Maui Gold” (shortly thereafter), which were released as singles and are also on their first EP recording, “Lonely Girl,” so named for the featured song. Also on the” Lonely Girl” EP is this writer’s personal favorite, “Sister Angel,” which Clayton wrote as a way of coping with the devastating cancer diagnosis of someone very close to him. As is true of all great writing, the clichĂ© hope, faith, and love ring out loud and clear in these emotional libretti.

The Lonely Girl EP was officially released in May of 2019. On April 24, 2019, at a popular Denton venue, The Horny Toad CafĂ©, Crash House Saloon hosted a pre-release party for friends and family. As everyone gathered eagerly on the back patio, the cool spring breeze, aided by a host of birds flitting around, searching for delectable morsels dropped by patrons, saw a black velvet curtain pull the giant orange sun and azure sky down behind the Denton water tower. The lush green foliage was set ablaze, as it melted into the night.  Behind the stage ran Interstate 35. Nature’s ornamentation provided a perfectly designed facsimile to “Lonely Girl’s” EP cover as the backdrop, while a new era in Americana music--Crash House Saloon--was formally introduced into musical society. Cars, trucks, and big rigs sped by, unaware that they were skipping past a great moment in musical time. And great the time and the music were! Go to YouTube and listen for yourself. Go to Amazon.com to buy your favorites. The band has gone through changes in bassists, drummers, and others and is still in the growing stages. The two constants are Blake and Clayton—they ARE Crash House Saloon. New to the band is drummer Jon Bolen, who says he isn’t going anywhere. 
Crash House Saloon has appeared at popular Denton venues, such as Dusty’s Bar & Grill and The Lion and Crown Pub. They were recently featured on Shaun Outen’s Texas Select Radio Show. On September 4, 2019, fans anticipate a win at the RDP Songwriter’s contest at RedRock Saloon in Denison, Texas.

The name Crash House Saloon was coined by Clayton, after habitually staying up and writing music all night, followed by crashing half the day. The guys had been tossing around ideas for a name for some time. One morning after working all night Clayton had an epiphany. He said, “Blake, this is the crash house—we’re Crash House Saloon!” And the name stuck.
Blake’s interest in music began when he was five years old. His uncle played the organ at church. At Christmas, he played the standard favorites from the hymnal, while the family sang along. Blake fell in love with music. When his family got a computer, Blake listened to the classics--Bach and Beethoven--and pretended he was the conductor. He and his sister begged their parents for piano lessons. And so Blake started playing the piano at five years old. He took voice lessons and trombone lessons in middle school and high school. He eventually studied music at the renowned University of North Texas Music Department. There he earned a BS degree in integrative studies—music, business and Spanish. Blake’s musical influences are Elvis, The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Johnny Cash and Tom Petty. Blake performs using the keyboard, guitar, or ukulele as self-accompaniment.

Clayton’s formal musical education was one brief year studying the French horn in middle school. He did not take to it too well. He began picking up the guitar a few years ago. His influences include a laundry list of performers--Elvis, Tom Petty, Steve Earle, John Mellencamp, Willlie Nelson, Cody Canada of Cross Canadian Ragweed, Bob Dylan, The Temptations, Jimi Hendrix, Creedence, and Daryl Hall. The topmost influences, he says, are Tom Petty and Steve Earle. Clayton has suffered from ADHD all his life and with PTSD, due to some overwhelming situations, beginning with the death of his beloved grandmother when he was 5 years old, followed by something better left in the past, when he was only 11. He turned to music where he could lose himself and identify with the lyrics. His lyrics are not anything that can be learned; they come from his heart. He discovered that Steve Earl’s “Copperhead Road” was not rock, but actually a back roads Texas country sound. He identified with Tom Petty’s ability to put his feelings into lyrics. Clayton began writing down his feelings in lyrical poetry as a way of coping with his world. He had always felt he could never do anything. His third grade teacher, Mrs. Pace, taught him that he could do anything he wanted. He has stuck to songwriting ever since, no matter what anyone said. And then he and Blake met—kismet. Crash House Saloon is preparing to release another single very soon. They record, produce, and distribute all their music themselves. They are currently independent, not yet signed. Prepare yourself for more innovative Texas Americana vibes from Crash House Saloon.
Though the group was featured in recently released Lifoti's September 2019 issue 09, you can check it from below link's for your country:

No comments