The whole of Rooster—front to back, top to bottom and side to side—shakes the floor and rattles the roof. Long live the blues!
~ Frank Alkyer - Downbeat - May 2013
Clay is a masterful boogie-woogie and blues pianist, having played with legends such as Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Bob Margolin, Pinetop Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. After years of developing his piano chops and earning the respect of his fans and peers, it was about time for Clay to put out a record.
And what a record it is. Aptly named Rooster [Lost Cause Records LC 120], Clay’s debut album is an electrifying opus of blues traditions and innovations. The blues world should hold on to their hats. Clay Swafford is bursting onto the scene!
Powerhouse pianist doesn’t begin to describe him. His lightning fast fingers have dropped jaws of every blues icon with whom he has shared the stage. As Pinetop Perkins himself said, “I have 10 fingers, it looks like he has 20! He’s tearing the keys down on that piano, man!" David Maxwell exclaims that he is “a dynamic and accomplished young blues and boogie-woogie pianist. He plays the blues with affection and soul. His rhythm is steady -- watch out for this guy!”
Rooster is raw and pure: no tricks, no digital manipulation. It’s a return to the old piano house rent parties from back in the day. An old upright Weber was wheeled into the studio, and who better to croon along but the incredible Blues Music Award winner with the barrelhouse voice: Diunna Greenleaf. Also featured on the album are Blues Music Award Winners Bob Margolin and Bob Corritore.
USA Today picked “Olympia Strut” as a top track saying “though he's just 30, this emerging boogie-woogie pianist sounds like an old-time master on the new 'Rooster' album.”
"Whatever you do, don't miss this extraordinary recording!" Pat Morgan, President, Pinetop Perkins Foundation
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