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Clay Walker Looks For His Own Niche In Nashville

Of the Oakland Press

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Clay Walker’s fans have “A Few Questions” for the country singer — like, where has he been?

The Texan’s last album came out three years ago, an eternity in the country world. But after selling more than 8 million albums and scoring 11 No. 1 country singles, Walker — who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is active in helping to fi ght the disease — is taking his time to figure out what he wants to sound like and where he fits in the current country scheme.

“My feeling is that unless a (record company) executive — and I don’t care who they are — is a musician or a singer, they really don’t have any business telling an artist what they should sound like,” Walker, 37, explains. “That should be left up to the producers and the artists and the songwriters. That’s where the art comes from.”

At this juncture, 13 years since he started recording, Walker figures he faces a couple obstacles. One is a love for R&B, which he’d like to weave more into his music.

“I’m a big old-time R&B guy,” he says. “But I think that causes problems, ’cause it’s not what they do a lot of down in Nashville.”

And, he says, the fact that he prefers to live in Texas rather than Music City hasn’t helped him, either.

“I love Nashville,” Walker says. “I also love Texas. I love my home, and I love being there. But since I don’t live (in Nashville), all there is of me is a perception. There’s no reality. So there’s some preconceived ideas about me, and sometimes they’re kind of hurtful ’cause they’re untrue.

“But I figure there’s enough people that do know me and like what I do. It about evens itself out.”

Clay Walker and Jill Jack perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road north of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $32.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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