Can Clay Walker deliver? That’s the question, and he’s not afraid of it. In fact, he’s positioned himself to answer it squarely – one way or another – this year. With new creative and business teams and a deep well of hard-earned wisdom, Walker relishes the challenge. “I’ve prepared myself for this moment in my career – mentally, physically and artistically,” he says. “I’ve never been more ready.”
In a sense, the question is absurd for a recording artist, songwriter and entertainer with 31 charted singles, a dozen No. 1s, four platinum albums and decades of performances to his credit. Titles spanning 15 years and still receiving strong airplay include “Live Until I Die,” “Dreaming With My Eyes Open,” “This Woman And This Man,” “Hypnotize The Moon,” “Rumor Has It,” “Then What,” “The Chain Of Love,” “I Can’t Sleep” and “She Won’t Be Lonely Long.”
Walker’s still robust touring schedule – 80 shows last year – continues to fuel interest in his releases, most recently the 76-song compilation Clay Walker – The Complete Albums 1993-2002. Among them is the chart-topper “If I Could Make A Living,” which just celebrated the 25th anniversary of reaching its airplay peak, despite its singer showing no slippage in his celebrated matinee idol looks and megawatt smile. Meanwhile, Walker’s native Texas continues to be a centerpiece, whether it’s performing the National Anthem at the 2019 World Series in Houston, or giving back at February 2020’s Basin Strong concert benefiting victims and families of the recent shootings in Odessa.
Nevertheless, country music and the sounds embraced by radio audiences don’t wait on anyone. As Walker well knows. “I’ve heard all of the different attacks on country across time,” he says. “Complaints about how the music changed. I went back and listened to a lot of stuff from the ’80s – all the DX7 keyboards that came into the genre sounded so much alike. It was like some dumbed-down version of Chicago. It reminded me this is just the evolution of music, and it’s continuing.”