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Songwriter Jefferson Clay's New Single Sings the River Walk's Praises 

click to enlarge Jefferson Clay is donating the proceeds from his latest single, "River Walkin'" to the San Antonio River Walk Association. - VIA "RIVER WALKIN'" VIDEO
  • Via "River Walkin'" video
  • Jefferson Clay is donating the proceeds from his latest single, "River Walkin'" to the San Antonio River Walk Association.
S.A.-raised singer-songwriter Jefferson Clay has dropped a new single about how much he digs his hometown's River Walk. And the musician, now residing in Austin, is even backing up the sentiment by donating all proceeds from "Riverwalkin'" to the River Walk Association.

In the video, the 24-year-old Clay — whose folk- and soul-influenced pop isn't too far afield from John Mayer's — lipsynchs at landmarks like the Arneson River Theater and Casa Rio while assorted visitors and his band join in for some awkward-looking dancing.

Fortunately, Clay's songwriting chops outshine the creaky moves. "With a nice cold beer and music in my ear/You're gonna find me here, on the river, walkin'," he sings over a laid-back groove pepped up by horns and a hooky chorus.
Probably not the kind of thing our most musically adventurous readers will drop into their playlists. But it does have jukebox singalong possibilities in the right bar. (A less-rawkus "Hey, Baby, Que Paso" maybe?)

The genesis of the recording came when River Walk Association marketing head Paula Schechter asked Clay to pen an original song about the landmark. He'd grabbed her interest via a YouTube video where he performed Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" on the lighted River Walk.  (Hey, Garrett T. Capps can't get all the breaks, can he?)

"It would have been really easy to end up making a jingle — you know, something obnoxious," Clay said of the writing session. "Instead, we really wanted this to be a 'New York, New York' or the 'Georgia on My Mind' for San Antonio."

Not surprisingly, the River Walk Association's prominently featuring the "Riverwalkin'" video on its website. (And why not, since it dropped half the coin for the recording session?)

If the mop-topped Clay looks familiar, that may be because he performed on Fox's singing competition "The Four," where he got enough votes from industry pros to stay in competition but not to advance. He's also scored honors at the ASCAP Foundation & Texas Heritage Songwriters Association and as a “New Folk” finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival.

In the meantime, he's back in the studio working on a new EP and will have four singles dropping over the next few months. None of them, for the record, is about another city landmark.

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January 26, 2022

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