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Release Details


Harper, Clay

Dirt Yard Street
(Casino Music)
Release Date: October 2, 2020


"Dirt Yard Street"

Clay Harper is a polymath, a man of many talents: businessman, real estate magnate, raconteur, conceptual artist, and prolific song writer. Clay has lived large and lived hard. He has suffered through drug addiction and recovery, through the indignities of the idiocy of others, and his through wife’s suffering and early death from cancer. Fabulous success and fabulous heartbreak. But mostly he’s a gifted storyteller, of good men hit with hard times. And bad men flush with treasure. A soundtrack for our lives.
His adult life has been spent loving and caring for those he calls family, which includes a large swath of Atlanta’s downtown music scene over the last 40 years.

“One constant in my life is music. Most of my friends are somehow involved in music. I can’t function without it. Happy or sad…there’s a soundtrack.”

In the ‘80s Clay Harper started a band called The Coolies, deriving the name from a dictionary definition of a coolie: a derogatory word for “one who does heavy work for little pay.” Signed to DB Records, their first album Dig, punk rock covers of Simon and Garfunkel songs, was followed by Doug, recognized as one of the top 14 “Rock Operas of All Time.”

His band Ottoman Empire marked the beginning of an ongoing friendship and collaboration with Stiff Record’s legendary Wreckless Eric. Together they wrote and recorded East of Easter, in the mid ‘90s. Kosmo Vinyl of the Clash and Clay created a 7” “45 of the Month Club” in 1996, just as the cd became the standard platter of choice. He released two children’s albums with his brother Mark and a cast of all-stars, including Moe Tucker, Ian Dury, Cindy Wilson, Susan Cowsill, Bobby Byrd, The Reverend Horton Heat, and Colonel Bruce Hampton.

Through spirited projects and guises as both an artist and a producer, Clay has recorded with a who’s Who of artists: Brendan O’Brien, Chaz Jankel of the Blockheads, Martin Stone, Stone Temple Pilots, The Subsonics, Serbian superstar Milan Mumin, Murray Attaway, Rick Richards, Glenn Phillips, Kevn Kinney, Kevin Dunn, Duane Trucks and Ceelo Green. His songs have been covered by Wreckless Eric, Anne Richmond Boston and Guns ‘N’ Roses (at soundcheck). Clay has “shared the stage” with some famous people… emperors and assholes alike. The Kinks, They Might Be Giants, The Del Rubio Triplets, The Black Crowes, World Party, Fishbone, Africa Bambaataa, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, The Wailers….

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Clay Harper takes us to "Dirt Yard Street"
Atlanta musician, Clay Harper (formerly of The Coolies, Ottoman Empire)…