Indiana’s Red Clay Pigeons bring folk-rock to Bob’s
By Justin Kreitzer
Muncie, Indiana-based singer-songwriter Wesley Moore previously released a deeply personal solo album, In The Wake, in 2014. For his next project, he has recruited a band—Red Clay Pigeons—featuring the talents of multi-instrumentalist Bryce Robertson, keyboardist Ian Taylor and drummer Allen Tucker. Alongside Moore’s pleasant Bob Dylan-like vocal style and earnest narratives, the band combines their vast musical influences into a classic country-western and folk-rock hybrid that recalls Ryan Adams, Wilco and the Grateful Dead.
The band is currently working on its debut album set for release later this year and have set up a GoFundMe campaign to help offset the costs involved with making the album. In the meantime, they have released a demo featuring four songs recorded in their home studio, as well as an album recorded live at DIY music venue Be Here Now in Muncie, which can be streamed from their website or purchased digitally.
Red Clay Pigeons are currently touring around the Midwest and will make a stop in the Gem City for a show at Blind Bob’s on Friday, Feb. 26 alongside Tim Pritchard and The Boxcar Suite and California Widow.
In anticipation, Dayton City Paper spoke with frontman Wesley Moore about forming a band, the upcoming album, influences and more.
After recording and releasing your first album as a solo artist, what led you to form a band?
Wesley Moore: I never really wanted to be a solo artist. It just sort of happened that way. I was gigging in support of my first album, and it became increasingly apparent that it wasn’t enough to be on my own. I’ve played with the guys in the Red Clay Pigeons in various groups throughout the years, and I’ve always loved what they bring to the table. We all knew that we could accomplish a lot more collectively than I could by myself.
What is the meaning behind the band name, Red Clay Pigeons?
WM: The idea behind the name was to piggyback on some of the themes from the solo album. It was pointing out that most bad things happen when people least expect it … like a clay pigeon once it reaches the apex of its flight.
How has the band’s sound been shaped by the band members?
WM: In the beginning, it was easy to describe the music we were playing. It was folk-rock. The band’s sound has evolved a great deal since we started, though. The music has moved away from being so straightforward and literal. There are more twists and turns and the lap steel and delay pedal effects that Bryce create cause a haunting ambient texture that I can’t seem to get enough of. The keys provide the pulse and another airy layer to the soundscape and the drums are the icing on the cake. They get you moving. The band has taken my three chord folk songs and turned them into something much more intelligent and entertaining.
The Red Clay Pigeons’ sound stretches across many genres, leaning toward country twang and rustic folk, but you also throw in some elements of alternative rock. Who are some of your main musical influences and some of your least obvious influences?
WM: My favorite is Ryan Adams. I love just about everything that he’s done. I’m a huge Wilco fan. I love Dylan. I think those are pretty apparent when listening to the Red Clay Pigeons. Some that may not be so obvious are My Morning Jacket, Radiohead, Dr. Dog, Sigur Rós, The Tallest Man On Earth and Ben Howard. When you expand that question to the entire band, it stretches out even further into a huge variety of music. The other guys are into groups like Philip Glass, Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, Half Moon Run, Bob Marley … it’s all over the map.
What is your favorite song to play live and why?
WM: I love playing a song called “A Wild Thing.” It’s about my little sister. She lives this super adventurous life, and I live vicariously through her. It used to be a slower song without much to distinguish it from others. Since the band got their hands on it, “A Wild Thing” has really come into its own. It’s kind of become an anthem for the Red Clay Pigeons. We close a lot of our shows with it, and I think everybody in the band, as well as the audience, enjoys it about as much as I do.
What can be expected from a Red Clay Pigeons show?
WM: It’s hard to come up with something that doesn’t sound pretentious. You can definitely expect a great live show with energetic music that makes the audience want to dance.
Red Clay Pigeons will perform on Friday, Feb. 26 at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St. Tim Pritchard and The Boxcar Suite and California Widow are also on the bill. For more information, please visit redclaypigeons.com and blindbobs.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer Justin Kreitzer at JustinKreitzer@DaytonCityPaper.com.