Clay Cook

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Douglas "Clay" Cook (born April 20, 1978) is a songwriter, producer and musician who co-wrote several songs with Grammy-winner John Mayer including "No Such Thing", "Comfortable", "Man on the side" and "Neon". Cook and Mayer's songwriting partnership was predominantly through Mayer's early career, as the songs he wrote with Mayer (with the exception of live releases) only appear on Mayer's first two releases, Inside Wants Out and Room for Squares. Cook and Mayer formed the band Lo-Fi Masters prior to Mayer recording Inside Wants Out. Cook is currently in the Zac Brown Band and was formerly in the Marshall Tucker Band and Y-O-U.

Biography[edit]

Clay Cook attended Smoke Rise Elementary, Tucker High School, and is a graduate of South Gwinnett High School in Snellville, Georgia in 1996. Following this, Cook enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts to further his skills in music. While there, Cook met fellow student and singer-songwriter John Mayer. The two of them formed the duo known as Lo-Fi Masters, putting 5 of their songs on an eponymous demo tape which was made at Berklee.

In March 1998 after two years, Cook made the decision to leave Berklee with his bandmate, John Mayer, to move their duo to Atlanta, Georgia, as he was a Georgia native and was aware of the music scene in the city. They began their career in earnest there, quickly making a name for the two-man band. They frequented the local coffeehouse and club circuit in venues including Atlanta's famous venue Eddie's Attic. On their writing partnership, Cook said, "Even back then, my role was more like that of a producer and John was the writer. I'd give input to clean up the rough edges and help him get his vision of the song more clear. For instance, he might have written six verses to a song, and I'd help him get it down to three."[1] Clay and John wrote songs in Atlanta which would later appear on Mayer's record Room for Squares, including: "No Such Thing", "Love Song for No One", and "Neon". Due to musical and creative differences, the two eventually parted ways. Cook moved to California to work in a music shop and later joined the Marshall Tucker Band. Since then he has released two albums of solo material while playing with bands. His albums are entitled The Year I Grew Up and On Mountain Time. Cook has also played with Sugarland and Shawn Mullins.

Cook joined up with The Zac Brown Band, and their album You Get What You Give was nominated for the 2011 Grammy's, marking Cook's first recorded material that has been nominated. The band won a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for "As She's Walking Away" with Alan Jackson. In 2011 Cook announced he had conceptualized his next solo album and planned on working on it throughout the rigorous touring schedule of the Zac Brown Band. Cook released this new album, North Star, on October 22, 2013.

In recent years, Cook has also collaborated with artists to produce albums and CDs. For example, he produced and mixed albums of Atlanta artists Gareth Asher and the Earthlings.[2]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart
positions
US Country US
Heat
Lead Me On
  • Release date: 2001
  • Label:
Self Serving
  • Release date: 2003
  • Label: self-released
Smoke & Mirrors (as Clay Cook & The Torches)
  • Release date: 2004
  • Label: Unknown
Natural Progression (as Clay Cook & The Torches)
  • Release date: 2005
  • Label: Unknown
Year I Grew Up
  • Release date: August 26, 2008
  • Label: CDBY
On Mountain Time
  • Release date: November 17, 2009
  • Label: CDBY
North Star
  • Release date: October 22, 2013
  • Label: Southern Ground Artists

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Small, Mark (2005). Although actual songwriting credits refer only to a couple of songs on John's first record."John Mayer '9: Running with the Big Dogs" Berklee.edu (accessed April 23, 2007)
  2. ^ "Gareth Asher Biography". Retrieved February 22, 2013.