Saint Disruption, vigilance deadname and Clint Roberts release new albums
Bringing it all back home
After graduating from Brevard High School, Clint Roberts spent a few years bouncing in and out of college in Boone and Asheville, trying to figure out whether he could make school jibe with his particular disposition.
“To a fault, I can be very dismissive of people telling me what I should pay attention to,” he says. “That mentality isn’t particularly compatible with a career in higher education.”
During that time, he also parted ways with his folk band, The Fox Fire, focused on his solo career and eventually moved to Nashville, spending a few years trying to break through.
“While I ultimately found it difficult to make a name for myself, I took the work ethic and mentality that I gained back to Western North Carolina, and I’ve been there ever since,” Roberts says.
Now based in Asheville, the Americana artist credits his family for their support while he honed his solo skills — including a wise-beyond-his-years singing voice. The assistance also allowed him to stockpile enough original material for his debut album, Rose Songs, which he was able to grant his full attention to during the pandemic, thanks to the absence of what he calls “the very pleasant distraction of live shows,” and being signed by the Carry On Music label.
To record the collection, Roberts returned to Nashville and, in collaboration with producer Ben Fowler and such talented, witty session musicians as Gordon Mote and Bryan Sutton, feels he got the songs as close as possible to how he envisioned them. The days they spent tracking flew by for Roberts but taught him plenty, including just how green he is in the music business.
“I started the sessions by overexplaining what I wanted from each song. Once I understood the caliber of musicians I was working with, I learned to keep my mouth shut and trust their intuitions,” Roberts says. “Occasionally, some creative course correction was necessary, but for the most part, everyone intuitively understood what I wanted, or simply had better ideas.”
As the album’s title hints, many of the compositions on Rose Songs are about one person, and with that project now out in the world, Roberts is finding inspiration from a range of different sources. Temporarily satisfied with writing introspective songs, he notes that he’s trying to be more outwardly focused with subject material and has been writing more cultural and political commentaries. He also wants to get back into assuming the perspectives of different characters, much like the great Tom Waits.
“I doubt that I’ll ever come close to his genius, but it’s something to aspire to,” Roberts says.
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