Ricky Clinton- Small Town Thing

The Power of Music

On January 31st we lost our friend Ricky Clinton, Ricky was a helluva a musician, but an even better person.  Though we did not know each other very well, it did not take that much time together to understand what Ricky was all about.  Ricky loved life, he loved music, he loved his family and friends, and he loved being a “carolina boy”.  He loved his Clemson Tigers, and though I am a born and bred Tarheel fan… I can respect a man’s love for his “team”.

Ricky and I shared the stage a few times opening for friend and song writer extraordinaire, Rayen Belchere.  Ricky was always the first one to approach me after playing and tell me how much he enjoyed  my set, or compliment a new song… selfless and humble, two good qualities that resonate loudly for me.  I always enjoyed Ricky’s sets as well, he had this smooth, controlled demeanor on stage that really made him look so comfortable up there.  And i can tell you firsthand, that can be a very uncomfortable place.

So Tonight, Saturday March 3rd, I hit the stage for the first time in a long time.  i am humbled and honored to have been asked to be a part of Ricky Palooza.  When Early Ray front man Rayen Belchere asked me to be a part of the gig I didn’t even think twice about it.  I can’t think of a better way to honor and celebrate Ricky’s life than to get a crowd full of people to join in on some live music festivities.  Yesterday i woke up to a text message from Rayen saying that the show SOLD OUT!  Just another sign of how much Ricky was liked in this circle of friends.  No matter how many times, or how few times you may have met Ricky, he was sure to leave a lasting impression.

Before Ricky’s passing he put some of his original music on Itunes… his song Small Town Thing is a personal favorite of mine and will get stuck in your head for days if you listen to it a time or two.  Listening to this song is like listening to Ricky’s life story, and for those of us who grew up in a small town… the story of our lives too.  And while Ricky loved being from a small town, he surely didn’t leave a small impression on this world.  The power of music allows one to live on with a sense of  immortality like no other.  So, tonight as we share some live music and good times, we know a “Small Town Country Boy” will be looking down on us…. and most assuredly will be singing along, with that ever present smile on his face.


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