“Hey y’all. Thanks for having us. This is Jodi James and I’m Clay Parker, and we are Clay Parker and Jodi James.”
They felt like they could be our friendly, next door neighbors, from way back. (We certainly wish they were!) Sitting before us: a handsome, folksy duo, all the way from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For four years, Clay and Jodi have written and toured together, and we were delighted that their journey led them to our couch and armchair for the fourth Café con Siete.
As our first duet performers, we were interested to hear Clay and Jodi speak about the music they’ve created together. They explained how most of their songs “tend toward the melancholy.” A sentiment underscored by the name of the album they released in July 2018, “The Lonesomest Sound That Can Sound.” For their set, they played “Katie’s Blues,” “Every New Sky,” “Arrows and Bows,” and “Remember It All.” Watching them gently strum the guitar and harmonize, we could imagine listening to their music while driving down a windswept country road, windows down. With profound lyrics and gentle melodies, it’s the kind of music that’s easy on the ears, but maybe a little poignant on the heart, too.
Even so, sometimes it’s even smaller, more modest moments that are felt most tenderly. One such moment happened when Jodi misplaced her guitar pick. She turned to Clay, sweetly explaining, “He’s my pick holder, I don’t always have pockets.” He briefly dug around for a moment before reminding Jodi, “You put it in your pocket. I saw you do it.” Softly chuckling, Clay joked, “Can’t imagine a day without pockets, ya know.” It was a simple and earnest interaction, where their companionship took center-stage.
When it was all sang and done, we thanked our lucky stars for finding bringing us together. Thank you, Clay and Jodi for sharing your stories and songs with us, and we hope to see you again, down the road!