Dive Bar Country sat down with Auburn University alum Clay Barker and two Auburn juniors, Ella Langley and Reid Haughton this week. All three currently work with 65 South to book their shows and push their music. These three caught our eye from playing at Bourbon St Bar, a venue frequented by Riley Green and Muscadine Bloodline. We were able to chat about what it’s like to be a student while pursuing music, what brought them to Auburn, and all the new music they have on the way. Read the full interview below.
Auburn is a great little town but there are not a ton of places to play. We asked Clay Barker what it’s like for the three of them rotating through who gets to play these venues. Clay said “We all try to go to each other shows as often as possible. Whenever we see one of us in the crowd we’ll pull them up on stage and do a song together. We try to help each other out and whoever gets the first break gets the first break.” Reid Haughton chimed in to add “There’s room in this business for everyone. There’s no competition at all. Like Clay said we’re all working towards the same dream and I hope they make it just as much as I hope I make it.”
While talking about what it’s like being both in college and in greek life while pursuing music Ella said, “Yeah… I don’t sleep much. But I definitely feel like I have to be doing something every 5 minutes so it doesn’t really bother me. As far as greek life goes those are all my best friends so it’s just extra people supporting me and coming to shows.” Reid told us “Every day of my life I sit in class wondering…why am I learning this? I actually called my mom the other day and Said ‘Mom I’m just going to write one song and it’s going to get me out of here I swear.’ She had to talk me down a lot. She’s always telling me to stop saying that and stop thinking that way.” Reid and Ella are both marketing majors so it will pay off one day…maybe. Clay told us “Being out of school is a huge weight off my shoulders. I’m currently a leasing agent here in town so I do have to manage that from Monday-Friday but after that it’s all music.”
Seeing that they all work with 65 South it was only appropriate to talk about how 65 South has a crew that’s really blowing up right now. That crew being Riley Green and Muscadine Bloodline. We asked them what it’s like working under the same tree and playing the same venues as those guys. They told us “It’s just really exciting to think about the fact that we’re on the same stage as them the night before or after.” Reid said “Riley Green is playing a show at Bourbon tonight and that stage he’s singing on is the same stage we’re on all the time. That couch in the back he’ll be chilling out on is the same couch we sit on every night before a show. It’s just humbling to think that we’re following in the footsteps of some really talented artists.”
Without patting Reid on the back to much, we asked him what it’s been like watching his debut single “Make You Mine” take off the way it has. Reid said “It’s been incredible. I wrote that song when I was in eleventh grade I think. It’s 100% completely all true. I saw this girl in my high school and she struck me, for whatever reason. I knew I had to go home and write that song, that night. So I went home and sat on my bedroom floor and wrote ‘Make You Mine’. It’s been able to get on a couple playlists thanks to Spotify. I think we’re at 56 thousand streams right now. I would’ve been fine with 5 plays I just wanted to get some stuff out there.”
Ella spoke about her new single ‘Here’ saying it was of the easiest songs she’s ever written because it’s exactly what she is going through on a daily basis. The song is about getting into the music business and how some folks catch a break before you. Ella likes to keep the mindset of “We’re all in this business together and here to help and support.” She likes to stay thankful for being Here in life and remember everyday something can happen and she’ll never be able to play music again.
We asked Clay what he had cooking for us. Clay said, “I just got to go up to Nashville and write with some great guys, Tyler Reeve and Cole Taylor. We were trying to think about what to write about while we were sitting in this bar. We thought hey why don’t we write a song about some of the stupid things we get into after we go a little too far with the drinking. So we ended up going to the back patio of the bar and we wrote the song in about an hour and a half. We’re still working on the final mixes but hopefully can get it out there by early January.”
On December 1st, Clay Barker is putting on a charity event to benefit Children’s Harbor. Children’s Harbor provides children with serious illnesses and their families a place to be themselves, have fun, and relax. Clay was a volunteer for Children’s Harbor during his teenage years and is excited to continue to give back. Both Reid and Ella will also be playing the event. The event will be held at Bourbon St. Bar and all donations are welcomed!