The name Road House Clams invokes visions of a Jimmy Buffet style rock band at a local sea side fish house, right? The Clams, fronted by vocalist/guitarist Rik Ferrell, have their roots along the fertile musical soil of Maryland’s eastern shore.
Rik and the band feature that juke joint punch, riddled with clever lyrics, and tight harmonies. Original tunes like, “I like You Better When You Been Drinking” set the tone for a high-energy, country infused evening out with the Clams.
Rik and fellow songwriter Keith Thompson started the band in 2010. “We played around at other gigs and jams together,” Rik recalled, “and every time we got together there was that magic; that little bit of a spark – the harmonies where already there – without even really rehearsing a lot.”
Keith, from southwest Virginia, brings a rootsy flavor to the band, especially with his Mandolin playing, whereas Rik is more of the rock and roll influence. “It’s a really nice crosshatch of sound,” Rik said.
Although their music has a seemingly 70s vibe, Rik said, “None of it was really intentional. We weren’t quite sure where we were going, but we didn’t want to limit the songwriting. I don’t worry about genres. I listen to a lot different kinds of music, and that influences spills over into our songwriting,” he said.
For their new CD, Raw Barn, the bend traveled to Washington D.C. to work with top notch producer, Mark Williams. He was a stickler for detail and making sure the sound was just right. “It like you wanted to strangle him, but when we heard the final track it was like, ‘that’s exactly right.’ We definitely learned to trust him. It was a lot of fun.”