Clinton Curtis grew up between the islands of Key West and Jamaica. The son of musicians and reggaehall owners, he was always surrounded by music. As a child, he helped sound-check all the acts that appeared at his parents’ legendary Club Kokua on Negril Beach. He played with and learned from some of the Jamaican giants — including Gregory Issacs and Desmond Dekker.
He was a classical pianist at 8, and formed his first group – a 10-piece R&B band at 13. Around that time, he started making self-produced studio recordings of original songs, playing all the instruments himself.
He left Key West for Greenwich Village at age 17 to study acting at NYU. It was there, in the West Village nightclubs that defined so much of music history, that Clinton realized he wanted to write and perform original music. He began working his way up in the downtown acoustic clubs- earning a little money as a classical musician on the side. It was during this time that he wrote the songs that would later become the album, Smoldering Youth.
From Brahms to Muddy Waters, Van Morrison and The Band to Bob Marley and The Mighty Diamonds, Clinton’s many influences converged seamlessly in his songwriting. In order to home in on this unique sound, Clinton teamed up with producer Matt Stine, and signed to Stine’s indie label 27 Sound. With Clinton’s first full length album, Smoldering Youth, “21st Century Rock and Roll” made its debut.
Clinton sold over 2000 copies of Smoldering Youth and toured regularly up and down the east coast. Now he aims to further define the sound he calls 21st Century Rock and Roll with his second full length release, 2nd Avenue Ball. The goal was to make an album that fully captured the incredible energy of Clinton and his bands’ live performance. The motto was,
“if we have fun recording it, people will have fun listening to it”
And after a year and a half of countless hours in the studio—two drummers, three keyboardists, three guitarists, two horn players, one cellist and several attempts at the Theremin later—the album was completed. A solid hour of music- over 15 tracks.
It’s a 21st Century Rock and Roll Party and everyone’s invited.