Cass Clayton’s “We’re All Going Down” Rises to the Top

By Deuce

Four days ago, exactly, Cass Clayton—undisputed leader and focal point of the mighty, mighty Cass Clayton Band—dropped her new single, “We’re All Going Down”. That in less than five minutes’ time, the artist (and that band, I’m telling you) was able to put together something memorable, something that one can not only still hear after the tune goes off, but also even sing, if one dares to emulate the powerhouse songstress, is a testament to the quality of this oeuvre.

Clayton comes with the good ol’, down home, get down on the get down, type groove. Something that resembles the blues at times but even slower, if you can imagine that. It’s steeped in a sweltering amount of electric guitar, lyrical references to heretics and, one of the best parts, a funkdafied organ on two tracks that immediately brings the color and vivacity to the recording.

Taylor Scott is on production, and that might lend some sort of clue as to who’s responsible for the instrumentalism on this one. But the cast of characters of who was playing what is much more ambiguous and less easy to decipher. The drummer was doing his or her thing during the transitions and fantastic flourish of a finish at the end of the number, in particular.

The lead helped things along fitfully, perhaps no more so than when mimicking the singer’s performance during the final couple of hooks. The bass is simple, reasonable, and effective, the backbone of the bluesy type feeling that the singer rides over and over again.

But those organs, I tell you. With so much vibrato, and verve, tone, and texture of the best of those characterizing anything that that Rap-A-Lot Mafia Life put out during its heyday, the sheer musicality of this instrument gets straight to the root of what the singer’s doing, what the song’s doing, and what the rest of the ensemble is heading towards.

With music like this one could sing ‘la di da’ if one wanted to and it’d still sound good. But Clayton’s no slouch in the vocal booth. Moreover, the truth in this number (the heretical reference, the “traveling preacher’s no better than us”) makes it into a credible song, as does Clayton’s work on the mic.

Whatsoever will she be able to come up with next? That’s about the only thing in doubt at the end of this cut.   

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