By likemindblog

Clay Benjamin portrait


CLAY BENJAMIN lives in Jacksonville Fl but grew up in Memphis Tn, which is currently where his parents and brother reside to this day. He is happily married with two children, a son that’s 12 and a daughter that is 7 months old. His dream has been lately, to finish his cd and help make a difference in the lives of people through song and music.

His interest in music began at the early age of five years old, while watching his father playing the guitar at church.  He has been surrounded by a family full of talented musicians that have helped influence his gift of playing the guitar. 

Clay has a unique soulful, funky, jazzy rhythmic guitar style.  He’s played with many great artists, had the opportunity to be the opening act to the likes of Ray Charles, James Brown, Cool and the Gang, The Time and many more.  His most recent achievement was becoming lead guitarist for Rev. Al Green and touring the world for the last two years with Al Green.  There is no limit to this man’s talent and big heart.

Clay Benjamin, welcome and thank you so much for participating in this project.  Without further ado, let get to your article:

No.1)  What is music to and for you?Clay 1

Music to me is a form of communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner. Music for me, is my opportunity to share a gift that has been given to me by God with those who love music. To impart into a human beings soul, something that can be felt but also can provide healing and comfort to the heart, mind, spirit and soul. Music is my opportunity to serve and bless people while also enjoying what I love to do and that’s playing my guitar.

No. 2)  What inspires you?

My wife and two children inspire me. However, I have for a long time been inspired by other artist/musicians. When I hear good guitar players, I’m inspired to practice. When I hear a beautiful song that has a great melody and good rhythm, I get inspired. But, more than anything, the love of God inspires me most of all!

No. 3)  When you are creating, playing, where does it take you?  I mean where does your mind travel (spirit)?

When I’m performing my mind always reflects on God and his mercy and grace. Without him blessing me to wake up in the morning, without him blessing me with the gift to play my guitar, I would never be on stage or performing anywhere as a musician/guitarist. God is the giver of all good gifts and I get so much Joy when I play to glorify him.

No. 4)  Do you think music, visual art and health are related and if so, how?

Yes I do believe all three are related. Music and visual art both have the ability to stir the soul to an emotional experience. For example, you hear a great song and it makes you feel happy or sad, sometimes you get goose clay and brandonbumps or even cry. Sometimes, you hear a particular song and it causes you to remember or reflect on a certain time or moment in your life. These are emotional experiences to say the least. On the other hand, visual art taps into your mind and then potentially into your spirit based on what you see. For instance, you show a man a picture of a rose and he may instantly think of a woman that is special to him. Now, take that same man and show him a painting of a naked woman and he will have some kind of an emotional reaction from seeing that painting. My point is, that both have the ability to affect ones mind and emotions as it relates to the other. Now, the bible say’s that, “A merry heart does good just like medicine”. Good music has the ability to provoke happiness and joy in us which statistically has been proven scientifically true that people that are happy and joyful have less stress and are in most cases healthier as opposed to someone who is miserable, sad, depressed, bitter or angry. Therefore I do believe all are related.

No. 5)  When you’re playing for yourself, not performing, how do you feel? 

Well, if I’m at home just messin around on my guitar or practicing I always enjoy doing that and get a kick out of learning.

No. 6)  When do you do your best work?  (day, night, alone, with other musicians etc.)

For the most part, if I’m writing that mostly happens best when I’m alone. Sometimes an idea for a song such as a title, a melody or even a lyric will just show up at any time.

No. 7)  Do you identify with your music and if so, on what level?

Oh yes, I completely identify with my music 100%. The majority of the songs I’ve written, which by the way will be featured on my soon to be released album entitled, “Intervention”, were all written based on my own personal life experiences I’ve had.

No. 8)  Does playing music help you connect you your “higher self” whatever that is for you and if so, on what level?Clay Benjamin 6

Playing music actually helps me connect with God. I’m in no way shape or fashion trying to be more than I am which is a human being that has flaws. God has given me a beautiful gift and I’m happy to have the opportunity to share it with the world. 

No. 9)  How do you feel about the public school systems and developing creativity in students?

Well, I’ve been out of school now for 22 years and back in my time there was a lot more discipline and a lot less crime and violence in schools. I feel that the school system today needs change. I believe they need to go back to the old way of disciplining these children and allowing prayer back into the system. When they took away prayer and shut God out, then all the violence and crime got really bad and it’s only getting worse. If we want our students to have more creativity then start with God. After all, isn’t he the creator off all?

No. 10)  What would you suggest could be a simple solution to improve the development of creativity in the school systems?

# 1, put prayer back into the school system and allow the students the freedom to pray if they want. #2, Have every school require every student take a class where they can actually learn to play instruments such as drums, guitar, piano, bass. The guitar kept me so preoccupied that I didn’t have time to get into any trouble growing up as kid.

Clay, I want to thank you once more for participating in this project and sharing so much with us.  I wish you all the best personally as well as with the completion of your cd.  Until we work together again, keep well, and God bless you!

Clay Benjamin 9TO THE READER :

We hope you’ve enjoyed Clay’s thoughts and invite you to listen to the video which is a song he wrote.  Your comments are always appreciated, thank  you so much.  ENJOY!

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Filed in: MUSIC • Friday, September 10th, 2010


By Alex Cummings on September 11th, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Thank you for an inspirational article and for sharing your wonderful music. Good luck with your upcoming cd.

Especially liked your answer #4 on the harmony and interaction of music and visual art on the emotions and health. Your music was a great pleasure to experience. Thanks
.-= Cecelia Gay´s last blog ..The Spirit Door =-.

By Brian benjamin jr on April 8th, 2011 at 8:56 am

Uncle clay i am very proud of for doing what you are doing with your gift that god has given you to play the guitar keep it up and god will bless you


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My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours