People are always asking Chad Hamar, half of the husband-wife country duo Cloverdayle, why he doesn’t sing about tailgates and tanlines, like the other country stars.
“There’s plenty of that already out there,” he says. “We like a lot of it, but for us, that wouldn’t be real.”
For Cloverdayle, country music isn’t necessarily about the normal country lifestyle. Besides, people in the Pacific Northwest typically don’t tan.
“We drive a truck, but we’d never put it in a song,” remarks Rachel Hamar. “And anybody who knows me knows I don’t have a tan.”
Chad and Rachel describe their sound as a Pacific Northwest take on Nashville country music.
“Our country was getting away to the mountains, going hiking, going to the beach, going camping,” Chad says. “That’s our country living.”
Chad and Rachel are natives of Lake Oswego and Bend, respectively, but moved to Nashville in 2013 to work alongside some of the country industry’s greats. They’ve shared concert lineups with stars such as Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, and worked with Jason Aldean’s band. Since they started playing together as Cloverdayle seven years ago, the duo has recorded three EPs and one full-length album “9 Miles Down a 10 Mile Road.”
Cloverdayle is returning to West Linn on May 15 to play its newest album “Off The Grid” in full at the SouthLake Auditorium. Concert attendees can purchase a copy four days before its official release on iTunes.
The new album was fully fan-funded through the online fundraising platform Kickstarter, through which many fans from the Pacific Northwest helped the band.
“With so much of our support base coming from the Northwest and all those people who helped Kickstart the record, it’s our duty to go back and say thank you,” Chad says.
The two met at the Clackamas Community College Jazz Festival while Rachel was still a senior at Bend Senior High School. Chad was in a rock band growing up. Rachel sang gospel in a choir and both studied classical and jazz music while at CCC.
“This whole eclectic background really comes out in our songwriting,” Chad says. “Even though country is our strong point, we pull from all those different influences of what we grew up with.”
Both taught music lessons to students in West Linn, Lake Oswego, and throughout the community. Since moving to Nashville, their business Your Song Music School, has gone online. Chad and Rachel still host music lessons — including guitar, voice, piano, drums, and songwriting — via Skype.
“Parents love it,” says Chad. “They don’t have to block out two hours and drive their kids to class. They just log on and have their lesson.”
Cloverdayle’s previous songs have often been inspired by Oregon life, often written while staying in a family beach house located near Cloverdale, Ore., outside of Pacific City.
With no Wi-Fi nor cell phone reception, Rachel says, “it’s a great place to be creative and get re-inspired.”
The remote nature of the beach house inspired the new album’s name, “Off the Grid.”
Cloverdayle’s album release concert will take place at the West Linn’s SouthLake Auditorium, 1555 SW Borland Road, at 7 p.m. May 15. Tickets can be purchased on the band’s website ($15 for adults; $7 for children 12 and under) or at the door ($20 adults; $10 children). For more information, visit http://www.cloverdayle.com.
This story was originally published in the April 30, 2015 issue of the Lake Oswego Review.