Clay Cook’s new solo album, North Star, is a personal snapshot of his life spanning from college to his Grammy-winning days as a member of Zac Brown Band. The 35-year-old Georgia native was just 18 when the project’s title track was conceived out of growing pains later shared with his best friend from Berklee College of Music.
“I started to write this song as I was moving off to college,” he tells Rolling Stone. “As a sheltered Southerner, I’d never really left home. Traveling 1,000 miles away to Boston unearthed a bunch of feelings that I really wasn’t prepared for. Two years later, I convinced John Mayer to move with me to Atlanta, where he coincidentally started feeling the same pains I did years before, which led to us finishing the song together.”
“North Star” ties its namesake album together with the theme of what Cook calls “watershed moments,” along with a Southern-rock vibe. “While the perspective and events change from song to song, the album does have a consistent musical core – not just me, but what I wanted this album to be.”
North Star, executive produced by Zac Brown, is out now and available on iTunes.