The album consists of 11 songs, written over the span of 15 years, each exploring a unique range of aesthetic and style within the southern-rock context that has defined so much of his other endeavors. From somber, steel guitar-tinged longing on “If There’s A Chance,” to the driving, forceful rock of album-namesake “North Star,” the release caters to fans of Clay’s previous work and beyond. “Compared to What,” the only cover on the album, is an Americana / rock-n-roll twist on a jazz classic originally recorded by Les McCann. Cook played all instruments on the album, other than bass and drums.
Clay’s extensive experience performing on a wide variety of instruments during his time with Zac Brown Band, including the Hammond organ, mandolin, and pedal steel is brought to bear in a uniquely personal way on North Star. Fueled by Clay’s previous work, which also includes stints with The Marshall Tucker Band, Shawn Mullins, and John Mayer, North Star is the next step in the development of a robust songwriter with something important to say, and a world of means through which to say it.