Wilkes-Barre’s The Clamstompers release video for album title track ‘Dwayne’
WILKES-BARRE — Americana/folk musician Katie Kelly was falling asleep one night when a peculiar lyric motivated her to wake up. She wrote down: “Every time my baby lies, I lose a tooth.”
That lyric grew into a character-driven story for the song “Dwayne” and, with the help of a local director, film editor, photographer, makeup artist and one leading-lady drag queen, Kelly created a video for the title track of the latest album by her duo The Clamstompers.
The video is being released Tuesday on the Highway 81 Revisited blog. The album will be available on TheClamstompers.bandcamp.com Wednesday.
Kelly and musical partner, Aaron McCurdy, finished production on their record several months ago but kept a release celebration to a small show and 30 hard copies available for sale.
“We wanted to hold off on the release, and I felt a video was a great way to launch it,” Kelly said.
“Dwayne,” was a perfect fit for a video because it had a plot to it, she said.
The story follows the antics of womanizing Dwayne who is confronted by his lover for his infidelity.
“Every time he lies to her, she loses a tooth,” Kelly said.
West Pittston drag queen Ella Fine was recruited to play Dwayne’s dentally compromised wife.
“She’s unique,” Kelly said. “There’s an attitude. I felt something, some acting talent.”
While Fine is the star of the show, McCurdy and Kelly stand out as well with Kelly in drag as Dwayne and McCurdy in drag as Dwayne’s new lover.
“My partner is a really good sport,” Kelly said. “Once Ella did his makeup … I laughed so hard that day.”
The ensemble crew that came together to create the video was as vital as the cast, Kelly said.
Creators of “The Loomis Show,” a locally focused web series, Eric Perluke and Jamie Wood handled directorial and film editing responsibilities, respectively.
“We wanted to help her out because she’s a friend,” Wilkes-Barre resident Perluke said. “Katie was on an episode of our show. We’re trying to get people recognized in the area. I’m about helping people out, and they’re helping me out.”
Stills were taken during filming by Kingston photographer Brittany Boote, and makeup was handled by both Fine and Wilkes-Barre special effects artist Maria Bernardo.
“My friend Maria — I don’t know if Jack-of-all-trades is the right term but she has her hand in a lot of creative things … food decorating, photography — recently, she’s been doing special effects on (mini-series) ‘The Barre.’”
Even Kelly’s mother, Pat Kelly, got involved, playing a surly bartender.
Kelly said previous estimates for the cost of a video shoot were beyond her means.
“I would say it would have been 99 percent impossible without any of these people,” Kelly said.
Meeting those people, all friends of hers at this point, was a fortunate byproduct of being in the music scene and networking with artistic minds, Kelly said.
“The good thing about this area … there’s a lot of talent, a lot of interesting people that you don’t read about on the cover of the newspaper.”
For Fine, who has acting experience, this was her first music video. She said it was a wonderful experience to see such a spectrum of talent culminate on the project. She added there was an air of artistic professionalism despite the laid-back nature of the video shoot.
“You could feel it in the room,” Fine said. “Everybody was excited to be there and we had a lot of fun. It was a really campy feel. We did Aaron’s drag. It was very half-assed, but that was intentional. He had a 5:00 shadow; his makeup was terrible and it was awesome.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or Twitter @TLArts