Compton Maddux
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Compton Maddux

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Country Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Gary Allen Tennessee Concerts"

"Man, you win hands down - Simply the best song and best submission. The submitters were tough……one of the best came from the next street over from me, and she is great, but you won fair and square." - Gary Allen - JJ Cale/Charlie Daniels Band

"2008 NSAI/CMT Listener's Choice Finalist" - NSAI/CMT

"2008 Great American Song Contest Honary Award"

2008 Great American Song Contest Honary Award - Great American Song Contest

"Glenn O'Brien GQ Magazine Style Blog"

Help Make Compton Maddux Famouser

I met Compton Maddux through a Chicago poet named John Rezek, who speaks in a deep baritone, knows the difference between zeugma and syllepsis, and can recognize an authentic voice through a locked door. He figured I'd dig Compton, a musician/wordsmith who also has a very nice baritone and a deep sense of humor. He is what they call a singer/songwriter. Maybe he's a songwriter/singer. But, you know…he somewhat resembles Steve Earle genre-wise, although he looks nothing like him and tends to stay out of trouble. He's sort of urbane country. As my wife said, "You know why he's not famous? He lives in Nyack! He should live in Austin or Memphis or Nashville."
I had Mr. Maddux on my old cable show TV Party several times, and he appears in the documentary about the show that's available on DVD (and which Jerry Stiller says "belongs in the Smithsonian Institution.") He dressed in surgical scrubs and sang a couple of great songs—"I'm a Clone of Myself" and "Ka Ka Disco"—backed up on vocals by me and Debbie Harry. He put on a great show. (He also put in a great comic turn playing the celebrity chauffer in the film Downtown 81 starring Jean-Michel Basquiat.) I think the problem with his career was that he was sort of a man without a category—he was country, funny, new wave, singer-songwriter. Since then, Compton has countrified considerably, digging into the music he loves, but still he is not a household word. Talent is not enough, my dear readers, oh no. Other factors abound such as luck, the stars, suffering, chance, synchronicity, payola, truckling, and toadying, etc. If it were just talent and persistence, well, this guy might have come in as Mr. Congeniality in the Sexiest Man Alive competition.
Maybe the wife is right. Compton lives in Nyack, where he makes better and better music and maintains an expertise on many things. For example, he came over to my place and explained why the "Decorator White" oil-based paint on my doors and windows was turning yellow. Then he gave me his CDs "Feats of Clay" and "Dirt Simple," and then he fixed my trim. It was strange. It felt like having John Hyatt help you move or Bonnie Raitt give you a haircut. But talent knows no bounds. Nyack, however, does. I have told Compton that if he moved to Austin, the live music capital of the world, he would probably make it big. But he expects me to drive him.
I've got Compton's music on my MacBook now, in heavy rotation along with Jarvis Cocker, Duke Ellington, Lee Perry, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Lou Rawls, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, King Pleasure, the Gothic Archies, Dean Martin, and Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs. Since the radio turned to trash I pretend my computer is a radio, and WGOB plays a heady mix of reggae, soul, funk, disco, singer-songwriter, and jazz, attempting to achieve absolutely zero format. So Compton fits right in, right along with all those famous artistes. The guy writes gems and performs them delightfully. But he's way underfamous. That's what happens sometimes when you don't do the obvious thing.
Compton Maddux was born in New York City. The country in him comes straight outta Compton, right from the DNA. He is country because country is white blues. He is a true country singer from the most urbane and densely populated area of the nation. This would seem to be a disadvantage, as Gina points out, yet Billy the Kid was born on Allen Street in Manhattan, and I believe that coming to country from the outside is exactly what gives Compton rare perspective and trenchant irony. See, he's also a poet, having studied with Ed Dorn and Stephen Spender and Tony Hecht. But of course being a poet is, professionally, in the same category with being a lutist or a shepherd—no, actually there are less openings—so he starting playing music and writing songs. Often they were humorous, which can be the kiss of death. And often they were exquisitely sincere: ditto. But as we all know, suffering and struggle is supposed to be great for artists and poets, so Compton now has a tremendous advantage, having put in years of both. Check out the lyrics:
She's half saint and the part that ain't
Is the part that's good to me…
That's from the song "Designated Driver":
She's my designated driver
she drives me to the Bar
she drives me to drink in her car
And I love "Bible Belt":
I'd swear a month of Sundays
This sorry hand I'm dealt
Deep down low she hit me
Way down low
Below the Bible belt
Both of Mr. Maddux's discs stink of excellence, including the musicianship, which features the fine guitar licks of Jeff Golub and Jim Lauderdale on "Feet of Clay" and the brilliant fiddling of Allison Cornell (Shania Twain) on "Dirt Simple." Help me make this fine songwriter famous and, well, not rich, but comfier. I think he could be New York's answer to James Hand, the great soulful country singer from central Texas who released his first album last year at the age of 53. (And check out Mr. Hand, please! The Truth Will Set You Free (Rounder Records) is produced by the eminent Lloyd Maines, producer and father of one of the Dixie Chicks.) His albums are available on, singles through iTunes.
Young whippersnappers have nothin' on these ripe type cats who have been working hard at it a shy lifetime. Mr. Compton Maddux will be playing The Turning Point in Piermont, N.Y., Saturday, May 26th at 9:00PM. Call ( 845-359-1089) for reservations.
May 22, 2007
- Glenn O'Brien


Dirt Simple
Compton Maddux
© 2006 No Label (634479514319)
Compton Maddux/ purveyor of the finest agro-rock

"Maddux continues in the great tradition of Americana storytellers a la Dylan and Hyatt. He takes the mythic agro landscape of the south and midwest and spins a Faulkeresque fabric sexual hijinks and swampy hooks. In songs like Cornfield, Biblebelt and Black Violin he delivers both poignancy and humor in fair measure in rock'in/accoustic package that feels super real and authentic. ---Steve Sterling producer and manager of the Seatones

Compton Maddux
Feet of Clay
© 2000 Compton Maddux (660355477027)

Guitar-driven country/rock with Fogerty-esque vocals.

Lyrically rich songs are graced by guest performances by Richie Havens, John Leventhal (Sean Colvin and Marc Cohen), Jeff Golub (Rod Stuart), Lucy Kaplansky, Jim Lauderdale, Kenny Kosek, Billy Ward and the late great Bobby Chouinard.



Compton Maddux has been recognized by CMT, NSAI, Gary Allen, Deena Miller & Glenn O’Brien for his country rock singing & songwriting.

Out of over 4,000 NSAI entries Compton’s soon to be hit song "Black Violin" placed in the top 15 and was a 2008 CMT NSAI Listener's Choice Finalist.

"Black Violin" was also selected by Gary Allen (JJ Cale/Charlie Daniels Band) as the winner of the Tennessee Concerts April 2008 Song of the Month Contest. Gary's comment was "Man, you win hands down - Simply the best song and best submission. The submitters were of the best came from the next street over from me, and she is great, but you won fair and square."

Compton was hand-picked by Deena Miller (Daughter of Jimmy/Rolling Stones Producer) to kick off the "R U Man ENUFF" portion of her acclaimed Chick Singer Night. He was the first man ever to perform in this new series. It debuted at The Bitter End in NYC on Apr 29.

Compton was featured by Glenn O'Brien of GQ Magazine in his Style Blog. According to Glenn, “He's sort of urbane country. As my wife said, "You know why he's not famous? He lives in Nyack! He should live in Austin or Memphis or Nashville."”

Compton recently returned from Memphis where he was invited to perform at The North American Folk Alliance and got a standing ovation opening for Nanci Griffith at The Lincoln Theater in Hartford CT.

"Black Violin" recently received Honorary Status from the Great American Song Contest.

Compton is going to Texas where he will be performing at The Roots Music Festival in San Antonio in November.

Compton Maddux was born in NYC but the country in him comes straight outta Compton - right from the DNA. He is a true country singer from the most urbane and densely populated area of the nation. His mother gave him two last names so he would become a distinguished writer like Tennessee Williams or Flannery O’Connor. After an idyllic youth eating apples, stealing corn and setting fires he was sent away to school where he was steeped like a tea bag in the classics-- Homer, Shakespeare and Bob Dylan.

He traveled copiously with the international performance organization Project Troubadour playing in Central and South America, Africa and Asia. Living in NYC he played numerous venues most notably the Lone Star. A few years back a Dutch producer saw him saw him play at Sun Mountain Cafe which led to the making and release of his 1st album FEET OF CLAY. THis album featured guest spots by John Leventhal, Richie Havens, Lucy Kaplansky, Jeff Golub and Jim Lauderdale. Compton penned all the tunes, sang and played acoustic and slide guitars. Later on we saw him play 110 nights/ 1 night a week or two years with his co writer Paul Jay at the BMW Bar in Manhattan. "There is nothing like a continuous live gig to hone yr writing and performance. This gig allowed me to get smaller and less dependent on production. My next record came directly out of that experience. I didn't want o build tracks/ I wanted to capture a performance.

Compton Maddux's new album DIRT SIMPLE is an accoustic based blues-Appalachian weld along the lines of Allison Krause and Steve Earle. The material is peppered with humor and irony. Other contibuting writers include Paul Jay and Eliot Osborn from the Outerspace Band. Says Maddux,"I like to put sex and religion in close proximity and paint the America that I would like to exist..."

Players on this album include Allison Cornell (Shania Twain) on fiddle/vocals and Bill Ruyle on hammer dulcimer and percussion. Gary Solomon on standup bass. John Moses/ dobro and banjo. Steve Hardwick and Gil Paris on electric guitars It was recorded live on a rainy Lenny Posts' studio in Blauvelt, N.Y.