A VIDEO of him playing a toy guitar in a supermarket aisle made him an internet sensation.

And now ‘Walmart guitarist’ Clay Shelburn is getting ready to make his first visit to the UK with a show at the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival in Colne over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The recording, which shows Clay and fellow musician Zak Stokes playing Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Pride and Joy, went viral when it was first posted online in 2013 and, to date, has been viewed over 150 million times around the world!

“I’m very grateful for it,” said Clay. “It gave me an international audience which I didn’t have and which I would probably have had to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars to get.

“It was three o’clock in the morning and I’d played bass guitar in Zack’s band that night.

“We were bored after the show and saw a movie but we were still bored after that so we were wandering around Walmart and one thing led to another.

“I looked across and he was playing this tiny keyboard in the toy aisle and there was a row of Lightning McQueen guitars sitting there and the one on top happened to be open. We just had a bit of fun.”

After the video went global, Clay was asked to go down to his local TV station in Texas where he was presented with a toy guitar by Walmart.

“It wasn’t THE guitar, it was one from Planes, the Cars film spin-off,” he said. “I’ve had my guitar tech fit it with a pick-up so that I can play it on stage and it works pretty well. It’s a nice little gimmick.

“That video is like a gift that keeps on giving,” he added. “So many people shared it on Facebook that every year it pops up on their timelines and it’s so funny they share it again.”

The video may have just been a bit of fun, but Clay is very much a serious musician and his blend of soul, blues and funk has seen him develop a growing fanbase in the UK even before he has visited these shores.

“My dad turned me on to Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, so I grew up with respect for great songwriting but I also grew up with the funk and the blues so that’s where my playing style kind of developed,” he said.

“I started playing guitar at 10. My parents had divorced the year before so it was a rough time and guitar playing was my outlet, it was my therapy. I’d just shut myself away for hours and hours and just play. Then I’d come out of my room feeling better.

“I guess the singing part has developed in the last seven or eight years. I now sing every show with as much soul as I can put in there and I find that really attracts people and touches them

“I have people tell me all the time ‘what you sing is believable and relatable and we can tell you genuinely love music’.

“No matter what the setting, whether it’s alone in a room or on stage in front of 35,000 people I just enjoy playing.

“I’m so excited to come over to the UK. This will be my first time to visit, to tour, a first time for everything.

“I can’t wait to get to Colne and put on a show for people. This is a really exciting time for me - we’re going to have some fun.”

Clay Shelburn plays Pendle Hippodrome as part of the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Sunday, August 27. Details from the festival box office on 01282 861888 or www.bluesfestival.co.uk