“Billboards & Brake Lights” – Ray Scott (2023) [english]

In independent music there are artists who everyone knows and respect, but who do not have the fame they would have deserved and maybe they never really cared to have it.

It’s true that he is now a global success, as he has often played in Europe, but believe me his talent should be celebrated with much more emphasis.

I often talk to you about cult artists that professionals and artists themselves love to madness.

Well, Ray Scott is all this and more: a true independent country artist.

He actually touched and experienced the Nashville world of television awards and junk radio when Warner contracted him for his 2005 debut: My Kind of Music.

It was a major hit in the genre charts, but the record company should have taken into account that Ray was a serious and true one and the title of his debut was not put there at random.

Just wanting to play his kind of music, he clashed with the desire of marketing people who wanted something radio for the second album.

From that moment began his real independent career.

A career that saw him churning out 7 albums and 3 EPs (one of which I had reviewed almost 3 years ago here https://www.trexroads.com/nowhere-near-done-ray-scott-2020/ ).

The Ray Scott music is as much outlaw country as you can find in independent American music right now: true and exciting stories and even funny.

Ray’s words, not only those in the songs, are often sharp, words that almost none of his colleagues has the courage to say about the world of music business and the reality in which we live.

Maybe this record, if I can make a judgment after listening to all his discography, is the most successful, intense and inspired He have ever released and know that it was almost completely ignored, even by very popular reviewers in the independent world, really amazes me.

Add that it’s a record dedicated to parents that our Ray lost in the space of 3 scarce weeks in 2022, and you’ll have an album that is a real gem of sincere emotions.

The 13-song album is produced by the great Jim “Moose” Brown and the musicians who accompany ours in this adventure are an all-star that includes the magic violin and mandolin of Jenee Flenor and the legendary drummer Eddie Bayers.

You want to know what kind of music we’re talking about right now? Start Ripples‘ dusty ride and be guided by Scott’s deep, intense and evocative voice and you won’t want to get off this journey.

The beautiful single Long Black Cadillac is a wonderful ballad as few know how to write, which takes inspiration, so says Ray, from a real exchange of jokes with his wife after seeing in a parking lot a hearse marked Cadillac: “dear, this is how I’ll leave you!”.

From a playful and ironic phrase, a wonderful and exciting song was born.

The voice then, friends, is a true heritage of independent music, as is its ability to write beautiful songs.

Memories and old friends peep into another outlaw country ballad: Old Roads and Old Friends.

The band that follows him is absolute quality: great piece.

The title-track is very autobiographical and tells us about the difficult life of the independent musician always around for concerts, always around to feed and be known.

A life that, however, gives satisfaction, emotions and love.

Inspired and really beautiful, simple but true.

Guitar gently slide and Ray’s voice frame the beginning of Better Than This: you get straight to the heart with another piece that oscillates between country and rock with that electric sound that tries to make way in a dusty ballad, so soul choirs that give a taste of southern.

And then the text that tells us about a man who is sinking his life in alcohol, but wants to get out because it must be better than that.

Ray Scott is a top singer-songwriter and his live performances are always exciting.

Poignant in their simplicity, the words of a difficult and finished love, the country rock song You Wouldn’t Know It Now.

It sounds great and you get excited listening to Ray’s intense voice and the beautiful final solo.

I really hate that nobody talks like there isn’t a tomorrow of this record so damn well written, played, produced and arranged.

You don’t need glitter or dazzling lights to be a really awesome musician and songwriter and Ray Scott is one to pass on to posterity when you want to talk about what independent country was.

My favorite is the country ballad Superman: a world-class arrangement with that violin to tear the soul and low voice of Ray Scott that still tells of a life not gone just as it should.

Words are simple, but writing them so incisive is a skill of few: “If it’s true what they tell ya / When they say what don’t kill ya / Is gonna make ya stronger somehow / I should be Superman / I should be Superman by now”.

The violin solo is a dazzling beauty woven into the guitar. Gorgeous.

An album that is a jewel of true, real, sincere and exciting country music.

The inspiration has never been so high on Ray Scott’s records and, together with a top-level band, gives us 13 pieces that move, amuse and make us think as few in the world would do.

Ray Scott can sit at the table of the greats of independent music with his friends Cody Jinks and Ward Davis, and deserves to be celebrated as one of the greatest country songwriters of this generation.

What are you waiting for? Find out and if you liked, support him on his site, on streaming and social sites, he deserves it and who knows that his European fame one day brings him to Italy, where fans of independent music would welcome him with open arms.

Good listening,

Claudio “Trex” Trezzani by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(in Ticino Notizie web site you can find original italian version of this article)

Pubblicato da Trex

Sono un blogger e scrittore appassionato di musica indipendente americana. Scrivo gialli polizieschi e ho inventato il personaggio del detective texano Cody Myers.

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