You know what I like? Dive bar country blues, loudmouth southern rock, chicken pickin hot licks, and enough slidin’ guitar to spark a fire. I like speakers on the roof (of the truck, or the house, wherever you happen to be livin), sticky floors, sweaty windows, beer dripping from the lights music, and that’s Boo Ray‘s Sea of Lights, essentially. A live wire recorded to tape, full of the warm sounds of pedal steel guitar, telecaster electric, thudding bass lines, dobro, and drums. Ray’s voice is somewhere between raspy romantic and cigarette burned, and when he gets to hollerin you want to get your boots stomping.
On the opener “Redneck Rock & Roll” Ray sings, “It’s got to be country, it’s got to have soul,” and goddangit, we couldn’t agree more.
“Sea Of Lights” follows up with a slide guitar opener for a Nashville blues story that takes a surprising upturn for the chorus, resolving to “take it to Los Angeles”. “Bad News Travles Fast” is a carryover from Ray’s last effort, a decision to capture the song with proper recording and production.
For my money, Boo Ray‘s at his best on “Chickens”, over a classic choogle Boo hollers “it ain’t meanness, y’all, it’s just hungry’s what I am, I’ll ring that chicken’s neck, and lord I’ll cook him in a pan”. Before electric slide guitar melts all over the top of the groove.
Ray comes through with about 30 minutes of these boot stompers, covering everything from sustenance to illegal substances on “I Got The Jug”, and turning the volume up to 11 on the driving riff of “Keep That Hammer Down”, a trucker song.
The album comes out of character for five minutes on “One More Round”, a ballad, but the song fits thanks to some great musicianship, and Boo’s writing ability which brings the song back to –where else- the bar.
What Boo Ray gets right that a lot of artists seem to be missing these days is that this music thing is supposed to be fun, y’all. Sea of Lights is about the things you think that you oughtn’t, havin the good times you oughta, and doin the things you wanna. Lord, we could use some more albums like that.
We like this one so much we want you to get it even if you have to steal it, but thankfully Boo Ray’s folks have agreed to GIVE SOME AWAY for free on good ol’ American Standard Time (who loves ya?), enter below. I seen three vinyl records with my own two eyes got your little name on ’em.