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INTERVIEW: Boo Ray

Hi Boo, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Great thanks. I’m out on the road in the middle of a 30 day radio tour. we’re having great shows and everybody’s welcoming us with open arms.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Sea Of Lights“?

You bet, thanks for asking. “Sea Of Lights” is the title track to my new album that I recorded w/ producer Noah Shain on the Ampex tape machine that recorded Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline”.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song? 

I’d say a series of events led up to this particular song. I was on a steady roll working double shifts operating a forklift to save money to record new songs and had to leave my broken down vehicle on the side of the road outside Chattanooga. I just wasn’t getting by & didn’t know quite what to do. A publishing deal I’d been working on came through about the same time producer Noah Shain called me and told me to get to LA asap to record a new album on his Ampex tape machine. I didn’t hesitate and bet it all on black… booked flights, hotels & rental cars, went out to LA and made the Album w/ Noah Shain.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Todd Sapre produced/directed the Sea Of Lights Video and it premiered in Cowboys & Indians Magazine. Got another one on the way.

Why naming the album after this track in particular?

It was just kind of a consensus at the recording sessions, and speaks to my ongoing love affair with Los Angeles.

How was the recording and writing process?

Grueling, harrowing, wonderful & life changing. Once plans were underway to make the new album I was in Nashville busy writing for the record. One evening at sunset I was held up at gunpoint & they got my cell phone, all my ID & the little bit of cash I had on me… That incident did something to me as a writer. I made a decision that my hard luck wasn’t going to be the end of me and wrote the title track.

What was it like to work with Noah Shain and how did that relationship develop?

Noah & I became friends when I lived in LA ’05-’08. We recorded a couple of songs that were released on my 2010 Bad News Travels Fast album. We’d been talking for years about making a record just like this. Planets aligned, vehicles were abandoned, the dice were rolled and we recorded this record live  to tape with an incredible band.

How much did he get to influence the album?

For me, once we get in the studio Noah becomes a co-creator and another band member.

How does LA play in your music?

I love LA. When I got out there I found the same LA I’d heard about from the early Eagles stuff, Gram Parsons, Tom Waits, and Charles Bukowski. Downtown to East Hollywood is kind of my stomping ground. It wasn’t until I got out there that I discovered that it was a thing for southern troubadours to go to Los Angeles. Lucinda Williams, Kristofferson, Jerry Reed, Tom Petty and those cats also went to LA.

What did Steve Ferrone bring to the table? 

Noah and I affectionately call him “King Ferrone”. In my eyes the drummer’s the boss & calls the shots. That’s the kind of music I make, big back beat swamp grooves, two-steps & hillbilly waltzes. Steve does it just right. Noah, Paul Ill on Bass, Sol Philcox on guitar… we’re about a prickley, ornery, bunch and Ferrone’s just perfect to General this group of mercenary rebels.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?  

I’m a lifer. I hunt songs full time, go wherever I have to go to get the song.

Any plans to hit the road? 

I’m in Santa Fe today, headed to Taos this afternoon & Pueblo Colorado tomorrow. I’ll be in Colorado for a couple of weeks, then work out way across Texas and back to Nashville by end of August.

What else is happening next in Boo Ray‘s world? 

We’ll be touring rest of the year and go in the studio in December to record a new record.

The title single, “Sea of Lights,” is available now oniTunes and Spotify.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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