I own both of his cds and really like his music. After I saw him on Austin City Limits I knew I wanted to buy some of his music. I hope to have the chance to see him in person.
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My wife and I joined Peter and his friend for that concert, and I'll echo the sentiments: Fantastic concert. A soulful and powerful artist. I would put him more as a cross between Iron & Wine and Damien Rice..perhaps a bit of Elliot Smith, yes with a hefty dose of Joe Cocker to really belt out the emotion. Some of his strength comes in the form of a very strong contrast, in that his demeanor is one of a shy (almost painfully so), quiet, and thoughtful person. It was really annoying to hear the crowd trying to chide him on to speak more in the breaks between his songs. When he performs it is the polar opposite of what you might expect, given his demeanor. He admits, in an interview, that he doesn't consider himself as an "entertainer", but instead as a songwriter. He may not fill the spaces between the songs with witty repartee, like some other performers might, but let me tell you he will stir your emotions and get you moving with his songs! Highly recommended!!! Both his albums, "Trouble" and "Till the Sun Turns Black" are wonderful, the latter being a bit more subdued. The band he performed with here in Seattle was tight as a drum! If he comes to your town definitely try to catch the performance.
PS The opening act, David Ford, was also fantastic and received a largely standing ovation for his innovative solo performance. Also a very passionate singer, he uses the layering of very simple acoustic loops to create a He is accompanying Ray L tonight in Vancouver, BC, but then that's his last night with the tour. I'm going to have to check out his CD's...anyone familiar with his music?
Great first album. I have the second on order.
If you like Ray you may be into the smoother Amos Lee. He's got a couple of albums that are worth listening to. Also, as I have stated on another thread further down, Terry Callier is one of those diamond artists that go pretty much un-noticed. He has a rather extensive back catalog but I'd be the wrong person to recommend any one album. I pretty much love them all.
Missed him in Minneapolis, but here is a link to a review and a short post concert article on him. I really like "Trouble" as well as "Till the Sun Turns Black". I wanted to see the concert, but was unable to. Please cut and paste http at the start and html at the end.
Tristan Prettyman opened the show and that was my first time hearing her and her band. They sounded really nice with a laid back sound. She has a very nice voice.
Ray came on and from the first words he sang I knew I was in for a special performance. It was absolutely incredible. I loved his 2 cds already but this was something much more than I anticipated. He is an incredible artist and displays so much emotion. I don't think I have ever had goosebumps that many times during any show I have seen. His band was fantastic and the venue was perfect. I was very lucky to have seen his show. This was assigned seating including the mainfloor. About 5 songs into the show a couple got up and started dancing in front of the front row. One song later you couldn't see the rows anymore as people just crowded the main floor and danced and listened together. It was something special. If you have the chance don't miss him.
I was at the Detorit show...he barely spoke...the fans were much more vocal...almost to the point of annoying with the yells to Ray, but he was incredible. Someone that talented doesn't need to speak...I bought the ticket to hear him sing, not talk...he was very polite though when he spoke.
I totally agree with you sein321. My wife and I were really annoyed by folks jibing him to talk more between songs (this is at the Seattle show). I was hoping it would be received differently at other shows, but I guess not. He cleary was not comfortable speaking, and said everything he needed to with his singing and songwriting. Very powerful stuff! A remarkable talent.
The fans were urging him to talk in between songs but he really didn't until pretty late in the show and even then he was extremely soft spoken. He was very humble and thanked the crowd numerous times. He is wonderful and I will not miss him when he comes back to the Detroit area on his next tour. I think there will be a lot more music to come from Ray.