- Ray Scott
Warner Bros. Records released Ray Scott's debut album in November 2005 to an overwhelming enthusiastic reception. Something new and fresh was on the horizon. My Kind of Music became the No. 1-selling country album on Billboard's "Heatseeker's" chart that week. The album landed on the "Top 10 Albums of 2005" lists in Billboard, Dallas Morning News and the Miami Herald to name a few. Shooter Jennings has been a vocal fan of Ray's music. A year later, Warner Bros. Records stalled and Ray entered a waiting area that would seemingly delay the release of his sophomore album indefinitely...until now.
Not one to shy away from speaking his mind, Ray puts those years he spent in the artist protection program into perspective.
"After a couple of frustrating years dealing with a big record label that was no longer holding up their end of the deal, I'm finally free, and the taste of freedom is sweet! The time has never been better in the music biz to do something different - independent of these narrow-minded, so called behemoth record companies. This is not sour grapes on my part; it's a fact. Record sales have dropped across the board...big time....and they're all scratching their heads, trying to figure out new ways to keep their doors open. They're realizing more and more these days that people are hearing and attaining music in a lot of different ways. Big radio alone is no longer depicting who gets heard and who sells.
Fact is, music used to be original, fresh, innovative and exciting. It wasn't based on what might make the quarterly numbers look best to the shareholders, most of whom have no appreciation for the music in the first place - for them, it's just another disposable commodity. But for those of us who still love and care about it, that kind of music's still out there, and it's making a comeback, mainly thanks to the internet, and just plain old necessity. The old business model's tired; it doesn't work like it used to - the fat cats are gettin' skinny, while some industrious, hungry movers and shakers are out to take advantage of these changing times!"
Direct connection to the fans is what catapulted the release of Crazy Like Me. Ray's spent years on the road playing his brand of outlaw country and the listeners have responded. With limited air play on the first album, My Kind of Music still sold nearly 100,000 units, proving that country music fans wanted more of what he had to offer. It's his attitude. He does it his way. He says it his way. His way takes aim at the heart, scoring a direct hit by chronicling the beauty and the tragedy of everyday life. He knows where country music's been and he knows that he's taking it someplace new. His way is the way of the steel guitar. It's recitation and gospel, with a little blues and rock thrown in for seasoning. But when it simmers to a boil and he serves it up in that deep Carolina drawl, you can't call it anything but country music.
As the primary songwriter on his albums and with a distinct view to share, Ray met with a lot of apprehension from Warner Bros. who was unsure how radio would receive the new music.
"I cut a lot of songs to go towards a new project last year - the process was frustrating, and my vision was completely stifled and scrutinized for much of that time. It wasn't the way it oughtta work; the fun was completely snuffed out. I place no blame on the people involved - you can't blame someone for wanting to keep their job, needing to keep a family fed, bills paid, etc. No hard feelings."