Paul William Ray / Blog

A Song For Emily

The new single 'A Song For Emily' will be released on 2 April 2016. You can hear it here first streaming on ReverbNation! It is a song that reminisces back to the days of radio shows like the American Top 40 with Casey Kasum when I was a kid in the late 80's/early 90's. I would lay in bed with the radio listening for that perfect song that would be written just for the girl I was madly in love with at the time (which could have been a different girl every week back then). That perfect song never came along though.

New music in 2016

Finished up a few recent sessions of writing and recording. Will have some new tunes released in the not too distant future! Plenty of gigs coming up too at some great venues around Victoria. Australian Summer, beer, and music is a great combination...

Still kickin...

To quote a favorite Danger Danger song… It has been a busy year so far with gigs. I don't seem to have much downtime these days and even if I did i'm not sure i'd know what to do with myself! Me and the boys worked on some new songs and have managed to demo a few. We will be getting back together for another writing session real soon and hope to have a new release out by end of 2014.

Covers EP tracklist and free download details

Paul William Ray Covers EP Release Date: 11 August 2012

All five tracks are available to download for free here at ReverbNation. Just click download under each songtitle in the 'songs' list - You may have to click 'all songs' to see all five tracks. Easy!! Click and 'save as' the EP cover here at RN to use with iTunes and whatever you use to play the songs!!

Track 1: We Have Forgotten Originally performed by: Sixpence None The Richer Year Released: 1997 Written by: Matt Slocum (member of ‘Sixpence None The Richer’)

Track 2: You And Johnny Smith Originally performed by: Jimmy Isle Year Released: 1958 Written by: Ronald Isle

Track 3: Shout Originally performed by: Tears For Fears Year Released: 1984 Written by: Roland Orzabal and Ian Stanley (Members of ‘Tears For Fears’)

Track 4: She Was Never Really Mine To Lose Originally performed by: The Cascades Year Released: 1964 Written by: J C Gummoe and Lenny Green (Members of The Cascades)

Track 5: I’ll Take Care Of You Originally performed by: The Raindogs Year Released: 1991 Written by: Mark Cutler, Johnny Cunningham, Phil Shenale (Members of The Raindogs)

Covers EP liner notes

There are some songs that through time, have stuck with me for one reason or another. I decided I would just pick a few that I thought could do well and would be a challenge. Another reason for picking some of these songs is that they have mainly gone under the radar as far as the music listening community is concerned. Most of these selections have been made through selfishness - I love these songs but I’m not sure that many others would like them let alone even have heard of them. But it’s my EP. Why did I choose these?

‘We Have Forgotten’ is the first song on the Sixpence None The Richer album that also contains ‘Kiss Me’ - another song I love and the reason I picked up the album. From the moment I heard it, it surpassed ‘Kiss Me’ and everything else on that album. It is just a simple brilliant song. I had envisioned recording this using a female back-up vocal. Therefore my search began. By chance I had come across an artist by the name of ‘Rebecca Jane Woodul’ whose voice and style I adore and she very kindly agreed to sing on the track. I myself, live in Australia whereas Rebecca was in Texas, USA. I sent her my recording and she used some sort of magic to encompass everything I wanted and more to sing her parts and send me back the vocal track. As soon as I loaded the track into the mix, it was love…

‘You And Johnny Smith’ is a rare track that I have only found three known recordings of from around the late 50’s/early 60’s: Jimmy Isle (1958), Ray Melton (1960), Lee Estes (1962).. I only came across this song through some various rare records of the 50’s/60’s compilations and it immediately stood out. The Lee Estes version was my favourite so I based my cover mainly around this. It is so typical of what I think a 50’s song is all about. For starters, the name Johnny seemed very popular in songs, boy gets girl; girl cheats on boy; boy contemplates revenge. I think this song should be more widely revered by lovers of that era of music.

Shout is the most “known” song on this EP as it was a massive hit in the 80’s for ‘Tears For Fears’. I’m not ashamed to admit that some of my favourite music comes from the 1980’s. This is one of my very favourites from this era and I have done a completely stripped back slower version of the song to highlight its superb songwriting. From the mouths of the songwriters themselves, it’s an encouragement to protest in the aftermath of the Cold War and also highlights peoples willingness to do things without actually questioning them.

‘She Was Never Really Mine To Lose’ is an unknown gem from a band called ‘The Cascades’ who had a massive hit in the 60’s with ‘Rhythm Of The Rain’. I was amazed when I heard this song. It was released on the CRC-Charter label in 1964 but as this label was a very small player in the business, it never got the promotion it should have. I tried to capture the timely qualities of this song while still making a sound relevant to todays music. It encompasses the feelings and tribulations of my teenage years - fall madly in love with some girl but ultimately have no chance in getting a date!!!

‘I’ll Take Care Of You’ is a song that I fell in love with from a discounted cassette (yes cassette) that I took a chance on just because of the cover in one of those huge music/book clearance sales that were so prevalent through the 1990’s. I most likely even changed the price tag sticker with another so I wouldn’t feel bad if the album sucked. Safe to say the ‘Border Drive-In Theatre’ album from the Raindogs did not suck at all and contained this brilliant song. This was the first song I recorded for this EP which goes to show just how much I really dig it.

My versions of most of these songs are quite different so I’d encourage you, ‘the listener’ to find the original and hopefully appreciate these songs that I absolutely love.

New EP out 11 June 2012

New EP 'Mountain Songs Vol 1' will be released 11 June 2012. Six tracks of country/rock originals. It's been a little while between releases so hopefully it will be worth the wait for the listeners!!

Ready For New Tunes?

The covers EP project is pretty close to being finished. It will contain some of my favourite songs from over six decades. I have been putting down demo's of new original tracks plus writing some pop gold (!?) on the side. Plenty of winery gigs and a few pub shows coming up too.