Terms such as alt-country, Americana, roots and the like sometimes get a bit lost on us music consumers on this side of The Atlantic. I guess these terms refer to something that carries the distilled essence of the country’s musical heritage, something quintessentially from that place and nowhere else, something that is part of the musical DNA of the country. If that is the case then you need look know further than Ray William Roldon for someone to carry that torch.
Somewhere between the infectious vocal twang and the lilting acoustica, you can hear the sound of the wind blowing along lost highways and screen doors slamming in the breeze. In the atmospheric spaces of his minimalist delivery you hear the bustle of truck stops and see the glow of all night diners. Ray may be a product of the West Coast but like fellow Californian Merle Haggard, his heart is in another place, a place that once spawned an outlaw band of guitar-slingers, where his no nonsense approach to music doesn’t seem at odds with this style over substance world. Oddly enough it is the very lack of substance, by which I mean lack of unnecessary musical clutter, that makes him very stylish indeed.