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More Music From Ray

I haven’t seen the movie Ray so I don’t know what was on the original soundtrack. More Music From Ray is like the title says: more music from the film. According to the CD notes, it also includes music that inspired the movie.

There are seventeen songs on here, three of which were recorded in 2003 especially for the film. The rest were recorded by Ray in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and one tune from the ‘70s.

Singles from the Atlantic years lead off the CD. The second cut “Lonely Avenue” is Ray’s answer to “Heartbreak Hotel.” It was written by the great Doc Pomus and has a unique cadence to it. I have an instructional piano video by Dr. John and he makes note of this song. He called it “one of the five purest traditional blues motifs.” http://www.felderpomus.com/docpomus1.html

“Rockhouse” parts 1 and 2 is an instrumental similar to “Night Train.” It’s a treat to hear Ray stretch out on the piano and play some real blues here.

Another standout is Ray’s version of the Hank Snow country hit “I’m Movin’ On.” I have never heard this song done by Ray but it undoubtedly was the model for the Rolling Stones version which they did on one of their early albums. Very gospel influenced.

There are some of Ray’s classics here: “I Believe to My Soul,” “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with Betty Carter, “Busted,” “Makin’ Whoopee” (the live version), and “Let’s Go Get Stoned” which was written by Ashford and Simpson. I was not aware that they wrote it.

Ray does a long version (more than six minutes) of “Drifting Blues” the Charles Brown classic. There is a rare guitar solo on this tune, usually never heard on Ray’s stuff.

The three tunes from the film are: “Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand” with Slash on guitar, “Drown in My Own Tears/You Don’t Know Me,” and “Every Day I Have the Blues” with vocals by Chris Thomas King.

For those who don’t have the classic Ray Charles tunes on this CD it’s a buy. Those that do have the classics will enjoy some of his lesser-known performances.

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Track listing:

1. Leave My Woman Alone
2. Lonely Avenue
3. Rockhouse Parts 1 & 2
4. I Believe To My Soul
5. Losing Hand
6. But On the Other Hand Baby
7. Baby, It’s Cold Outside
8. Danger Zone
9. Busted
10. Makin’ Whoopee
11. Let’s Go Get Stoned
12. Drifting Blues
13. Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand
14. You Don’t Know Me/Drown In My Own Tears
15. Every Day I Have the Blues
16. Heaven Help Us All

About Neal Gardner

  • HW Saxton

    Ray used very little guitar during the
    Atlantic years.It was only on the very
    early stuff & an odd tune here or there.

    This is one of the things that really
    made his music stand out,(and gave it an
    air of sophistication)up and above the
    large portion of R & B of the day.When
    Ray did use guitar as on such tunes as
    Lowell Fulsom’s “Sinners Prayer” or on
    “Losing Hand” it was usually studio wiz
    Mickey Baker who played on thousands of
    sessions during the 1950′s/early 60′s
    for Atlantic Records and other labels as
    well such as RCA where he recorded with
    Sylvia Robinson as Mickey & Sylvia and
    had a huge hit with “Love Is Strange”.