Up-and-coming Texas country-rocker Ray Johnston believes in authenticity, and on his new EP, AGAINST THE GRAIN (Sept. 25, 2012), you can hear
it in every note. Supported by top-notch players, the Ray Johnston Band delivers a versatile mix of
tracks including the sweetly reminiscent country-pop of the first single, “Me, You & Emmylou,” and the catchy opening cut, “Bye Bye City Lights.” Johnston is gaining new fans daily with his rootsy style of country, which blends diverse influences into a sound that’s all his own. The Alabama-native-turned-Texan was already making a name for himself as a free-agent signing to the Dallas Mavericks when leukemia abruptly ended his basketball career. So he turned to his other passion — music — and quickly found support from esteemed players such as famed guitarist David Grissom, who plays on the EP along with A-list Austinites including bassist Glenn Fukunaga and fiddler Haydn Vitera. The disc was
produced by Ken Tondre, Kevin Fowler’s drummer and music director. “Ray’s personality comes through in the songs and the sound of the record; his musical instincts are very tuned in,” says Grissom, whose credits include the Dixie Chicks and John Mellencamp. “I also dig his energy and generous spirit.” Another pal, Grammy winner Jason Mraz, says, “When you listen to [his] music, you’re
like, ‘Ah, that person gets me. Yeah, they know what it’s about.’” One thing’s sure: If you haven’t heard of Johnston yet, just keep an ear out. You will. The Ray Johnston Band has several special appearances coming up in Texas, including an album release show Sept. 25 at Ray Benson’s Rattle Inn in Austin. For info on this and other shows, check rayjohnstonband.com.
Posted by: Sam Moore
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