Music

After Ten Years As a Troubadour, Boo Ray Lays It on the Line in 'Tennessee Alabama Fireworks' (album stream) (premiere)

Photo: Price Harrison / Courtesy of Baby Robot Media

Inspired by a deep-seated desire for humankind to regain genuine connections, the scorching songs of which Boo Ray's latest album is comprised are among his most ambitious yet.

"I've been doubled down, all in and going for broke as a full-time troubadour and recording artist for 10 years and Tennessee Alabama Fireworks lays it all on the line," says Boo Ray. Although he might best be known for setting Nashville ablaze with his roots rock, the singer-songwriter is definitively a contemporary troubadour. Born in North Carolina and currently laying his hat in Los Angeles, Athens, and Nashville alike, the modern-day jongleur has developed his craft between his travels to all manner of places to perform for all manner of people. To define Tennessee Alabama Fireworks as the culmination of all of that time spent still nearly underestimates the singer-songwriter's scorching collection of new Americana offerings. For all of the experience that's made Boo Ray the artist he is today, there is also something intangible deeply-rooted in his craft as a genuine country outlaw.

Gathering a team of Americana notables to produce and master his latest effort, Boo Ray's new album is a compilation of reflections on the 21st-century human experience. Throughout a series of sauntering and scorching tunes that just as easily indicative of his Southern roots and his time on the road, Tennessee Alabama Fireworks is as simultaneously picturesque and explosive as its name might imply. Ray isn't one to back up from a groove, strutting into deep-seated rhythms and progressive, guitar-driven choruses without hesitation. From a sonic perspective, it's the singer-songwriter's most ambitious, forward-moving collection of songs yet.

Tennessee Alabama Fireworks is set for release on 15 February.

Boo Ray goes on to tell PopMatters, "we recorded Tennessee Alabama Fireworks with producer Noah Shain live to tape with my band right after we got back from a coast to coast tour. So we had a bunch of chemistry and camaraderie going into it. The band was hot and confident, and we stretched out with a real creative, experimental ensemble approach."

"We've been simultaneously developing our organic band sound on the road, and assembling the top-notch production team of producer Noah Shain, mastering engineer Pete Lyman, Welcome to 1979 Studio and Kindercore Vinyl to strategically capture our sound and engineer it to be listened to on vinyl. We tracked 13 songs in five days, and Noah Shain mixed the album down to 1/4" tape on his one-of-a kinda API console. Pete Lyman mastered it leaving all the grease and grit and Kindercore Vinyl in Athens, Georgia expertly manufactured the vinyl records on their WarmTone record presses."

"My great pal, artist James A Willis, painted the cover art. I told him the album title, and he immediately knew the TENNESSEE ALABAMA FIREWORKS sign right on the side of I-24W and painted it as the Southern gothic effigy it was to me and many others. My great friend and photographer Price Harrison shot the photos and art directed this and all my other records. Price is an incredible talent and key collaborator on our team."

"I consider the entire process an ongoing experimental collaboration with a core group of like-minded musician/producer/engineers who always place serving the song as the highest priority. This collection of songs is from the hip, and if the world seems strange to you right now, I'm saying I'm with you."

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