“The best of Canada’s ‘new wave’ [of country music]”
- Country Music People magazine, UK
“The deep emotion of the lyrics is matched by a lived-in, dense instrumentation of guitar, pedal steel, banjo and organ”
- Fateema Sayani, Ottawa Citizen
Recorded at Little Bullhorn (Jim Bryson, Kathleen Edwards) in Ottawa, with additional recording and mixing at Cowboy Jack Clement’s studio in Nashville and TenVolt Audio in Ottawa (The Kingmakers, Uncle Sean, Friends of Steve) the album is a collection of catchy roots-rock songs with a mix of instruments beyond the standard guitar/bass/drums, including piano, organ, banjo, pedal steel, dobro, cigar-box bassitar, horns, a slew of guest backing singers, and a dog. It incorporates influences as diverse as the cosmic space music of Gram Parsons, the Flying Burrito Brothers and The Byrds, the classic country of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, the Americana of John Hiatt, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley and the Canadiana of Murray Maclauchlan, The Band, Hank Snow, Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Young.
Raised in Shawville, QC, Ray Harris is a 25-year veteran of the Ottawa scene, having played with The Sunbleached Skulls, Lefty McRighty, George Stryker & the Bandits, Mustang Ranch, The Willies, as well as hosting dozens of songwriter circles, charity and tribute shows. “East End, West End, North End, South End” is his first release, collecting songs written over the past few years during his travels locally as well as several trips to Nashville and Georgia. The album is already receiving regular airplay on local stations CHUO, CKCU, CHIP-FM, CBC, CHJR Valley Heritage Radio, and Australian Public Radio.
Harris has played the annual Gram Parsons Tribute in Waycross, GA three years in a row and will be appearing with his band again in September 2011. He is also playing Pat Moore's Annual Ottawa Opry in April, ongoing regular shows and hosting the monthly songwriter circle (with his son-in-law Lefty McRighty) at Ottawa's popular roots music venue, Elmdale House tavern.
RIYL: Fred Eaglesmith, Tom Russell, Gram Parsons, Gordon Lightfoot, Brian Setzer, Calexico, Los Lobos, The Bodeans, The Blasters
released January 1, 2011
Produced by Ray Harris
Recorded & mixed by Jarrett Bartlett with Dave Draves at Little Bullhorn Studio - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada except tracks 11, 12, 13 recorded & mixed by Stephen K. Donnelly at TenVolt, Ottawa, ON.
Duet vocal on "Theatre" recorded & track mixed by Brooks Watson at Jack Clement's Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa, Nashville, TN.
Mastering: Stephen K. Donnelly at TenVolt Audio
THANKS TO... my beautiful daughters Holly & Angela & Forrest, Brother Don, Mom, Dad, Granny & Pap (R.I.P.), my Sun Bleached Skulls compadres - Rob Smith & Ken Workman, Greg Harris aka Lefty McRighty aka s.o.b. that married my daughter, David Copcutt Jr. & Sr., Diane Gentes & J.C. Ward, Ed Coffey, fellow roots rock weirdo Mike Plume for the advice "write it first, figure out if it makes sense later", Anastasios Basiliadis, The Elmdale Tavern, Cafe 349, The Blacksheep Inn, Richard Vezeau, Bob Bizzarro, CHIP FM, CKCU FM, CHUO FM, the "Skulls" gang (Anneke, Mary, Cat, Lyn & Jill, Ted & Estelle, Stephan & Sarah) for coming to the gigs... and all the friends & family, inlaws, outlaws, exs, saints & sinners, pickers & grinners, heroes & villains, truckers & kickers & cowboy angels, ladies & gents, preachers & teachers, ghosts & goblins, wheelers, dealers, poets, pushers, bastards & thieves, cool cats & old dogs...from along the way - you know who you are!
BIG HATS OFF to all the fine musicians who gave so generously of their time and talent for this project - THANKS guys & gals!
Extra special thanks to my lovely wife Michelle for the love, patience, pictures, kicking of the ass - and all that other stuff!
RAY HARRIS - vox, acoustic guitar, mandolin, electric guitar on 2, 6, 7.
TOM PECHLOFF - Hammond B3, accordion.
STEPHEN K. DONNELLY - upright bass, electric bass, pedal steel on 1, harmonica on 3, 12, cigar box bassitar solo on 12.
DON KENNY - drums.
IAN COOK - drums on 2, 4, 7.
ROB SMITH - harmony vox.
LEFTY McRIGHTY - snare on 11, 12.
SHAWN BROWN - B-Bender Telecaster, pedal steel on 2, 4.
DAN DESLAURIERS - Dobro, lap steel, Telecaster on 9.
PAT JOHNSON - National slide guitar on 11, 13.
SANDY BATTISON - harmony vox on 6, 9. PETER
DAWSON - fiddle.
DIANE GENTES - duet and harmony vox on 2.
ROBERT MARTINEAU - guitar solo on 4.
JACK ARNOLD - saxophone.
MICA MATSUBARA - trumpet.
RICHARD YANK - banjo.
KEN WORKMAN - harmony vox on 8.
JARRETT BARTLETT - tambourine.
LITTLE BULLHORN TABERNACLE CHOIR (Ray, Tom, Rob, Ken, Lefty, Steve, Dan, Sherwood Lumsden) - vox and hand-claps on 10.
MELROSE BACK PORCH CHOIR (Liz Bergeron, Ray, Lefty, Steve, Sherwood, Rob) - vox, handclaps, percussion on 11, 12 (additional barking by Roxy Matsubara)
Photography: Michelle Parry Harris, road sign pic by Anneke Dubash
A veteran of the Ottawa music scene, Ray Harris is a prolific and likeable singer/songwriter/storyteller who describes his
music as “Ameri-Canadiana” - his songs have been described as finely crafted, drawing comparison to master songsmiths. He wears his influences on his sleeve - incorporating elements of honkytonk country, rockabilly, folk and roots rock into a distinctly identifiable sound....more