Sunday, December 4, 2011

Music Review: Kay Kay And The Rays, The Best Of

Kay Kay

,The Best Of Kay Kay And The Rays,

Get the funk out of Texas, get the soul from the Lone Star State. With a blend of blues/funk/soul that seems to take it’s inspiration from giants such as Aretha, The Queen Of Soul, Koko Taylor and the great Linda Shell, Kay Kay assembled a band to make Texas dance, the southwest strut and a whole bunch of people have a whole bunch of good time.

Kay Kay was a "Big Bad Girl" (the title track from her 2003 album) and as the lyric said, she was 6’1” and wore 3” heels. Everything’s big in Texas, including her voice. And what a voice. It could reach near three octaves. It could blues growl like a cat on Saturday night, and it could hit those high notes that would wring out your heart. But more than that, it could bring a big room full of people to their feet and teach cowboys how to get down.Kay kay1

This compilation includes hits from all three albums, including "Texas Justice" from 1999 which featured Abner Burnett, the great Texas Blues guitar player who also produced.

Kay could ignite a room, and bring a crowd to it’s feet, but a lot of her songs were very much social commentary. In “Lone Star  Justice” she sang, “Texas got more people in prison than any nation in the world. Russia is second. Texas executed 172 people in the last 6 years, most were minorities. All were poor.” “Enron Field” was another set to a Chicago Blues, horn driven song.

Kay Kay and The Rays “I Can’t Stand The Rain”

Kay could have a good time too, witness the great cover of the Stevie Ray Vaughn “Crossfire”. Most of the other songs were written by Bob Trenchard, one of my all-time favorite blues bass players and the leader of the band. Other tunes were written by Johnny Rawls who discovered the band and brought them into the studio for the first time back in ‘99.The Rays

When Kay and The Rays toured the southland – from Schooners Warf in Key West to Humphrey’s By The Bay in San Diego and from House Of Blues in Boston, to Biscuits and Blues in San Francisco and all the biggest blues venues in between. Kay and the bands finest hour was probably the 2004 East Coast Blues And Roots Festival in Australia where inPress wrote of the performance; “The best of the fest was a photo finish between Dr. John, Kay Kay and The Rays and Solomon Burke.” Hollowed musical ground indeed.

Tragedy struck after the tour when Kay suffered a stroke and the band briefly broke up. Kay, no longer able to tour will always be remembered and the band themselves still back Johnny Rawls and are the de facto house band for Catfood Records.

This is a great album of blues, soul and funk. And it was great to hear that big voice from that beautiful women.

The Dirty Lowdown

Copyright © 2011 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved

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