Ray Stephenson may be the next important singer/songwriter of our time.
"I love your "Gravity" CD. We're REALLY picky about what goes on the front page. We get about 100 new albums a DAY coming in here now, (about 100,000 total), and yours is one of the best I've ever heard.
president, CD Baby & Hostbaby
Just with any genre, there can be such a saturation of artists coming out of the woodwork that finding those diamonds in the rough can be more and more of a challenge. Modern Country isn’t immune to this phenomenon where music is not only more accessible but more disposable and short-lived. Ray Stephenson, on the other hand, dismisses this trend by being one of the most head-turning, quality up-and-coming, songwriters to grace the Nashville scene today. With some 120 shows a year and a faithful touring schedule, Stephenson demonstrates his commitment to his craft, that dedication which is clearly sensed in the character of his songs. Having already written songs for Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, John Anderson, Guy Clark, Jeff Bates and more, Ray is no newcomer to the creation of that “special something” it takes to make a song cut through an over-saturated market. It’s no surprise that he starts off his album with one of these songs, “Forget My Name,” a heart-breaking ballad which draws from the pain of love lost. Some may wonder why he chose to open his album with such a mood but it is the raw and stripped down emotion of this song, which sets the stage for the restof the album, demonstrating a sincere and forthright outpouring of human emotion and musical inspiration unaffected by the fads of the current market. This kind of personal investment is detectable throughout his album, whether it be found in a ballad or an upbeat rocker. This caliber of musicianship and artistry isn’t found everyday; keep your eye on this guy. "
Ray’s songs are surprisingly soulful and thoughtful for a writer his age. There is a strong thread of honesty woven into his lyric and his songs are generally filled with stories about life, love and loss.
His brand new solo album entitled “Gravity” is receiving critical praise from the Nashville press and the recording community. Gravity seems to be a very autobiographical album. It combines beautifully crafted lyric and narrative with stellar melody and feel. The album features the songs "farmboy" and "honkytonk road" written with fellow SONY ATV writer Bob Dipiero. These songs shed light on the artist's early years and the current life of this singer/guitarplayer from south Georgia. It also features 3 collaberations with CM Hall of Fame songwriter and 2 time GRAMMY nominee Guy Clark. Most of the acoustic guitar parts on this album were played on one of the homeade guitars that Ray and Guy built over in Guy's workshop. It is a 000-28 Martin style body design with a slotted headstock. "Nearly cut a finger off in the process." The guitar was being built on weekends and around writing sessions and touring while Ray was writing for this album. "Gravity" also features 2 songs written with Texas treasure and dear freind; Walt Wilkins, and 3 songs with Curb recording artist and buddy; Lee Brice, and more. Please send your friends in his direction so that they may also discover this truly southern renaissance man. For more information about Ray, his music, his art, or tour schedule: go to his official website at www.raystephenson or www.myspace.com/raystephenson
And bring your friends!!