|Ray Campi with Friends Along The Way, From Austin To L.A.
Scana Records 95094
I was pleasantly surpised to find this new disc on my doormat with a little note attached to it that read "Hi Marijn, I hope you like my latest cd, Ray Campi". Yes, I'm definitly impressed, what a wonderful collection this is!
Ray starts his liner notes with this little phrase that really says it all:
I've seen Ray perform on several occasions with different artist that he backed, or that backed him, never realizing how many top musicians he actually worked with, and how versatile his music really is, ranging from hillbilly to rockabilly to blue grass to country and back again. If you like traditional American music, you are in for a treat. I'm just gonna mention a few items that caught my attention, you'll find the complete 27 (!!) tracklisting below.
Merle Travis is one of the best guitar pickers ever, hearing him team up with legendary female blues guitarist Bonnie Raitt and Ray Campi results in a superb version of "Merle's Boogie Woogie". Listen to Ray sing "Quit That Triflin" together with blues legend Lou Ann Barton (remember, she was the lead singer of Double Trouble with the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan on guitar in the late 70's).
Ray's original rockabilly standard "Caterpillar" is sung by American actress and sex symbol Mae West. Mae and Ray were friends, and she recorded the voice track for Ray as a favor in 1973. The backing came together in 1987 in the Lone Star Studio in Austin. Mae West died in 1980 and this great moment in time alone makes this album worth the $$$, but there's lots more silver and gold to be found here.
There's a range of well known Rollin' Rock artists here, like Johnny Legend, Rip Masters, Tony Conn and Ronnie Mack. Ray's long time friend and guitar wizzard Kevin Fennell, and some of the best country singers around, like Rosie Flores and Rose Maddox. Also latter day rockabilly and rock 'n' roll performer Pep Torres presents his "It Ain't Rocket Science" together with Ray Campi on vocals. This record is a trip through American history as well as Ray Campi's own history. A 12 page booklet is included with Ray's story, lotsa pictures and musician's credits. Great project!
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2006