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The Rick Ray Band - Night Of The Living Dedicated

The Rick Ray Band - Night Of The Living DedicatedIf, like me, you had never heard any of Ohio axe-man Rick Ray’s releases, we’ve got a bit of catching up to do.  With some 25+ releases to his name, ‘prolific’ seems somewhat inadequate a description of his output.

The first of his 2004 releases under The Rick Ray Band banner (I would guess that there will be at least one more this year), Night Of The Living Dedicated is a mesh of hard rock, prog and jazz.

Joining Rick Ray (guitar, keyboards, vocals) is Rick Schultz (reeds), Gary Wood (bass, vocals), Sam P J Glorioso (drums) and Phil Noch (vocals), the three vocalists taking on the role on individual tracks.

The raw quality of the recording adds to the endearing compositions and vocally at least, I kept on getting images of Hawkwind for some strange reason.

Rick Schultz’s brilliant saxophone conjures up feelings of Gong and Moving Hearts whilst the bass of Gary Wood has a kind of Canterbury element.  The hard rock drumming style of Sam P J Glorioso is strong and secure, and untypically is not at the forefront of the mix, which lets all the instruments be heard.

Although this is a studio recording, it has that ‘live’ quality, and it is, consequently, not hard to envisage the band on stage. 

Digressing for a moment, the band have appeared on the same bill as Mahogany Rush, The Lizards and Michael Schenker group in recent years, supporting Mahogany Rush on a number of occasions.  I had the pleasure of seeing Mahogany Rush back in the late 70’s and recall part of the audience leaving the theatre within the first five minutes when they realised it was not the same band as Rush.  They do not know what they missed.  Great band.

Rick’s guitar work is outstanding, with styles ranging from Robin Trower to Steve Howe.  Bearing in mind that I had not heard any of Rick’s work before, my first impression of Night Of the Living Dedicated was, to be quite honest, not that good; vocals and the recording quality jarred initially and I convinced myself that this was just a slightly strange rock album.  Yet a couple of spins in the player later left me musing how first impressions can be totally incorrect.  The music is very progressive with a smidgen of space-rock and psychedelia here and there and with great tracks such as The Casualty, Containment and the epic The Civilized War to name but three, I am firmly hooked.

At the sinful giveaway price of £5, Night Of The Living Dedicated should find a way into all serious music lovers’ collections.  Click on the link below for ordering details.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Rick Ray

 

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