Ray Scott: "I Ain't No Fake Ass Country Star"

Ray Scott opens his honky tonk heart in his new EP. The lyrics of the title track are a statatement of intentions and principles "I Ain´t No Fake Ass Country Ass" sings Scott.

Country music artist Ray Scott is no stranger to Music Row. After starting his first band at 19 and attending the Music Business institute in Atlanta, he relocated to Nashville and proceeded to write two chart hits — “A Few Questions” (recorded by Clay Walker) and “Pray for the Fish” (recorded by Randy Travis). 

 

Warner Bros. released Scott’s debut album My Kind Of Music in 2005 to enormous critical acclaim. The first single and title track cracked the top 40, but a combination of label politics and radio’s reluctance to embrace his fresh approach to country traditions had him off the label less than two years later. But a funny thing happened on the way to post-label obscurity – a level of success many major labels might envy.

 

Crazy Like Me (2008) was put together to have a project to sell on the road, but ended up getting strong critical reaction and surprising sales. Encouraged, Ray connected with producer Dave Brainard (Jerrod Niemann, Brandy Clark) to record Rayality (2011). The single “Those Jeans” received substantial airplay on SiriusXM and went on to sell a couple hundred thousand copies. “ I kept writing and still had a pile of songs we didn’t get to on Rayality,” he says. “So we decided to amp things up and make a record exactly the way we wanted.”

 

As a result, Ray Scott was the most descriptive name possible for the collection. It's country music the way I interpret it,” he says. “Every artist borrows and basically bastardizes whatever they grew up loving. In my case, it was a combination of a lot of great ‘70s country. My dad was a great singer and I used to hear him do all that stuff.”

 

“The good news is the kind of music I’m making now is not age-specific. I’m not out there wiggling my ass for anybody, so it’s about telling stories, making people smile and making them feel something,” says Scott.

 

“I understand that sometimes the business has a place for what I do and sometimes it doesn’t,” Ray says. “But what I do has kept me alive out there in the world because it is different enough that people get passionate about it. They stick with it. I don’t sound like anybody else, and I don’t want to.”

 

For his new project, Guitar For Sale, Ray decided to change up producers. “I went with my extremely talented friend, Michael Hughes. I’ve always pushed it in different directions here and there stylistically, but the lyrics and the voice keep the common thread running through it… Same this time as well,” says Scott.

 

“I went back a few years and recorded a handful of favorites I’ve had in my back pocket, as well as a few newer ones I loved. We live tracked this one… haven’t done that in a few years. It brought back a new energy, with a few new musicians, including the guys in my touring band. It’s a different sound, but familiar too. It was a step in a good direction."

 

Now Scott’s charting a path as an independent artist. Marking his transition from a major label to an independent artist, Scott penned the catchy full-blooded cowboy tune “Honky Tonk Heart.”

 

“This is my life,” Scott says. “And it’s an ode to all the other troubadours out there grinding it out on the dark highways, taking the people real country music they can get excited about.”

 

With bold electric-guitar riffs and a restrained percussion line, the song really showcases Scott’s vocals, his Southern drawl shining front and center.

Lyrics

 

I got a honky tonk heart

And it's an old two-row 

Down a long dark highway

To another stage to play

In one more smokey bar

I got me a honky tonk heart

 

Y'all know what I came to do

To rock you, and you, and you

Have that whiskey go down smooth

While you shake off the long week blues

You don't know how much alike we are

I got me a honky tonk heart

 

Yeah I got a honky tonk heart

And it's an old two-row 

Down a long dark highway

To another stage to play

In one more smokey bar

I got me a honky tonk heart

Hoooonky tonk

 

I work my ass off in music row

Tryin' to get on the radio

Like Alan said those wheels turn slow

And I had to tell 'em all where to do

When they tried to make me a pop star

I got me a honky tonk heart

 

Yeah I got a honky tonk heart

And it's an old two-row 

Down a long dark highway

To another stage to play

In one more smokey bar

I got me a honky tonk heart

 

Yeah, I ain't no fake ass country star

I got me a honky tonk heart

Yeah, I love a steel guitar

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