Scott Gray – Raincoats and Other Short Stories

This month sees the exclusive re-release in the U.K. and Europe of Raincoats & Other Short Stories, the latest EP from US singer-songwriter Scott Gray. Featuring re-mastered songs and a bonus track, the seven song release is a familiar croon for the heart and a picture book for the imagination which provides a rather enjoyable companion for the ears too.

Nashville based, Gray takes inspiration from the likes of Sting, Leonard Cohen, and Jamie Cullum and like them instinctively crafts his songs as stories embracing the imagination and personal experiences seeded in the broad and intimate moments in life all in some way can relate to. Musically, these adventures further blossom from their creator’s infectious fusion of pop and jazz, a blend carrying a breath as soulful as it is melodic rock energetic. Certainly artists like Michael Bublé and Harry Connick Jr come to mind at times across Gray’s new release but more so it offers an eagerly captivating fresh and individual character.

Raincoats & Other Short Stories first embraces ears with Raincoats, a song which immediately got under the skin as the body bounced to its catchy lure of voice and piano. Gray’s fingers stroll over keys with smiling eagerness, his tones just as vibrant and enthused and almost grinning as they welcome the subsequent full spirited swing of brass and the summery sparkle of keys. The flames of the chorus add another virulent hue to the inescapably catchy encounter and thrilling start to the EP.

Maybe It’s You follows and is no less a flirtatious temptation, its more concentrated canter a joy of nagging bass and again balmy keys cast melodies. Harmonies and brass simply accentuate the track’s affectionate tale and persuasion, a growing classic rock hue another magnetic spice to its swinging heart and keenly sauntering demeanour. As its predecessor, the track quickly had us eating out of its enterprising hand before making way for the sultry charm and intimate jazz club climate of She Remains. Smoky brass joins melancholic keys alongside the reflective reveal of word and Gray’s ever alluring voice; every second of their melodic and wistful contemplation effortlessly beguiling.

Equally thoughtful and pensively mellow is Captured, a tale of dejection, determination and unstoppable romance. Though it maybe took a play or two more to tempt as those before it, the song emerges another ear and appetite ensnaring proposal persistently tempting with an almost gnarly throated sax, invigorating crescendos and Gray’s consistently potent and persuasive voice, the latter especially just as commanding and compelling within the following Someday, Gray’s latest single. Sharing a park bench with the listener watching life go by, it is a melodic musing easily embracing and sparking the imagination.

The lively infectious rock ‘n’ roll of Games You Play, a pop fuelled canter with a jazz rock bred personality and bounce that again needed little time to gain ears and participation, brings further variety to the EP before it closes up with bonus track, As If. An emotionally charged serenade of voice and sound with a fire in its heart, the song makes a fine end to a release which just grows and blossoms in ears and enjoyment play by play and is easy to see bringing a whole new audience the way of Scott Gray from this side of the big pond.

Raincoats and Other Short Stories is only available in the UK and Europe on iTunes @

Pete RingMaster 24/03/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Marley Blandford – Feel The Rain

Marley Blandford pic

Nineteen and already inspiring a healthy buzz with his sound through his previous unveilings, British singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Marley Blandford now unleashes new single Feel The Rain, and though it is only one song and our first introduction to the Portsmouth hailing musician, it is easy to see why loud whispers are brewing up about his talent. The release is an enchanting warm fusion of indie pop and folk rock with reggae colour, a mix which saunters and smoulders across the senses and imagination like a summer sunset over emotively exotic scenery. It seduces and dances with the emotions and though we often prefer a riot to a love-in, it is hard not to be immersed in the single’s imaginative embrace.

With inspirations from the likes of Cas Haley, Sting, The Police, Ben Howard, and John Mayer spicing his creativity, Blandford first made an impression with his live performances and subsequent the single Midnight To Paris which came out last year. It led to a new wealth of attention and acclaim upon the artist with Roger Pope, the session drummer for Elton John who sadly passed away last year, describing Blandford as “the most talented young songwriter I have ever heard”. A recent appearance of a charming acapella take on Pharell Williams’ Happy drew an eager spotlight upon Blandford which the new single, taken from his debut album Shine On, is sure to build on. Featuring, as the album, brass arrangements from Martyn Ford (Of Led Zeppelin, Elton John, The Beatles) and guest musicians Jamie Talbot, Mike Lovatt, and Richard Edwards who provide captivating blazes of brass, the song is a delight as it caresses the imagination.

The opening guitar coaxing is instantly magnetic, it’s evocative plucking a sure lure swiftly accentuated and inflamed by the sultry tones of Blandford. His voice kisses the air, syllables floating down upon ears with an open radiance as expressive mellowness coats the surrounding words in a seductive yet feistily vivacious character even when his voice smooches with the senses. With those elements alone the song would be a treat but add the glorious flames of brass and the keen stroll of the song which develops across its body the track easily slips into the imagination and emotions. A great design of guitar enterprise and emotive trumpet only add to the rich potency of the song but truthfully it is the voice of Blandford which brings it all together for a highly satisfying temptation.

It is hard not to have a sense of anticipation for the forthcoming album after Feel The Rain. The single may be does not light a major fire in the appetite for its arrival but certainly it has it simmering nicely whilst the ears feast on a thoroughly enjoyable appetiser.

Feel The Rain is available via Silentrooms Records on May 5th.


RingMaster 05/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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