It was this time last year that I was just getting turned on to the country stylings of Nashville/Athens- based singer/songwriter Boo Ray.
Boo is a country fan’s country artist, complete with the monosyllabic Southern forename and songs bound together by chicken wire and sawdust.
When he isn’t working on long players of his own, Boo Ray is partnering up with musician pals in the Boocoo Amigos series. So far, Ray has teamed up with Both Lilly Winwood and Elizabeth Cook to record and press three seven inch singles, printed up by the good folks at Kindercore Vinyl.
The latest in the Boocoo Amigos series hits the streets tomorrow and has Boo Ray joined by renowned chef Sean Brock.
To Ray, it was a no-brainer to get Brock out of the kitchen in his famous Husk restaurants and behind his guitar for the project.
“Sean’s a badass guitar player and has a really cool tone and great feel. He’s been back into picking guitar for a year or so now and claims a strong spot in the band with us for a three-guitar attack. Sean plays great rhythm guitar and picking these great triple guitar solos has me hangin’ ten.”
This month, Trail Mix features “Saint Misbehavin,” a track co-written by Ray and Brock.
“Sean and I wrote this one as a celebration of our tattooist pal Mitchell Atkinson, who has a wild rebel soul and always drove some kind of radical hot rod, dune buggy, jacked up truck, or chopper. We talked about the song having a Jerry Reed and Georgia kind of vibe, since we both knew Mitch from Pain & Wonder Tattoo Studio in Athens and we’re both Jerry Reed fans. There’s just something special about that cultural intersection of hot roads, that ‘red clay’ Georgia guitar sound, and Georgia asphalt, right where you pull up off a dirt road onto the blacktop.”
I also wanted to get Sean Brock’s take on the project, so I reached out to him and he was kind enough to take time from his insanely busy schedule of handling some of the country hottest restaurants to tackle some questions on his Appalachian roots, getting into a Nashville studio, and what would make a Boo Ray inspired dish so tasty.
BRO – When you think of music from Appalachia, what is the first name that comes to mind?
SB – Lesley Riddle, a one-legged African American musician. His relationship with the Carter Family is undeniably responsible for what country music is today, has been, and will continue to be. If you have never heard of him, I highly suggest venturing down that rabbit hole.
BRO – Tell me about your guitar.
SB – My main guitar that I reach for every time is a Novo Serus J made by Dennis Fano and his incredibly talented team. It’s light as a feather and sounds like an acoustic guitar when it’s unplugged. The neck is like a stick of butter that’s been sitting on the counter for the perfect amount of time.
BRO – What got you interested in playing with Boo?
SB – As soon as I heard Boo’s lyrics, I knew that we were cut from the same cloth. Not many people are blessed with the sense of humor and wit he was given.
BRO – Playing guitar in the studio. Did that have you outside your comfort zone?
SB – I don’t think I have ever been more nervous or humbled in my life. Sitting in a studio in Nashville is a place I never thought I would end up. I was so nervous I forgot to eat that day and around 3:30 in the afternoon I started hallucinating a little. I guess that’s how some of the best music has been made, so I’ll take it.
BRO – If you were to whip up a dish for Husk called The Boo Ray, what might the secret ingredient be?
SB – A spoonful of elixir pulled from the coffee can sitting on the stove full of country ham and bacon drippings. Greasy and groovy as all get out.
Plan ahead on a trip to Charleston (SC), Savannah, Nashville, or Greenville (SC) and you can grab some of Sean Brock’s Southern cuisine at one of his four Husk locations.
Boo Ray will be at The 5 Spot in Nashville on Tuesday, August 28th, for $2 Tuesday. If you are around, swing by and check out some of the best songwriters in The Music City in what is one of the best showcases in Nashville. For more information on Boo Ray, his tour dates, or how to grab his recordings, check out his website.
And make sure you grab your copy of the latest Boocoo Amigos release, featuring Boo Ray and Sean Brock, which drops tomorrow, August 24th. You can take an early listen to “Saint Misbehavin,” along with tracks from Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Kevin Gordon, Beth Snapp, and more on this month’s Trail Mix.