Monday, January 9, 2012

The Best Of Kay Kay and The Rays reviewed by Harmonica Joe Poluyanskis

The Best Of Kay Kay and The Rays
Catfood Records
15 tracks/64:13

“The Best If Kay Kay and The Rays”, released by Catfood Records, 15 tracks from three CD’s they previously released. These recordings, “Kay and the Rays featuring Abner Burnett”, “Texas Justice” and “Big Bad Girl” contain a swell mix of Texas funk, soul and blues. The Rays were formed in 1997 by Abner Burnett and Bob Threnchard. Soon they discovered Kay Kay Greenwade, a big bad girl with a powerful vocal presence, and the band name was changed to Kay Kay and The Rays. The first recording was more or less a demo and the other two were released after Johnny Rawls joined the group.

Kay Kay and The Rays grew to be a band with eight musicians which created a powerful full sound. When you add the big vocals of Kay Kay Greenwade to the mix you have one awesome force of music. They played their music in a big club in Texas and toured California, Florida and then in Chicago. “Texas Justice”, produced by Johnny Rawls, got the group a lot of attention and respect. Then “Big Bad Girl”, produced by Grammy winner Jim Cannis, let us know that Kay Kay was the big bad girl. This lady has the pipes to belt out a song but can also bring it down and make one pay attention. This CD got very good reviews for the whole band. When things were really going good for this group, family tragedies caused the band to break up. Soon after, Kay suffered a stroke and other medical problems. It is unlikely that Kay Kay and The Rays will ever reunite. The Rays still backs up and records with Johnny Rawls.

This CD contains all of the talent that they put into releasing their three CD’s. The Ray’s have a large sound that showcases the guitars, keyboards and horn players as well as a fine bass and drum line. Add Kay Kay’s huge vocal input and they create a real force in the music world. This recording has too many musicians to give them all due credit here. You can go to www.catfoodmusic for more info.

The lyrics from some of the tunes hit hard upon social problems and injustices in the World and Texas. Some of the lyrics on “Lone Star Justice”, Enron Field” and “Texas Justice” are so hard hitting that the tunes were banned from airplay in Texas. I guess that this is part of the blues also. One should take a hard listen to these tunes written by Bob Trenchard, the bassist and leader of the band.”Hold On To What you Got”, a Johnny Rawls tune, is a standout track on the CD. This song features a great duet from Johnny Rawls and Kay Kay that really show off both of their vocal talent. This track brings out strong emotions and deep feelings from both artists. Rawl’s guitar skill also is high -lighted here. Another tune , Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Crossfire” lets Kay show that she can put her own take on a song and make it work.

“The Best Of Kay Kay and The Rays” is funky, soulful and bluesy making it just the best of Kay Kay and The Rays.

Reviewed by Harmonica Joe Poluyanskis

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