Ronnie Presley is the delta's rockin'countryboy, he writes about deep subject matters that are close to the heart. All the emotions of the human spirit can be reflected in his songs. Living in a small town most of his life, he has been touched by the lives of the common man and woman. He has these people and their lives, as much as his own, to draw upon. If 35 years of singing and performing all over Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma have taught him anything, it's the music in which we all live through. Growing up not that far away from Dyess, Arkansas where Johnny Cash once lived and as a distant relative to Elvis Presley , you could say he was born all around these country and blues flavored lyrics that he sings. The heart and soul felt emotions that are found in his music are much like the experiences that he, his family and neighbors have lived. The old houses, fields, farms, gravel roads, and southern spirits are a few of the backdrops for the inspirations. Losses of loved ones can be remembered or relived through these songs of hope, faith and love. Writing a song seems to be the perfect remedy for forgiveness. You have to shed a tear or laugh to know if it's good songwriting. Caraway Arkansas is now smaller but there used to be a Tastee-Freeze, a dry goods store, and a crawdad hole to fish out of. The old Western Auto store is still there, and his first guitar came from there. It was a sixteen dollar TrueTone but to him it was much more, it was a serious hobby and fixation. A new guitar and sixteen year old kid was just getting set up to start playing the delta honky tonk and bar scene around Arkansas. After years of playing in cover bands, in 2005 he ventured out on his own to pursue singing and songwriting as the dream he has always had. These days he writes about the past and present as seen through a much older, mature vision. This music is a testament for what is yet to be heard from the singer/songwriter. Stories of the south, its bars, places, people and religion can be found all throughout his music. Ronnie Presley is just a simple man with love and respect for his common and not so common, fellow friends and neighbors. You could just blink an eye and miss Caraway, but rest asure, he'll still be rockin'. He may just be in an old rocking chair with an acoustic guitar, pencil and paper, but there's more to his story, we're sure of that. Instrumentation Ronnie Presley - Acoustic Guitar, and vocals.
Ronnie Presley: Vocals & Acoustic/Electric Guitar
Ronnie Presley's CD
HEAVEN ON EARTH - at: itunes & cdbaby.com
You can listen to more from Ronnie here:
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Ronnie Presley Singer/Songwriter - Country/Blues/Pop: Press By Chris Swindle Sun Staff Writer CAR...Ronnie Presley Singer/Songwriter - Country/Blues/Pop: Press
By Chris Swindle
Sun Staff Writer
CARAWAY — With his acoustic guitar, a smooth southern singing voice and a plethora of musical experience, Ronnie Presley is trying to make his way in country music.
After spending time in various bands throughout his youth, Presley is now going solo with his own brand of country laced with blues and southern rock.
"[My music] has been called country blues by some, and I like the sound of that," Presley said.
Presley released his first solo album, entitled "Heaven on Earth," in May. The CD, made up of all original work, includes some Nashville musicians. However, most of the recording was done by Presley himself.
"All except two songs on ['Heaven on Earth'] I did in my home studio acoustically," Presley said, adding that he is happy with his freshman release and has plans for a blues CD soon.
Presley began his solo songwriting in 2003 after his mother's death. Though it was a harrowing time for the musician, he found a way to work through his pain with music.
"I can always convey the words I want to send to others through a song and feel good doing so," Presley said. "Music to me is art but also much deeper — my passion for expression, songs and a melody that can last a lifetime."
Presley has played with several bands during his career, but he finds himself much more enthusiastic about his solo work.
"My songwriting really took off when I retired from playing in groups," Presley said. "I really had more time to focus on that."
Though he is focusing mainly on his solo career, Presley still performs from time to time with some of his longtime musician friends.
"I've been playing guitar for 37 years and been a singer just as long," Presley said. "I recently retired from bands in 2005 but sometimes still find myself helping old friends with gigs, shows and jam sessions."
Presley does most of his live performances by himself with his acoustic guitar, but that doesn't stop him from playing tunes that evoke a range of emotions and responses from his audience.
"Most of the time crowds respond in one general way to me and my live performances — they listen, toe tap and watch closely all at the same time," Presley said. "I have seen people get up and dance to my up-tempo and southern rock cover tunes.
"I really focus on pleasing the audience and myself."
Unlike a lot of acoustic musicians, Presley is willing to get up and move around the stage when the song calls for it.
"I got this leg problem," Presley said. "It won't stop moving, man."
Presley said he's fond of playing popular songs by other artists such as Keith Urban, Bad Company, Robert Johnson, ZZ Top and Merle Haggard. He thinks that aspiring young musicians could find a lot of benefit in learning cover songs and shouldn't be afraid to tackle some classic ditties.
"I play lots of cover tunes. This is where I got all the chops and schooling for my profession over the years," Presley said. "Yes, I'm telling all you youngsters to please go there with it. It will pay off for you someday."
Music is more than a way to make a buck to Presley. He sees it as all-natural stress relief.
"I just love being a vocalist," Presley said. "It's a place I go to whenever anything is getting me down or I want to escape the worries of everyday stressful life."
Writing about his life and the numerous experiences throughout it, Presley tries to be honest in his songwriting.
"My songs basically reflect upon my life and others I know, love and have worked around or had long lasting friendships with over the years," Presley said. "I call my songs, songs close to the heart."
Through his music, Presley has a found a way to leave a lasting legacy, and it's one that means a lot to him.
"My music will be left behind long after I'm gone ... and I'll rest well knowing so," Presley said. "I love this art of song and writing so much it would be all too in vain if I didn't carry on the Presley legacy. Most folks don't realize it, but I'm a distant relative to Elvis Presley. I'm very proud to carry that name with me through my musical journey. He was so much an important part of music history, and now I'm a part as well."
Presley is proud of having a distinctive sound, but his music shares similarities with his many influences such as John Fogerty, Vince Gill, Alabama, Ry Cooder and Paul Rodgers.
"My taste in music is very broad," Presley said. "I started out at a very young age playing and singing classic rock. Later on in my 30s into my 40s, I found my passion for the blues."
Presley said that writing music comes natural to him because he's always got a bunch of melodies kicking around in his head that he just has to figure out how to put on a guitar.
"Writing for me usually starts with my guitar, a riff, rhythm or pattern, and then the lyrics come along later," Presley said. "The melody is always in my mind. It's just finding the right one because I'm singing all day, down the road or in the kitchen or outside.
"Musicians and songwriters, true ones never stop the melody process. They can always find one."
Presley has been around, playing shows as a soloist and with his past bands in Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri.
"My career as a musician-songwriter has been a journey from a 16-years-old to now, from the old Tavern in Rivervale, Arkansas, where I started out to some stages in front of larger festival crowds," Presley said. "What a ride it's been — awesome trip on the coaster!"
Presley said that his time in music has allowed him to perform alongside some great musicians who are well recognized on a national level.
"My music has taken me on stage and in places not even my closest friends and family even know about," Presley said. "In the 90's I opened with my band Jade in Enid Oklahoma for Night Ranger. Later on I moved back to Arkansas and since have opened up for Buddy Jewel, TG Shepperd and rising blues artist Anthony Gomes."
The sky is the limit for Presley, who intends to keep making music and keep having fun.
"I just wanna wait on retirement with my wife, write, work hard, play harder and soak up the rest of my life in the sun," Presley said. "I'm almost 50 years of age now. I'm not gonna stop until I drop!"
(Aug 6, 2007)
Caraway singer/songwriter releases first CD
Singer/songwriter Ronnie Presley of Caraway released his first album/CD
and said he can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
“I just want to thank all my fans and supporters for your friendship
and support,” Presley said.
He will be having a CD release party from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, May 6, at
The Cowboy Grill in Caraway.
“I want to invite everyone to come celebrate with me,” he said.
There will be a live jam with friends, giveaways, CDs, tee shirts,
snacks, drinks (no alcohol) and a ceremony cake.
Presley said his musical goal is to try to sell one of his songs to
someone, major label, business or anything else that may open a door.
“If something else should ever happen, I might be interested in that
too, but approaching 50 years of age, it is not likely in today’s music
market I’ll do much more than just song writing and trying to sell my
music,” Presley said. “At this point in my musical endeavors, I am simply
pleased with the fact I have this music to leave as a testament to all
my hard work. It’s been fun and very rewarding as well to have my 'own
stuff,' as musicians call it.”
For years Presley has been compared to John Fogerty and Paul Rodgers
vocally. He said they have been big influences on him.
“I’ve been searching a solid year to find my own voice and I think it’s
been captured on this album. It’s really hard for me to judge myself
because I never think that I sound good, so I’ll let the fans decide for
themselves. One thing for sure I do love singing. It’s one of the
greatest emotions a human can feel besides real love, and you can quote me
This new album, "Heaven on Earth," is a reflection of his life based
around the people, events and surroundings in which he has lived, and
continues to experience today.
“The track Somewhere Up There is a song for, and written about my
Mother, Rose Presley,” he said. “Some of these tracks are a little bluesy,
but it is a pretty straight forward country CD. I’ve always sung classic
rock but finding my own voice led me to this place – country music.
There is a patriotic song on the CD I did at home with just an acoustic
guitar and my vocals. We all want the soldiers to come back home so it’s
entitled appropriately “Come Home.” My nephew Gregg Presley came up
with a lot of the lyrics on the track "Lost Highway" and it is one of my
personal favorites on the CD. I guess you could just say I’m an Indie
artist, the album was made independently. I had some help from a few
people I want to mention, Kermit McCord, Pam Sullivan and family and
Michelle Emery and family, and all the fans
that buy tee shirts and CDs.
Tee shirts and CDs, as well as a few web sites are available to sell
his album and downloads. He is planning to have some ring tones available
Presley will be doing some free shows this summer. To find out details
on the shows, CD giveaways and more, log on to www.ronniepresley.com or
“I’m very excited to release this music in Arkansas. This is where I
was raised and currently life,” he said. “I hope people of all ages will
- The Town Crier (Apr 3, 2007)
Ronnie Presley writes songs close to his heart
By REVIS BLAYLOCK
Town Crier News Staff
Ronnie Presley of Caraway is well-known in the area as he has been singing and playing guitar for 35 years in the Northeast Arkansas area as well as Texas and Oklahoma. He started his music career in the Rivervale Tavern singing and playing with a band at the age of 16. After years of playing in cover bands, he ventured out on his own in 2005 to pursue a singing career as a solo artist and songwriter. He said he “dabbled” in song writing for about ten years but got serious about his song writing about a year ago.
Presley grew up in Caraway and most of his songs are from his own life’s experience living in rural Arkansas. Presley said the work, old houses, fields, farms, gravel roads, and strong southern spirits have served as backdrops for many of his songs.
Presley recently recorded his first CD in Nashville. The acoustics were done in his home studio, “Gonzo Home Recordings.” Gonzo is a nickname given to him by his family when he was young and it has stuck with him. He took his music to a small studio in Nashville in May where they took his songs and the session players and engineer designed his music. Songs on the CD include “Heaven on Earth,” “Somewhere Up There,” and “My Second Home,” “Did I Ever Say; “You Got the Love,” “A New Life,” “I had to Tell the Truth,” “Little Too Much,” and “Come Home.” “I’ve been in studios before, but these guys knew what they were doing,” Presley said.
“Somewhere Up There,” is a special song to Presley as he wrote it in memory of his mother, Rose Presley, who passed away in January of 2003. His father, Lewis Presley still lives in Caraway. Mr. Presley is in his 80’s and is still very active and a big fan of Presley’s music.
According to the family tree, the Caraway Presley’s are a sixth cousin to Elvis Presley.
Presley said he has seen a lot of changes in Caraway. He can remember when there was a Tastee-Freeze, a dry goods store and many other businesses. The Western Auto store where he got his first guitar is still open in Caraway. “It was a TrueTone,” he said. “That guitar became a serious hobby with me.” Presley started playing guitar at the age of 11 and his love of music continued as he developed his talent through the years.
He currently performs his original songs mixed with his version of cover songs from the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. His CD is a mixture of country, RockaBilly and Blues. If he had to choose influences in his music it would be John Fogerty, Paul Rodgers, Randy Owen and Vince Gill.
To learn more about Presley’s music or his biography, three websites are available, www.myspace.com/ronpresley
RONNIE"S ORIGINAL MATERIAL:
1. Heaven On Earth
2. Did I Ever Say
3. Little Too Much
4. A Cowboy's Song
5. You're My Baby
6. Come Home
7. Somewhere Up There
8. Tell The Truth
10. You Called My House
11. Life Is A Beach
12. My Second Home
13. Lost Highway
14. Fields Of Arkansas
15. People Talk
16. Blink of An Eye
17. What You Gonna Do
18. You Got The Love
19. This New Life
20. Ain't Gonna Sleep No More
1. can't find my way home
2. r.o.c.k. in the usa
4. amarillo sky
5. ring of fire
6. the joker
7. you've lost that lovin' feeling
8. sittin' on the dock of the bay
9. how forever feels
10. if you could only see
12. who'll stop the rain
13. have you ever seen the rain
14. bad moon rising
15. shooting star
16. muddy water blues
17. had the blues this sunday morning
18. bring it on home
19. stupid boy
20. somebody like you
21. days go by
22. help somebody
23. mustang sally
24. love don't live here
25. drift away
26. behind blue eyes
27. brown eyed girl
28. give a little bit
29. the first cut is the deepest
30. lookin' out my backdoor
31. every mile a memory
32. i still haven't found what i'm looking for
33. don't let me down
34. before you accuse me
35. life by the drop
36. i walk the line
37. that's all right mama
39. raining on sunday
40. house of the rising sun
41. today i started loving you again
42. whiskey lullabye
43. please come to boston
44. i can't help myself
45. leave the peaces
48. proud mary
49. everytime i roll the dice
50. down south jukin'
51. simple man
52. good day for the blues
54. hoochie coochie man
55. jeans on
58. ready for love
59. little wing
60. oh girl
61. cutts like a knife
62. free fallin'
63. let it be
64. here without you
66. tuesday's gone
67. long haired country boy
68. why lady why
69. stand by me
70. me and bobby mcgee
71. take me home country roads
72. your everything
73. it's a heartache
74. best i ever had
75. sunday morning coming down
76. what might have been
77. your love amazes me
78. blue on black
79. with or without you
80. gimme back my bullets
81. she loves my automobile
82. wish you were here
83. pink houses
84. she talks to angels
85. blue eyes cryin' in the rain
87. i will
88. a little more you
89. memory in the making
89. pride and joy
90. silver, blue and gold
There are no upcoming dates at this time.