Hidden Stash

Hidden Stash

 Richmond Hill, Ontario, CAN
BandAmericanaFolk

“Michael Gray’s exceptional and personal songwriting skills are at the forefront and will make you listen just that little closer.” - The Blues and Roots Music Blog

Hidden Stash is a musical project led by emerging songwriter Michael Gray, offering up a seamless blend of rock, country, folk and blues with a retro twist. Hidden Stash performs as a 3-piece combo or full 6-piece band.

Biography

Hidden Stash is a new musical project led by emerging songwriter Michael Gray offering up rock, pop, blues, soul, C&W and folk with a retro twist. His debut album Mixed Cassette Tape is a 70’s inspired rock album that takes listeners back in time when people used to listen to albums from start to finish.

Being the son of Jerry Gray, the legendary folk musician who was a founding member of The Travellers and the brother of James Gray who served more than 13 years’ in Blue Rodeo, Gray grew up surrounded by music.  The band name Hidden Stash comes from the idea that he has kept this hidden stash of songs that he wrote for years and is now ready to reveal them to the world.

Mixed Cassette Tape is expertly co-produced and arranged by Derek Downham (The Beauties), and features Divine Brown, Damhnait Doyle, Shelley Coopersmith, Denis Keldie, Jim Bish, Russ Boswell and a sizzling duet with rising roots n’ roll singer Samantha Martin.  The album demonstrates Michael’s strong songwriting chops, with musical influences that are not easy to miss: Tom Waits, Van Morrison, The Band, Leonard Cohen, Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John, and more.  

Hidden Stash performs as a full 6-piece band (drums, bass, keyboards, 2 guitars, vocals) for larger venues/rock-blues festivals and as a trio for intimate venues/folk-oriented festivals. Recently, we were invited to perform as part of Canada 150 celebrations and are now actively booking for the fall/winter season.

Lyrics

Chasing Sunsets

Written By: Michael Gray

I’m in a free fall again
Every thing remains the same
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
It’s bound to drive me insane

I’m caught in a web of monotony
At this pace, I’m overdue for a lobotomy
My life has forgotten me
I won’t let it get the best of me

CHORUS

I got my feet back on the ground
Feels so good to be found
It’s like I’ve never been away
I’m really here to stay
I’m gonna live to fight another day

Some just can’t handle the strain
Live their life by the turn of a weather vane
They’d rather choose to abstain
As for me, I’m heading for the nearest train

So I went down to the station
And the train folk lost my reservation
So without hesitation
I seek alternative transportation

CHORUS

I found a cheap flight to Portland
It’s a great place to start again
No one here gets to yank my chain
After a while you get used to the rain

Now that I’m finally reset
There’s one thing you should never forget
You’ll never have any regrets
When you’re off chasing sunsets

CHORUS

Black Eyed Shame

Written By: Michael Gray

Under the cloud of darkness
Beyond the edge of night
Divided by a different point of view
In a struggle to determine who is wrong and who is right
Is it me? Is it you?

It’s a black-eyed shame
It’s a black-eyed shame

In the heart of the country
Where cultures collide
Suspended by stale, deep freeze
Locals taken on a wild moonlight ride
Is it you? Is it me?

It’s a black-eyed shame
It’s a black-eyed shame

When everything depends on what is bought and what is sold
How do you expect us to care?
Bury it in the back ‘cause the story’s getting old
Is it foul? Is it fair?

It’s a black-eyed shame
It’s a black-eyed shame
It’s a black-eyed shame
It’s a black-eyed shame

Good For Something

Written By: Michael Gray

Part of me is a hard-headed,
self-willed, single-minded, stiff-necked prick
The rest of me is opinionated,
tough, insubordinated, and a general dick

I don’t know how I got to be this way
After all the psychiatric bills I had to pay

It’s amazing to me how I could be so damn headstrong
Even though I know I am completely in the wrong

Smoking at the top of my lungs is good for me
It seems to serve as primal therapy

CHORUS

Everybody wants something
Everybody needs something
Everybody has got something
Except for me

Everybody does something
Everybody loves something
And everybody’s good for something
Except for me

Stress these days has got me hanging on a wire
Only some 40 odd years left ‘til I retire
But while my life remains a simple mystery
I thicken the plot with much complexity

Verse #4

I find that the world is full of scrambled contradiction
This I realize as I meet up with my prediction

CHORUS

Sonny Daze

Written By: Michael Gray

I got the call this morning
The news came without warning
The heart and mind had fallen
I never got to say goodbye

You always knew where he stood
Too stubborn for his own good
Never followed orders like he should
Lived his life from high to high

Those sunny days
Have long gone away
And left behind a trail of memories
You’ve got to take the time
To lay it on the line
And leave yourself a mark on history

It takes time to recover
Let the brisk gales blow over
Find comfort in your brother
Sing a soft sweet lullaby

Those sunny days
Have long gone away
And left behind a trail of memories
You’ve got to take the time
To lay it on the line
And leave yourself a mark on history

It’s hard not to remember
In these cold, cold days of December
The words stay with me forever
It never fails to wonder why

You’ve got to take the time to make the time
It brings on sunny days

Are You With Me?

Written By: Michael Gray

Are you with me?
Are you with me for life?
Are you with me?
Are you with me for life?

Uptown girl got herself a full set of wings
A big ol’ house and car and everything
She needed fireworks and a lilttle wonderlust
‘Cause most of the past had just crumbled into dust

Downtown man seeks a complicated woman
‘Cause he don’t know how or why or what he’s doin’
Before they had met he was an unmitigated mess
Lost for the one thing that would grant him success

He said…

Are you with me?
Are you with me for life?
Are you with me?
Are you with me for life?

Are you with me in the daytime?
Are you with me through the night?
Are you with me for the moments when we truly get it right?
Are you with me?
‘Cause I’m with you for life?

There ain’t nothing you could say or do that could make me change my mind
‘Cause we’ve both been through this thing at least a dozen times
It’s never too late to live for each day that you can get
And there ain’t nothing we hadn’t already met
So…

Are you with me?
Are you with me for life?
Are you with me?
Are you with me for life?

Are you with me for the pleasure that would fill a million years?
Are you with me when the ice caps drown us both in tears?
Are you with me through the good times?
Are you with me through the bad?
Are you with me for the best ride that you’ve ever, ever had?

Are you with me?
Yes I’m with you for life?
Are you with me?
‘Cause I’m with you for life?

Sweet Brother James

Written By: Michael Gray

Late afternoon
Whistlin’ a tune
Got nothing to do but today
Shift to the west
Slide to the left
Cued up to blow your whole evening away

And it’s goodnight my sweet brother James
Fragile as a flickering flame
You can now safely rest
On the bed of success
Goodnight my sweet brother James

Fits of inspiration
Mounds of perspiration
For music that never grows old
Strict as a school marm
Stubborn and strong armed
But somewhere inside there’s that damn heart of gold

And it’s goodnight my sweet brother James
Fragile as a flickering flame
You can now safely rest
On the bed of success
Goodnight my sweet brother James

Call out your demons
Cast out your pain
Recall the moments
Again and again
You passed through those days
But rose up through the night
And out of that darkness
There came a new light

Here in the now
Someway somehow
The sun will always shine through
Downtown is his town
And this town is getting down
For his sound is what he was destined to do

And it’s goodnight my sweet brother James
Fragile as a flickering flame
You can now safely rest
On the bed of success
Goodnight my sweet brother James

Don't Walk Away

Written By: Michael Gray

A speeding car, a beautiful fawn
The speeding car still remains
Early to bed, out by the dawn
Scratch my paws at the kitchen door,
I hear the wild refrain

Don’t walk away from love
Don’t walk away from the pain
I don’t even care what you’re thinkin’ ‘cause I know it’s all been said
Don’t walk away from love
Don’t walk away from the pain
I would be a fool to go through that again

The light up ahead is from an oncoming train
With an engineer under turmoil and strife
And what’s the deal with marriage being such a strain
That’s no way to spend the rest of my life

Don’t walk away from love
Don’t walk away from the pain
I don’t even care what you’re thinkin’ ‘cause I know it’s all been said
Don’t walk away from love
Don’t walk away from the pain
I would be a fool to go through that again

A single cell protozoan
That’s the way to be, man
Hanging around in a Petrie dish
Like a couple of goldfish
The purgatory of a free man

It’s a pharmacy of love and romance when I get my prescription filled
It’s an infectious organism dance when I’m released to my own free will
And if I waited around forever, would you still be able to deliver
Me from the burning hell that I created so well
after all these years.

Don’t walk away from love
Don’t walk away from the pain
I don’t even care what you’re thinkin’ ‘cause I know it’s all been said
Don’t walk away from love
Don’t walk away from the pain
I would be a fool to go through that again
I would be a fool to go through that again
I would be a fool to go through that again

Wasted

Written By: Michael Gray

Been through some bad times
Triage and landmines
Can’t always seem to find my way back home
I’m mired in the fact
There’s no turning back
Wrestling with those demons that hound you when you’re alone

It’s Christmas in Manhattan
And man…I got nothin’
Else to lose
Flyin’ up and down the coast
Tryin’ to track down this ghost
Gotta’ find a way to chase away these blues

I’ve been wasted down in Texas
I’ve been wasted in LA
I’ve been wasted up in Detroit
Been wasted all along the way
But I’ve never wasted more of my time,
On anyone but you

The heart’s a Ferris wheel
Not sure of what is real
Looking for a chance to tie one on
A simple little twist
Is the reason to exist
Turn my head for a moment
And like Hall & Oates, she’s gone

It’s Easter in Mulholland
And I keep on callin’
After you
Driven to the edge
Of an uncompleted bridge
Gotta’ find a way to chase away these blues

I’ve been wasted in New England
I’ve been wasted in New Orleans
I’ve been wasted in New Brunswick
Been wasted since I was seventeen
But I’ve never wasted more of my life,
On anyone but you

It’s Christmas in Manhattan
And man…I got nothin’
Else to lose

Flyin’ up and down the coast
Tryin’ to track down this ghost
Gotta’ find a way to chase away these blues

I’ve been wasted down in Texas
I’ve been wasted in LA
I’ve been wasted up in Detroit
Been wasted all along the way
But I’ve never wasted more of my time,
On anyone but you

I’ve been wasted in New England
I’ve been wasted in New Orleans
I’ve been wasted in New Brunswick
Been wasted since I was seventeen
But I’ve never wasted more of my life,
On anyone but you