Julia Dray

Julia Dray

BandBluesSinger/Songwriter

My original music draws from both folk and blues roots for lyrical structure, but has a distinctive rock rhythm and drive. The songs rang in topic from politics, to love, to modern life, with crisp lyrics that stay with the listener. My contralto voice creates a dark and sensuous tone.

Biography

For years I worked as a technical and marketing writer during the week and as a professional pianist at night, performing solo in "listening" venues and at private events. I wrote lots of instrumental piano pieces, but seldom tried to marry words and music. That changed when I got a job working at a drive-through espresso stand; for five hours of my eight hour shift, I had very little to do and lots of privacy. I bought a cheap keyboard with a built-in bass and pre-recorded drum tracks and just started playing around. Once I started thinking outside the "solo piano" box I'd put myself in, the songs just started coming.

Some of them sucked. Quite a lot, at first. But as I began to try them out in public, I learned a lot about what worked and what didn't. To this day, I don't ever regard a song as "finished"; there's always room for exploration.

My songs tend to be about everyday life, for the most part. Constantly surrounded by the conundrums of popular culture and media spin, I look for the things that ground me, that bewilder me, that amuse me.

In terms of style, mine is a fusion that I find difficult to describe. My classical piano roots are evident - and my songs are definitely written for piano, with other instruments playing distinctly subsidiary roles. I utilize the piano as both a percussive and a lyrical instrument; my years as a solo player lead me to add a strong bass line as well.

Lyrics

Fairy Tale Women

Written By: Julia Dray


1.
My brothers liked to play
That they were knights in shining armor
With wooden spoons for swords and
Pot lids for shields.
They were always asking me to be their damsel in distress
But I refused to put down my spoon and sit around
In a dress.

2.
Because I knew that
Fairy tale princesses
Always got stuck in towers
Waiting for Prince Charming to appear.
Well, I'm not fond of towers and I
Don't like to wait
I don't need a handsome prince, I'll just
Find my own way

Chorus:
Because life
Life is not a fairy-tale
Rescue doesn't wait around the bend
And once-upon-a-time doesn't last a lifetime
And when you come to the end of your tale
You can sign your own name.

3.
Fairy tale women aren't like
Any of the women that I know
Could Rapunzel change a tire, did
Snow White drink beer?
If I'd been Cinderella those
Step sisters would have been toast
I'd skip the ball, forget them all and take
that pumpkin to the coast.

Because life
Life is not a fairy-tale
Rescue doesn't wait around the bend
And happy-ever after doesn't last forever
And when you come to the end of your tale
You should sign your own name.

4.
Fairy tale women
wouldn't last an hour
In the kind of life
That we live around here.
Too much, too fast, too frenzied
Not enough hours in the day
No time for an enchanted sleep
But still, I wouldn't want to trade

Because life
Life is not a fairy-tale
Rescue doesn't wait around the bend
And once-upon-a-time doesn't last a lifetime
And when you come to the end of your tale,
Sign your own name.

I Think I Fell

Written By: Julia Dray

It was something/in the water
Or it was something/in the air
It was something/in my heart that changed
When I saw you/standing there
And I know that this sounds crazy
And I don’t know if I’m right
But I think I fell/in love with you
Tonight.

2.
It was something/like lightning
Something very/like desire
And it was something/like winter too
A sudden flash/of frozen fire.
And I know that this sounds crazy
And I don’t know if I’m right
But I think I fell/in love with you
Tonight

It’s always the unexpected
That’ll bring you down
You try and keep your heart protected
But somehow your barriers
They let you down.

3.
It was something/like a mountain
Something like/the deep blue sea
And it was something/like a wide clear sky
With a thousand vistas/open to me.
And I know that this sounds crazy
And I don’t know if I’m right
But I think I fell/in love with you
Tonight

It’s always the unexpected
That’ll bring you down
You try and keep your heart protected
But somehow your barriers
They let you down.

4.
It was something/like morning
Right before the dawn
And it was something/like midnight too
With a thousand stars to wish upon
And I know that this sounds crazy
And I don’t know if I’m right
But I think I fell/in love with you
Tonight.

Lay Those Burdens Down

Written By: Julia Dray

1.
All my life I've been a wanderer
Went where the wild wind took me
And I had no cares at all
Went when the wild geese called

But the wind is growing colder
And I am more tired than I can remember
Feels like November

I've got to find a way to lay these burdens down
I've got to find a place to lay these burdens down.

2.
In life we're all collectors
We pick things up and never
Want to lay them down
We carry them around.

Old hurts and old angers
Resentments - oh, they make such
Uneasy guests. You never get any rest.

You've got to find a way to lay those burdens down
You've got to find a place to lay those burdens down.

3.
They say history repeats itself
It's deja vu all over and over again
The pattern never ends.

But the wind is growing colder
And we are more frightened than I can remember
And it's always September.

We've got to find a way to lay those burdens down.
We've got to find a place to lay those burdens down.
Just lay those burdens down.

Set List

Originals

Lay Those Burdens Down (4:05)
Promise of the City (4:34)
Fairy Tale Women (4:22)
Hear it From You (4:52)
Who You're Needed By (4:17)
That's How it Goes (3:25)
Jack of All Trades (3:48)
I Think I Fell (4:48)
Non-Conformist (5:23)
Round and Round (3:46)

Covers
Angel from Montgomery
Blue Bayou
Take Another Little Piece of My Heart
Preacher Man
Runaway
Something to Talk About
Landslide
One Fine Day
Dancing in the Streets
Sweet Surrender
Don't Know Why