Merrol Ray & The Regulators

Merrol Ray & The Regulators

BandAmericanaCountry

The live show is where it's at!

Biography

Small towns and blue collars have given rise to more aspiring
songwriters than space or time allows most of us to explore.
But when it comes to sifting through the various offerings,
what speaks to most fans is music that is honest,
gut-wrenching, born of highs and lows revealing a real-world
understanding.

Merrol Ray is one of those Texas voices and personalities so
flavored by his past that most folks have at least heard of
him before they hear him sing. His name is synonymous with
northeast Texas music - so much so that most everyone
refers to him by both his first and last moniker. It's not just
"Merrol" - it's Merrol Ray.

As Texas clichés go about those born and bred here, Merrol is
larger than life with a voice that bellows a soothing but
captivating tone. "I used to go in where Merrol Ray used to
work, and you could always hear him from anywhere in the
store," says friend and fellow musician Wendy McNeal. His
voice is unmistakable.

That voice finds its inspiration in mainly rock and southern
rock, a little punk and metal from his "awareness" teen years
in the early-to-mid 1980s, plus honest (did I use that word
again?) Americana country. Merrol's "desert island" CD list
includes Zeppelin, Skynyrd, and Chris Knight.

"I used to sit and listen to my mother's records, like Buddy
Holly and the Buck Owens Christmas albums. I distinctly
remember studying Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Cosmos
Factory' album cover dreamin' of those guitars and amps and
how cool it all was. I couldn't have been more than
five-years-old," Merrol says.

Of his influences (dead or alive), Merrol Ray would most like
to play with Hendrix and write with David Gilmour. " 'Time'
by Pink Floyd is probably the greatest song ever written. The
way it builds is genius and the meaning of the song hits
home, I don't care who you are."

Having recorded or shared the stage with Dan Baird (Georgia
Satellites), Shooter Jennings and Pure Prairie League to
name a few, Merrol said the band he played with that rubbed
off on him the most was Back Porch Mary. "They're just bad,
man. You gotta see 'em live!"

Blossom, Texas, in the late 1970s to mid 80s was little more
than a stoplight, hardware store, open-air produce market
and a school. But his experiences growing up there, son and
descendant of a "long line of feedmill workers" (as he recounts
on "Bloodline") made him who he is today.

"There wasn't much else to do except during sports season.
And if somebody was a musician or even had a guitar,
Blossom was so small you knew about it. Even though I did
like most kids and couldn't wait to leave, it's such a part of
who I am I can't deny it," he said. "I don't want to."

No doubt the neighbors had fodder to talk about across the
backyard fence as Merrol Ray grew up, as the
autobiographical song "Dancin' Hard" illustrates:

"I made a lot of trouble when I was young. Momma didn't
know all the things I'd done. All the townfolk said that boy
he's a card. But my momma knew I was dancin' hard."

As founding member of the band "Miles from Nowhere" -
winner of the 2006 Shiner (Beer) Records Rising Star
Contest - Merrol Ray toured and found regional and
state-wide recognition for his music. With Merrol, the band
recorded in Nashville for Palo Duro Records and the song
"Bloodline" saw elevation on the Texas Music Charts and was
featured on a Stubb's BBQ compilation. The album made it to
number 5 on the now defunct XM X-Country chart where
"When I Get Mean" got lots of airtime.

But like lots of stories from the road, creative differences
within the band and a personal battle with illegal substances
collided to force Merrol Ray to play a hand he didn't want to.
Battling addiction most of his adult life and struggling to stay
sober meant a hard choice, so he left the band for a solo effort
and some time to write and create his way.

"I mainly just grew tired of the hard work and dedication to
getting high all the time, losing everything I owned, everyone
I loved, and not having a thing to show for it all," Merrol said.
"It'll get you in the end, especially if you're a full blown
addict, like me. It's like playing Russian roulette with a fully
loaded revolver just hoping the round you squeeze off is a
dud."

The scales of justice tattoo on his arm, with the intitials
"N.A." for Narcotics Anonymous, are a constant reminder of
his battle. But these days, Merrol's battle includes partners
on his side: God, family and recovery.

He says the creative freedom on his current solo project is
great, and together with co-producer Chris Lancaster,
(Treehouse Records in Paris, Texas), Merrol is expecting
"heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears" to emanate from the
upcoming "Stanley" release. "It's raw and exposed," Merrol
said.

The long road of creativity and recovery has taken some
twists and tu

Discography

Merrol Ray / Stanley
Miles From Nowhere / Bloodline
Miles From Nowhere / Miles Form Nowhere

Set List

We make the sets to fit the shows!
A WASTE- original
BARLIGHT- cover
BLOODLINE- original
BLUE EYES CRYIN’- cover
BLUE ON BLACK- cover
COMIN’ HOME- original
CONSTANTLY- cover
COPPERHEAD ROAD- cover
DANCIN’ HARD- original
FEET DON’T TOUCH- cover
FLESH TRAIN- original
FOLSOM PRISON- cover
HANDS TO YOURSELF- cover
HANK DONE IT- cover
HARD MAN TO LOVE- cover
HIGHWAY PATROL- cover
HOLD ME- original
HOLED UP- cover
HOMETOWN- cover
HORSESHOE LOUNGE- cover
I AM- original
I CAN’T WIN- original
I’M OVER YOU- cover
KING OF THE BLUES- original
LILLY’S WHITE LIES- cover
LONESOME FUGITIVE- cover
MEMPHIS- cover
MONA SUE- original
NOTHING SHORT- cover
OLD HABITS- cover
ON FIRE- cover
ON THE ROAD AGAIN- cover
ONLY TIME WILL TELL- original
PEARL SNAPS- cover
PLEASE, PLEASE BABY- cover
PRISON BOUND- cover
QUEEN OF CALIFORNIA- original
ROLLIN’ OUT- original
SELF DESTRUCTIVE ZONES- cover
SHAME, SHAME- cover
SOMEONE HAD TOO- cover
STANLEY- original
STEA