Ray Naylor
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Ray Naylor

Band Folk Acoustic


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The best kept secret in music


Ray Naylor,
Slow Cooker
(Polar Bear, 2002)

This guy deserves success if only for the opening track on this album.
"Please Buy My CD" is a beautifully written, humorous song about the life of so many songwriters. It recounts that familiar idea of cashing in your pension to record a CD of your compositions. He sings of the boxes of CDs under the bed and wondering if he could use them to tile walls. If he gets airplay there will not be enough to tile a dollhouse.
Naylor is in the mold of Shel Silverstein. He uses a set of witty lyrics to tell some home truths and is more effective for this method.
"Old Man Playing Guitar" is another self-deprecating track recounting the despairing days of life on the road. It is not melancholy but it has a distinctive ring of truth. Perhaps it was written on a down day but now it is performed as the writer re-emerges.
Folk music gets a shot from his wit on the excellent "C-D-G." Yes, you folkies, that is his chord formula for composition. "I like the way they sound when they go around" and so do we. He sings, "Who wants to win a Grammy anyway?" but on this outing he deserves consideration.
"I Might Just Stay in Texas" sounds like a love song that could cover at least one of the episodes of most listeners' lives. That is one of the strengths of Naylor's music. He is a sort of everyman of folk music. He seems to capture and write -- very well -- about the ordinary events of our simple lives.
"You're The Only Reason" is a beautiful song about a very real aspect of life. He sings about growing old and falling in love with a younger person. He says in the notes that it is embarrassing but the track comes across with a very real if sad feeling. Well done, Ray. Many people will respond with "finally come to grips with the greying of my hair, my belly that has grown to make my body now a pear" and the fact that "you're the only reason that I'd be young again."
"Willie the Bi-Polar Polar Bear" is one of those songs that you will love or hate. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The vision of that big white bear acting strange on the ice floes is both funny and sad. That's what good lyrics are all about.
This CD has 13 tracks, 12 written by Naylor; the other, by his inspiration Phil Ochs, is "Pleasures of the Harbour."
Slow Cooker is one of the most interesting, heartwarming and original albums I have heard this year. With air play or someone picking up some of the tracks Ray Naylor could be the star that he deserves to be and that investment in boxes of CDs would be vindicated.
Help him get there -- buy the album, you won't be disappointed.
- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 12 July 2003


- Rambles.net


Slow Cooker, C. 2003; 13 songs; several songs available for listening at www.raynaylor.com and CM Baby.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Ray is a performing songwriter, and all around entertainer. He has also managed other performing artists, consulted with musicians, hosted both radio and cable TV folk shows, and has produced and promoted concerts. Now, Ray is focusing his energies on his own music. What Ray Naylor is all about boils down to this: a guy who presents good music to as many people as possible.

Ray Naylor's own music or original songs range from funny to heartfelt. Ray's style of music can best be classified as folk/country. Most important, Ray Naylor understands the responsibility of a performer to entertain and communicate wit his audience. He speaks through his own songs we well as the music of others. Ray has a special interest in keeping alive the songs of Phil Ochs, and is always ready to perform a program of Phil Ochs songs.

In February 1993, Ray will be releasing his first CD, Slow Cooker. The CD included 12 original songs, and a cover of the Phil Ochs song, Pleasures of the Harbor. The CD is produced by Daoud Shaw, who has produced recordings for Van Morrison and Etta James. Among the many fine players on the CD are former Sly Stone keyboard player, Kenny Kirby, former Huffamoose drummer, Erik Johnson, and Travis Wetzel, local fiddle/player extrodinaire (and Grand Old Opry performer).

Ray was honored to play at the 1997 Philadelphia Folk Festival and pas played at many venues in the area including The Point, The Oxford Friends Folk Club, The Lansdowne Folk Club, Borders Book Stores, The Troubadour Folk Club, Biddle's Cafe, The Jumping Cow, and The Musical Lairs House Concert Series.

Ray's involvement in the local Philadlephia folk scene goes back 22 years. Ray Naylor managed several excellent performers including Susan Piper (formerly on Gene Shay's Sliced Bread Records Label), Karen Deveau (who plays in Nashville, and whose songs are being pitched to Nashville artists), and Marina Vittoria.

Ray has booked various venues including the former Biddle's Cafe, which received Philadelphia Magazines's 1996 award for Best Folk Venue.

Ray's goal at every performance is to have audience members leave the show saying "I am really glad I decided to come here tonight." And isn't that what performing and entertaining is all about.