Ray Tarantino
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Ray Tarantino

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Ray Tarantino (Album Review)"

Born in Italy and growing up in the UK, Ray Tarantino has had to make a few mistakes and learn from them before realizing the life he wanted to live. Playing music is his destiny. Performing around the world and getting some doors shut in his face has made for some interesting stories (Just wait until you hear about the time he got turned down from a label because he is bald..more on that a little later in the review.) Never letting that get him down, he now calls Nashville home, playing shows almost every night. His music tells of his journey, and who better to tell your story than yourself?

Released in May of 2012, Ray Tarantino is a beautiful showcase of his story. Everything about this album screams “Journey” and “Movement.” About the lyrical content Tarantino shared this with us, “the focus of the lyrics is movement and change, moving forward and oiling the mechanism that enables us to do so.” Combine that with the album art featuring a car speeding off in the desert, it doesn’t take much to see that Tarantino and his band thought very carefully of the message they were trying to relay to listeners.

Musically, the songs on this album could find homes with adult contemporary stations and even hard rock stations. Tarantino’s vocals and guitar playing style are diverse enough to fit into both styles (and possibly even more). The album’s opening track, “Can’t You See” is intense and powerful, while the single, “She Comes to Me (so Easily)” is breezy, easy to listen and sway along with. Most of the songs on Ray Tarantino are very melodic and mellow, the perfect soundtrack for starting on a new chapter in your life. Tarantino’s vocals are raspy, entrancing. Like a warm fire on a cold dark winter night listeners will be reassured and comforted while listening. The album flows excellently, everything from the order of songs and even the amount is well thought out and coherent. “A Whisper in the Sea,” the album’s closing track is the perfect song to wrap up the story. Just acoustic guitar and Tarantino singing, this minimalistic track tugs at the heartstrings and will leave you wondering, “What comes next?” That, of course is up to you. Go start your own journey and find out!

“He is bald! He writes really good songs and has a great voice but he’s bald!”

This is how the head of a major recording company responded to Ray’s music. But Ray knew that somewhere in the word he would have found at least one person that cared more about music than hairstyle. The guy from the London based label will probably never know, but Ray was right!

It’s hard to believe that is how someone responded to Ray Tarantino’s music. (Passage above taken from the bio section of http://www.raytarantino.com/)

Unfortunately that is how the mainstream media (and most of the world) thinks. Fortunately, we here at IMR and (our readers) care more about music than hairstyle! Show your support, listen and love!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars! - IndieMusicReviewer.com (USA)

"Ray Tarantino (Album Review)"

Born in Italy, raised in England and now resident in Tennessee, Ray Tarantino certainly brings a wealth of life experience to his songs, including academia, well paid employment and a near death experience behind the wheel of an expensive BMW. It was the latter that reignited his creative spark. He released his much-lauded debut album “Recusant” in 2007 and has since played close to a 1000 shows.

Reviewers have compared him to a variety of singer-songwriters, from David Gray to Dylan and Springsteen, but I think there’s enough of himself on his second record to mark him out as his own man, and frankly, he’s got a better voice than all of them. What’s instantly apparent is the seriousness with which he’s approached the project. He’s no bedsit troubadour, dressing up practice room demos as finished product. The songs are arranged meticulously, his band sound well rehearsed and animated, and the production is bright, warm and perfectly realized, allowing the songs and Tarantino’s considerable vocal attributes to take front and centre.

Beginning with “Can't You See”, powerful, rapid percussion drives the song forward at considerable velocity, rocking hard, though Tarantino’s measured delivery balances out the pace. It’s a spectacular start. “Futureblind” slows things down, but the overall sound is still toothsome and full, with the vocal providing the hub, and the band fully understanding their responsibilities. Guitarist Ale Pasini is on particularly fine form. The album continues in this fashion, consistently entertaining and utterly devoid of filler. It’s rare I get to hear an artist so obviously on the edge of major success. It seems the big time is beckoning, and with the right push and some good fortune, we could soon see Tarantino taking on the arenas of the world.

Ray Tarantino available on ITunes - Leicester Bangs (UK)

"Ray Tarantino (Album Review)"

Artist: Ray Tarantino

Album: Ray Tarantino (Self-Titled)

Review by: Heath Andrews

Ray Tarantino wasn’t born in Texas, he wasn’t even born in the United States, but something about Texas pushed Tarantino back into the recording studio. Thanks to the people and the sights he took in, the songs that he had in his heart were pushed to the light of day to appear on his 2012 self-titled release. Now music fans have a reason to thank the state of Texas for something other than ZZ Top; Tarantino’s style of rock with touches of folk is fantastic. Backed by an impeccably talented group of musicians, Ray Tarantino is an exceptionally well performed album that draws from some familiar sounds and builds them into something new and invigorating.

Tarantino as a lyricist and vocalist can draw comparisons to Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz, as well as Jakob Dylan. Unlike Duritz, Tarantino’s lyrics aren’t mired in elements of despair and tortured emotions, but he does have the vocal range and power that Duritz has. And unlike Dylan, Tarantino’s writing isn’t so obtusely cryptic, even though he does draw upon the father and son Dylan rapid-fire rhyming schemes at times. What really sets Tarantino apart from any similar influences is his sound. Undeniably there are some folk elements at work here, particularly in the slower songs, but this album rocks with a pretty sharp edge. Joining Tarantino is Paolo Legramandi on bass, Nik Taccori on drums, and Ale Pasini on guitar.

The sound this four piece is capable of generating becomes immediately apparent within ten seconds of the opening track, “Can’t You See.” It starts with the whine of an electric guitar and the quick rattle of the acoustic, with the rattle turning into a fast strumming. Not too long after, the bass and drums come in with a slap, and do not relent until the song closes. Tarantino rips through the lyric with a commanding vocal, mixed in perfectly against the powerful instrumentation.

The vocal prowess of Tarantino is more clearly illustrated on “Across The River.” Almost the entirety of this song is sung with him overdubbing a low harmony vocal to his higher pitched lead. The dichotomy between the two deliveries is haunting, primarily because both tones emphasize the emotions inherent within the lyric. The rest of the band is present by all means, playing a kind of sultry groove, similar in nature to the Linda Ronstadt version of “You’re No Good.”

Every strong point of Tarantino and the band comes together on “Masquerade.” What begins with a more subdued performance from Tarantino, Taccori and Pasini grows into something far bigger as the song moves along. After about halfway through, the vocals escalate into a kind of glorious, yearning, wail. Legramanadi’s bass pulses in-between the snapping and slapping of the drums, building up to a fantastic guitar solo, played with the same intensity that Tarantino carried in his voice. It’s an absolutely gripping song, and the emotional centerpiece of the album.

Not every track comes out so perfectly. “Futureblind” is a conceptually interesting song in its depiction of a girl, her rise to make something of herself, and her decline that left her to an uncertain fate that she could not see. While the song holds up okay, the lyric wanders too far into Dylan territory, stringing together rhymes that feel like their either forced, or the lyric had to be forced to get there; it doesn’t feel too natural. The closing piece, “A Whisper In The Sea” is a little lackluster as well, closing on a stark, acoustic and voice arrangement. As an ending to the album, it works well in context, but it’s not nearly as unique and powerful as the rest of the songs are.

Many of the other tracks are also noteworthy in their own right; “It’s On You,” with its royalty references sounds like a bit of a throwback to Counting Crows’ “Rain King,” “She Comes To Me” has a wonderfully bouncy air about it with its happier tone and joyful vocals, and “Cold” features an amazing performance by the rhythm section of the group. The rattling of the bass and heavy drumming that propel this song in particular are amazing. And the solo that it closes on just rips right through to the ending note.

Ray Tarantino has done music lovers a tremendous favor by deciding to put these songs on a record. Backed by such a talented group of musicians, his music and lyrics come to life in a unique and thoroughly entertaining way. Some mildly weak moments aside, this self-titled album is a consistently excellent work that deftly combines rock with impressive lyrical wordplay.

Review by: Heath Andrews

Rating: 4.5 Stars (out of 5) - Heath Andrews (USA)

"Ray Tarantino (Album Review)"

This is authentic talent. Ray Tarantino hands out diamonds - Alias (Italy)

"Ray Tarantino (Album Review)"

True musicians see the world and not only write about it, but also covet it. Ray Tarantino looks poised to sept on to that accomplished pedestal with Recusant... Incorporating enigmatic, elegiac lyrics to solid beats, Tarantino controls his words with the poise of a confident poet.
(Greg Nowak) - Spectrum OnLine (USA)

"Ray Tarantino (Abum Review)"

Ray Tarantino - Recusant
- In his debut album, Recusant, Italian-born Ray Tarantino presents smoky-edged vocals reinforced by excellent piano and guitar playing. A strong album, Recusant has virtually no weaknesses. Reminiscent of Bob Dylan, both in vocal technique and poetic lyrics, Tarantino is clearly an up-and-coming musician.

Tarantino opens Recusant with its title track, "Recusant," a piano-driven track that takes advantage of simple melodic techniques. With its clever use of octaves, particularly in the piano, and full accompaniment, "Recusant" is on the same musical plane as tracks from bands like Coldplay and U2.

"So Easy," a seemingly uncomplicated track that finds an easy groove, and "Some Kind of Sweet Love," a sensitive blues-like ballad dominated by piano, showcase Tarantino's rough vocals.

One of the best tracks on Recusant is "Riding Rhymes." Tarantino dabbles in straight rock, and his use of guitar propels the track forward. In truth, "Riding Rhymes" is a hit.

Tarantino should be commended for his catchy and creative introductions, and his rich vocals are surprisingly appealing. Recusant is an excellent debut album, one that should, by all rights, fly off the shelves.

Reviewer: C.J. Trent

Reviewer's Rating: 9
Reader's Rating: 10.00 - The Celebrity Cafe (USA)

"Ray Tarantino (Album Review)"

Tarantino's debut Recusant is the result of his attempt to trace Daniel Lanois' efforts to craft what became the U2 sound, grasp the hazily floating and omniscient flavor of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here and jibe to the vibe of Curtis Mayfiled's There's No Place Like America Today. In other words, he wanted it to be good. And the resultant tracks show the solid song-writing, gleaming production, and intuitive ear for melody that separates a flake with a guitar from a true artist - Fairfield County Weekly (USA)

"Ray Tarantino (Show Review)"

"Saturday night's opening act, Ray Tarantino put on a show that was worthy of a record deal. Their sound was studio-ready and the band played as one finely tuned unit" - Buffalo.com (USA)

"Ray Tarantino (Single Review)"

"This song is what happens when beautiful sounds are built around beautiful words" - Virgin Radio (Italy)

"Ray Tarantino (Show Review)"

Usually the name Tarantino means "well made and very bloody movies." This weekend things have changed in Idar Obersteinalso and now Tarantino means "great rock music".

The show that Ray Tarantino with his Trio performed on Saturday at Café Carré was so good and powerful that our entire community begged Ray for another show on the following day.

"A fantastic evening" said club owner and long time local promoter Martin Lenzen, visibly ecstatic by the end of a breath taking three-hour rock-blues-folk show. Chances are everyone in the tight packed venue felt the same, because Ray Tarantino, Zedurardo
Martins and Mike Catcher didn't let go for a second! An incredible show.

Tarantino's idols originate from the good old times of the rock music. The fact that Bob Dylan is one of them seems obvious and yet Ray has a very unique approach to sound and lyrics. Many songs go into the direction of massive folk and rock legends and at times he will remind us of a good Springsteen.

Ray's ballads, as beautiful as dreams (like the song "So Easy") will never be forgotten by Café Carré's audience.

The thousand-miles drive was obviously worth it!

Ray Tarantino left with a smile and a load of new fans. The crowd said goodbye singing his "Don't Walk Away" - Nachber Presse (Germany)


Radio Single: Recusant
(USA) - KTB Records

Album: Recusant
(USA) - KTB Records

Album: Recusant - Bonus Edition
(Europe) Ponderosa/Edel

Radio Single: Five O'Clock In The Morning
(Europe) - Ponderosa/Edel

Radio Single: I'll Be Back Someday
(Europe) - Ponderosa/Edel

Album: Ray Tarantino
(USA) - Tiny Drum Records



Here's the tale of an American Dream!

“He is bald! He writes really good songs and has a great voice but he’s bald!”

This is how the head of a major recording company responded to Ray’s music. But Ray knew that somewhere in the word he would have found at least one person that cared more about music than hairstyle. The guy from the London based label will probably never know, but Ray was right!

Ask a man about his dream and he’ll outline an imaginary scenario. Meet the same man 6 years later and ask him again. Chances are he’ll just smile and play you a song, follow him and you’ll see just what he had in mind. Ray Tarantino resides in Nashville (TN) and performs every night in the cities most prestigious writers’ rounds, has played close to 1200 shows and tours the US regularly in a ’97 Suburban with a queen size bed in the back. His music tells a story. There is a sonic image and there is a literal image. Blend them together and you have one of his tunes. There is an MTV image too, that one you can flush. Ray is a member of some of the most prestigious songwriting associations in the world and is a voting member of the Grammy Awards for his credits as a songwriter, performer and producer.

He was born in the north of Italy and grew up in the UK. Start in the middle by envisioning this: a young man earning good loot locked in a life he doesn’t feel. His aristocratic family are pleased for him. Right formula, wrong result. Five o’clock in the morning and he’s pushing a brand spanking BMW at 100mph through the dead of night. His eyes close, the road disappears for a handful of seconds, the silence is shredded by the metallic rage of high-velocity smash-up.

Ray Tarantino broke out of the golden cage of respectability into a state of serene recklessness after that near-death wreck on an empty motorway heading to Rome. It was dark. But the sun had to rise. What Ray had hated in himself died at the scene; the man he wanted to be walked away from it, a smile on his face. Five years and 900 shows later and we’re looking at a roving singer songwriter who cashed in the numb comfort of a mechanical existence for the exhilarating knock-backs and breakthroughs of a life of spiritual fulfilment. No musical mercenary, Ray Tarantino has staked his claim on the narrow strip where the so-bloody-British immediacy of pop blends with the so-damn-American power of folk-rock. That’s what he has always felt, the natural outcome of the music he’s always heard.

Let’s rewind to dig it all! A couple of months after the crash Ray Tarantino produced his debut album Recusant with Tony Bowers (former bass player and co-founder of Simply Red). The web is known to be the planet of meritocracy. It helped unsigned Ray kick-start his musical career with a number one placement on the MySpace UK charts, hurled up there with indie-band Gomez and major-phenomenon Amy Winehouse. A few weeks later he was signing a deal with boutique label Massive Arts and Sony Music Publishing. He got a little cash and hit the road to introduce his music across Europe. Couldn’t wait! In the meantime Recusant landed on the desk of Evolution Promotion in the US (Moby, Sting, White Stripes) and was tested across the States receiving airplay from AAA radios. Ray flew across the pond and toured the US to live his life of music. He didn’t make projections as he ventured into the world and fed it with all he had to offer. Ray, a travelling troubadour, living for the day in a land of forecast-inspired/exposure-driven/budget-backed cool looking music acts planning to be “next big thing”. He looked for nothing but honesty and truth, leaning on storytelling and the beauty of casual exposure.

One show after the other he improved his craft, acquiring virtues that were soon to be acknowledged by the few that managed to get hold of him: he was invited to open one of Tori Amos’s 2010 solo shows; his song “Senza Pelle” (recorded by Italian folk artist Patrizia Laquidara and produced by Arto Lindsay) was chosen by Howie B for a remix; his composition “Your Heart My Heart” was recorded by Delmar Brown (Sting, Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius); his call-to-arms hit “Recusant” topped the Great American Song Contest; the lyrically inspiring “Five O’clock In The Morning” received an honorary award in the West Coast Songwriters International Competition. Ray also produced soul artist JHall’s debut EP for Universal USA then got full stars on Rolling Stone producing and co-writing Italian Luca Gemma’s third critically acclaimed album “Folkadelic”. The press has often used precious words to describe his work, associating his poetic lyrics with the mastery of Bob Dylan and his sound with the integrity of Springsteen, U2, David Gray and Daniel Lanois. Radios that received his music jumped at the opportunity to broadcast his “no-brainers” and his country’s most credible TV personality Serena Dandini had him play on her record-breaking show viewed by almost four million people.