Sue Ray

Sue Ray

 Brisbane, Queensland, AUS

Moving, dark, elegant and deep music. A smooth crossover of old school country & blues with contemporary Americana. Holding a unique air of mystery and depth that is quite rare in much of today's more contemporary music.


Sue Ray has been performing professionally for over 15 years, and in that time, she has released two critically acclaimed albums, Red Roses (2011, Produced & engineered by Magoo - Powderfinger / Kate Miller-Heidke) and Best Beware (2008, Produced & engineered by Jamie Trevaskis - Nathan Hollywood / Tom Cooney)

2012 - Nominee for "Most Popular Female Artist" in the QMusic & Courier Mail's People's choice awards
2013 - Nominee for "Most Promising New Artist" in the Deadly Awards
2012 – Nominee for Best Country Album for “Red Roses” in the AIR Independent Music Awards
2012 – Queensland Music Awards – Winner of "Best Indigenous" section & finalist in "Best Country" & "Best Regional"
2012 – Grant McLennan Fellowship finalist
2011 – Winner of the “Breakthrough Contemporary Emerging Indigenous Artist Recording Initiative”
2011 – Bigsound Music Conference Brisbane - Showcase
2009 – Billy Thorpe Recording Initiative - Finalist
2009 – Queensland Music Awards – Finalist – two songs in two categories

Tours & supports
Luka Bloom, Dan Sultan, Busby Marou, Darren Hanlon, Nashville Pussy (USA), Megan Washington, Graveyard Train, Blanche DuBois, The Kill Devil Hills, The Gin Club, Gatlin Elms (USA), Halfway, Gentle Ben & His Sensitive Side, The Wilson Pickers, Kira Puru & The Bruise, Rattlehand, Gina Jeffreys, Mexico City, LJ Hill, James Blundell, The Apartments, The Purple Hearts, The Immigrant Union

“She has the sort of rare voice - deep, dark, gorgeously emotive, and molasses-rich that stirs something within the listener and never quite lets go. She gets under your skin and stays there. If you’re a fan of the likes of Brandi Carlile or Laura Cantrell, give Sue Ray a listen; chances are you’ll emerge from the experience an unequivocal convert to her passionately original brand of alt-country”
4 1/2 Stars, “Red Roses” 2011 - Heidi Maier - Tom Magazine (AUS)

“A hugely impressive debut album from Queensland songwriter Sue Ray, Red Roses, is an alt-country delight of the kind that will sit neatly among those Neko Case and Cowboy Junkies albums on your shelf”
“Red Roses” 2011 - Noel Mengel, Chief Music Writer - The Courier Mail (AUS)

“Short and sweet. Both of these words can be used to describe this album, but only one of them can be used to describe Sue Ray herself. For many Brisbane artists, it can often take a little while to release a debut album, but when they’re as good as this one, we’d be prepared to wait twice as long”
“Best Beware” 2008 - Tal Wallace - Time Off Magazine (AUS)

“Hers is an intimate, soulful take on country-folk. The real drawcard, however, is her voice, which could soften the heart of Dick Cheney” Matt Thrower - Rave Magazine (AUS)

“Sue walked on stage and my jaw hit the ground. Her voice was so strong and confident. Her guitar playing is excellent and her songs heartbreaking. A consummate performer”
Mardi Lumsden - 612 ABC Radio (AUS)

“Sue Ray opened the show with a mesmerising performance. Ray’s subtle humour had the cosy venue in hysterics. You could’ve heard a pin drop during the heartfelt Whispers In The Dark but it was Best Beware that showcased Ray’s vocal and song writing ability”
Madeleine O’Gorman - Unpaved Magazine Melbourne (AUS)

Medium rotation -“Soldier’s Son” & “Red Roses” - JJJ, 4ZZZ, ABC 612, PBS, 3RRR, 98.9FM
Medium to high rotation -“Shake It Off” - 98.9FM, 4ZZZ, Wow FM 100.7, 87.6/88FM, 103.3Fm Gouldburn,
2YOUFM Tamworth and over 40 other regional stations Australia wide.

Top 20 - 4ZZZ charts for five weeks running, 2008
Top 20 - JJJ Unearthed Roots Charts, 2008
Top 100 - listed in top 100 tracks of 2008 for 4ZZZ, 2008

2012 - AWME World Music Conference, Melbourne
2012 - AMA Conference, Nashville, USA
2011 - Bigsound Music Conference
2011 - Woodford Folk Festival
2012 & 2009 - Tamworth Country Music Festival


Last Cigarette

Written By: Sue Ray

Sing me a song she said, & make it a sad one,
Cuz I need feel cuz it's been too damn long.

Ya got nothing to lose & you and that damn guitar can choose, just make it a sad one.

You got a light she said,
Cuz I've gone & lost mine,
And this is my last cigarette,
Cuz I'm really giving up this time.


Hey sister listen up,
Just cuz I'm still here don't mean I've given up,
Please just play me one more song,
And I promise to leave you alone

You got the time she said,
Not that it matters,
Cuz I think I had to be somewhere,
But I just can't remember.

(chorus X 2)
Just make it a sad one,
Before I go home,
Cuz I need to feel again,
Cuz it's been too damn long.

Shake It Off

Written By: Sue Ray

There’s a storm in a cup and it’s drinking me up dear, could you maybe pass the salt
well there’s lemon in my eye and smoke up in the sky, and I’m having trouble keeping up

How does it feel to know how it feels, does it burn your skin right down to the bone
or do you shake it off like a dog after a bath, or does it drag you by the heels

If the shoe doesn’t fit then you’ll have to admit, the answer was never really there at all
but when it’s hot it’s hot, and when it’s not it’s not, someone’s always on the edge about to fall

Well I’ll take the blame and ruin my good name, even let you tell them that it’s true
but you just had to know it was something I had to do, and now it’s got me runnin from the blue

Soldier's Son

Written By: Sue Ray

Here I stand with this spade in my hand, oh Lord why’d ya have to go and take away my man
cuz the cotton needs chippin and cattle need be fed

Here I stand before this hole in the land, Jesus why’d ya have to go and kill my only man
cuz the children need feeding and I’m running out of seed

This soldiers son is gonna need a dad, the war was won but there’s no one in my bed
and the well is nearly empty and the milk is turning sour, guess I’m all the man this house has now

Here I stand with this rifle in my hand and if they come to take my land I’ll kill them where they stand
cuz this woman’s scorn is vicious cuz they took away my only man

Holding On

Written By: Sue Ray

Just a second of your time, is as precious as the sun
the air breathes stale and the waters turn to mud when your gone
when you walk away from me, the birds stifle in their cry
the fish all lose their way and turn their belly’s to the sky

Holding on, is only hurting me, holding on, is only hurting me
Oh I know, I can’t live without it

Well some people think I’m mad, and I maybe think I am
should sell my soul to Lucifer and take him by the hand
cuz it seems a little strange to wish away the hours
but to see you walking in my door I would sacrifice the flowers

Well there’s something in your smile and safety in your eyes
but the poison running through your veins it takes me by surprise
and there’s venom in your words and it eats away my skin
if I didn’t burn this flame for you a lesser girl would win

Best Beware

Written By: Sue Ray

Well the writing's on, every single wall, tear it down to the ground
Lord hear my prayer, heed the call, he who comes to my door
Best Beware

Well he was bad, as bad could be, but he gave his heart, straight to me
And I kept it like an injured bird, always by my side till the end of time
But ya can't hold air, so best beware

Well listen well, and listen good, he was just misunderstood
But the law man came into town, and stole my love in a single round
But ya can't hold air, so best beware

They laid him down in the ground, six feet down, six feet down
But his love is long as the sea is wide
and he'll wait for me by St Peter's side
But ya can't hold air, so best beware

I'm going up fast and coming down slow, going round and round
like a rodeo, all wild, all wild and free
Like a runaway train on an unknown course, I'm taking that bull
by both horns, all wild, all wild and free
Oh lord please set him free, so he can be with me

But ya can't hold air, so best beware


2008 - Debut mini album titled "Best Beware"
2011 - Full length album titled "Red Roses"

Set List

I have a at least 100 original songs in my repetoir and can play if required for up to three hours on my own.
Having performed for many years I have a vast range of original material and contemporary cover songs. I cover such bands and artists as Credence Clearwater Revival, Elvis, Crowded House, Patsy Cline, Linda Rhondstadt, Nina Simone, Melissa Etheridge etc... However these days I prefer to perform my own material.
Playing the guitar and harmonica allows me to set up quickly and play in most venues with much ease.