Kay Kay and the Rays review…

THE BEST OF KAY KAY AND THE RAYS

 

CATFOOD RECORDS  CFR 013

 

LONE STAR JUSTICE–NO MAMA’S BOYS–HEY BIG BOY–JUNK BLUES–DON’T HAVE TO TELL ME–ENRON FIELD–CROSSFIRE–STOP THE KILLING–BIG BAD GIRL–LORD SAVE ME FROM L. A.–HOLD ON TO WHAT YOU GOT–CHEATER–LOVE ME BABY–TEXAS JUSTICE-BILLY’S STORY–THERE’LL COME A TIME

 

Texas-bssed keyboardist Abner Burnett and bassist Bob Trenchard brought a talented gospel singer named Kay Kay Greenwade on board in their blues band in 1997, and, thus, Kay Kay and the Rays were born.  They recorded three albums from 1999 to 2003, and those serve as the backdrop for their latest release, a career retrospective, fifteen-track, “Best Of Kay Kay and the Rays.”

 

As she sings in “Big Bad Girl,” she’s “six-feet-one with three-inch heels,” and Kay Kay is just that–a bold, brassy, and sassy singer that brought out the best of the band’s fusion of funk, soul, gospel, and blues.

 

This band not only had a penchant for bringin’ the heat to the dance floor, they also had a knack for songs with socially-tempered lyrics that dealt with anything they believed to be an injustice, and they pulled no punches, with several of their songs subsequently banned from airplay in Texas.  Check out “Lone Star Justice” and “Texas Justice–Billy’s Story,’ where we learn that Texas spends more money building jails than schools, and, “Lone Star Justice is the best money can buy.”  “Stop The Killing” is an antiwar plea, while “Lord, Save Me From L. A.” bemoans that city’s artificiality.  And, “Enron Field” takes a hard look at the crooked politicians and businessmen involved in that infamous white-collar scandal.

 

There’s plenty of swingin’, soul-drenched blues, here, too.  “No Mama’s Boys’ and “Cheater” both deal with lovers and their infidelities, and the sweet duet between Johnny Rawls and Kay Kay on “Hold On To What You Got” recalls vintage Jerry Butler and Betty Everett.

 

Recent health concerns with Kay Kay have rendered a reunion unlikely, but their three releases showcased them as a socially-conscious band that could smoke the dance floor as well.  Enjoy “The Best Of Kay Kay and The Rays” today!

 

Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society

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