Katy Hobgood Ray review…December 2, 2019…

KATY HOBGOOD RAY

FEAT. DAVE RAY

I DREAM OF WATER

OUT OF THE PAST RECORDS   OOTP 012

LOLLIE BOTTOMS–WASHED AWAY–OH DEVIL–I DREAM OF WATER–HOUSE DIVIDED–DIRTY WATER–LITTLE CHILDREN’S BLUES–DES ALLEMANDS–THAT REALLY MATTERS–KINGS, QUEENS, AND JESTERS

Katy Hobgood Ray and Dave Ray met at a Writer’s Night in 2001 in their hometown of Shreveport, LA.  They belong to the Friends Of Leadbelly, a group of musicians dedicated to preserving the music of blues/folk legend Huddie Ledbetter, and Katy has won several awards for her artistry in children’s music.  Both recently took jobs in Memphis, and now split time between there and New Orleans, and their latest album, “I Dream Of Water,” for Out Of The Past Records, chronicles their time spent in Louisiana.

The music is “Southern soul,” for sure, but it is more Delta-centric than STAX-oriented, and deals more with the connotations of the mighty Mississippi than the “deal-makin” goin’ on down at the Crossroads.  An excellent example opens the set, as those who depend on the river to eke out a sustenance are also frightened to death of its capability to destroy.  It’s “one more day in Lollie Bottoms,” while “Washed Away” is a gospel-fired ode to not  necessarily the unsaved souls, but those whose remains have been disturbed thru past floods, their ghosts walking after sundown seeking solace.  .

Greg Spradlin’s guitar, over Katy’s vocals, brings to life one of our favorites, a loving tribute to Huddie himself, the sprightly-tempo of “Little Children’s Blues.”  Dave takes the lead vocal on a loping tune that deals with love and friendship, all the things “That Really Matter(s).”

We had two other favorites, as well.  Jazz is the rule as the set closes.  Katy is accompanoed by the venerable Chuck Dodson on piano,  and the band adds the bass and brush-stroked drums as Katy reminds us all of the relative brevity of life, as we are all “Kings, Queens, And Jesters,” and should enjoy each day to the fullest!   Dave is on the lead vocal in “living in a House Divided,” dealing with not only relationship problems among lovers, but, also, the sad state of the nation’s affairs today.  Set over a rhumba-fied groove, the drums from Dave Hoffpaiur and percussion from Dylan Turner add the perfect spice!

With “I Dream Of Water,” Katy Hobgood Ray and Dave Ray offer up a set that is a true account of the more plaintive side of the sounds of the Delta from two who have been a part of it their entire careers!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

 

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