by Rudy Palma
Oliver Ray is not a new name in the music industry, he is the long-time guitarist for punk-rock-poet-laureate, Patti Smith. If that didn’t perk your interest, just wait – the music will. Out Passed Nowhere is the debut solo album from Oliver Ray. Go figure, right? Ray has been a busy guitarist up until now. With the help of producer David Glasebrook, the two worked tirelessly to bring forth hours of pen put to paper to bring to fruition a stunning album that features members of Giant Sand, Sugar Candy Mountain, The Myrrors, Xixa, and China, as well as a very special appearance by Smith herself.
The sound is distinctive and varied. The idea behind the album was to take an unconventional approach and let the music speak for itself. Whatever direction the music decided to go, strictly in service to the resonant personality of each tune, but all centered around Ray’s songwriting of uncharted destinations and edges of the map.
The first single off the album is “Ol Coyote,” its effected guitar feels ethereal, with a folkish beat and prophetic lyrics. Ray’s voice is the vehicle of the story, with an engaging spirit of poetic proportions. Ray has a Dylan-esque way about his lyrics. The music has a distinctive 70s rock vibe replete with relaxed and satiated loping rhythms. “Edge City,” furthers the poetic theme with a continuous movement, which illustrates the content of his poetic leanings, a tone poem if you will.
Out Passed Nowhere is just what the spin doctor ordered; this is just what the wanton soul has been waiting for to quench the thirst of visionary song writing. Fans of McCombs, Eno, Dylan or Hollis will find a kindred spirit in Ray’s music. A long overdue debut.