The Nashville country-rock singer-songwriter debuts his latest track, “20 Questions.”
Following celebrated musical collaborations with Americana singer Lilly Winwood (daughter of Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Steve Winwood) and accomplished chef and musician Sean Brock, Nashville’s beloved country-rocker Boo Ray is releasing another album.
Due out next month, Tennessee Alabama Fireworks is as inspired as it is original.
From sounds that blend Southern gothic noir and outlaw country to lyrics that confront communication breakdown and technology, the album paints a vivid and gritty image of modern society.
Ray’s latest tune, “20 Questions,” provides a stark blueprint for the tone, conjuring a gloomy relationship filled with jealousy and resentment.
“’20 Questions’ might be kind of like a Mel Brooks-style relationship, stick-'em-up’ vignette about the insanity, excruciating pain, and uncontrollable nature of jealousy,” says Ray. “Maybe Mark Twain's words about humor are a directive when he says: ‘The humorous story is told gravely; the teller does his best to conceal the fact that he even dimly suspects that there is anything funny about it.’”
Modern relationships provide Ray with fertile ground.
“It's household knowledge that the practice of long-term romantic relationships is on the ropes and taking a severe beating at the hands of jealousy, fear, and lack of communication these days. It's pretty grim, ya know,” he says. “Maybe coming to terms with some of this ugly stuff, shedding some light on the shame and embarrassment we feel about these basic kinds of human emotions, and having a dialogue about why we're not communicating is worthwhile. I think people staying in love together are heroes.
“It's difficult territory to navigate well and it's risky as hell being sincere like that, saying you care about someone or believe in something. Most perilous, though, is to be certain of something that just ain't so. Again, I'd defer to Mr. Clemens: ‘Humor must not professedly teach, and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live forever.’ Yeah, it's tricky aiming at a rant and hoping for a benediction, so I put a bunch of my eggs in the basket of making the club bounce.”
Get an exclusive first listen to “20 Questions,” below.