Episode 82 – Ray Stevens

Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Stevens is in the midst of releasing four new albums, after recently returning to Curb Records. The GRAMMY Award-winning country singer/comedian has released two of the four albums — “Great Country Ballads” in February and “Melancholy Fescue (High Class Bluegrass)” last month with “Slow Dance” due April 23rd and “Nouveau Retro (What’s Old Is New Again)” dropping on May 21st. On “Great Country Ballads”, Stevens pays tribute to timeless songs of the genre in his own unique way, while on “Melancholy Fescue (High Class Bluegrass)”, he takes the idea he explored with “Misty” to new heights as he gives a bluegrass treatment to songs you’d never expect to be performed that way, and then adds symphonic strings and chorale. “Slow Dance” gives Stevens’ take on classic love songs of the yesteryear. With “Nouveau Retro (What’s Old Is New Again)”, he takes very familiar, favorite songs and presents them in a brand new, completely different way.

The four albums will be released together on June 18th as a special box set entitled, “Iconic Songs of the 20th Century (The Soundtrack of Our Lives)”. Just this week, Matt Bailey chatted with Stevens to discuss the projects, the reopening of his Nashville club CabaRay, and four additional albums he has in the works.