Diamond Ray

Teletouch Drive (ear X-tacy)
Warren Ray

By David Lilly

Warren Ray's singing voice wears an expensive ring (prepare to groan). On the ring is a big, shiny diamond (ready?). I'm mentioning this because Warren Ray has one of most engaging voices (all together now...groooaaan) in this here territory. Who else do you know that sounds like a cross between Joe Walsh and Tom Petty in a slightly lower octave? I do want to clarify that Ray is a very good singer in his own right and this disc is a straight-ahead rocker.

Other than the vocals, there are at least two other interesting, OK, engaging aspects of this CD. At the entrance, the first few seconds of "I Come Callin" give the impression of tuning into a song in-progress on the radio. It's a memorable opening and only mildly disorienting. Also, all of this material was written by Warren Ray except for one song, "Diggin' For Gold," by Jim "Dandy" Mangrum and Rickie Reynolds. Given that Mangrum was the voice of Black Oak Arkansas, it's a great choice of material for Ray's vocal workouts. What we have here is 45 minutes of radio-friendly rock `n' roll of varying textures. Some folks (like me) would often consider that musical death, but this stuff is mainstream and good.

Way to recognize yet another local music talent, Mr. Timmons.