He’s been a TV and radio personality for most of his career but now in 2011, Billy Ray Deiz has stepped out on his own to bring you the best flavours of music around town. The Nashville Tracks is a 10-song collection that features some of the best musicians in the world playing Billy Ray’s original compositions, ranging from soul-satisfying R’n’B, Country, Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll!
In the past Bill Deiz has worked in TV and radio to create some enticingly new segments and shows. He created a very popular feature segment for KCBS TV news that offered exclusive behind-the-scenes peeks into the music business. For the Record profiled artists such as Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, Loretta Lynn, Helen Reddy, Henry Mancini, Serio Mendes, Quincy Jones and Lawrence Welk along with The Temptations and The Supremes. The program also helped fuel Billy Ray’s desire to make his own music. He’s even sung a duet with Neil Sedaka on Los Angeles TV, and joined Bob Dylan as a backup singer on a Leonard Cohen track.
However, the pivotal moment for Billy Ray’s fascination with music began as a teenager when he taught himself guitar. It was around this time he also began to play and sing songs from Buddy Holly and Richie Valens. During his time at college, he briefly performed as a folksinger playing songs from Peter, Paul and Mary and The Kingston Trio. Shortly after this he moved into Rock ‘n’ Roll stints with several bands that led to what might have been his breakthrough. Billy Ray was a founding member of the legendary Seven Souls, one of Los Angeles’ hottest bands and went on to open for James Brown and The Righteous Brothers in its heyday. Seven Souls was also the launching pad for Bob Welch who left the band to join Fleetwood Mac. Ultimately, The Vietnam War split up the original Seven Souls band, including Billy Ray, who went on to serve his country as a member of the US Marine Corps Reserve, and later as a commissioned officer in the US Navy Reserve.
Hailing from his hometown in Portland, Oregon, USA you’ll hear The Billy Ray Big Band busting out some great classics like Rather Have Sooner that has a James Brown groove to it and will make you just want to get up and dance. Bill Deiz shows his true colours on Daddy’s Commin’ Home showing us that he is a genuine Blues Brother. Also on the album you will hear a stellar guitar lead by George Marinelli, Bonnie Raitt’s guitar player. It’s as if the entire Bonnie Raitt band were backing Billy Ray in a live performance. You can thank producer Cliff Goldmacher for assembling some of Nashville’s greatest players for these soul-stirring sessions.
Also featured on some of Billy Ray’s work is John Osborne, of King Billy, who lends his producing and guitar playing skills to a couple of the country-flavoured songs including Poppa Knows and Carolina Blue, both of which also feature incredible Nashville-inspired musicianship. And, the rest of the album? It rolls right along to a nice, happy and snappy conclusion with A Simple Life, which evokes calmness, peace, joy and tranquillity within one’s self.
Fast –forward to 2011, and Billy Ray Deiz is now signed to one of the world’s largest independent record labels, Blue Pie Records. Come along for the ride. These are some great songs, with fine production and a message of hope, and that is; to keep on pushin’ and your day will surely come.
Bill Deiz is a Blue Pie Records USA artist and is published by Blue Pie Publishing USA (ASCAP) for selected titles.