Local Music Monday: Singer-Songwriter Ray Smith

Mar 24, 2014

In this week’s Local Music Monday WUKY’s DeBraun Thomas features a veteran musician who is returning to his roots.

Singer-Songwriter Ray Smith
Credit photo provided

Ray Smith has called Lexington home for the better part of 25 years. As a songwriter, Smith has built a reputation for himself organizing tribute shows such as the Last Waltz while playing in cover bands such as the Northside Sheiks and the Kentucky Hosscats. Smith compares his understanding to the building blocks of music to the way he prepares food.

“And I like to cook really old school style, like old style, like a grandma would cook or something and I was thinking about how I’m the same way about music because I like to know what the roots are and I like to sort of explore that and that’s why I like these tributes and I like doing covers and I like having the Hosscats and I like having the Sheiks because it’s kind of like exploring that and trying to really take it on.”

Smith may be known for playing covers, but that is not all he plays. Smith also fronts the band Tula that performs his original music. Tula has been performing sporadically over the last four years and that is something Smith hopes to change. Smith says it is about getting into a rhythm of scheduling shows because the music itself has many pieces that work together.

“Part of the thing with the originals, the Tula songs are that, they’re complex songs, I didn’t try to write a complex song, but they’re complex songs, it takes a lot of work to get them ready to play, I’m kind of perfectionistic about that part of it and I’ve shied away from booking that many gigs just because I’ve not felt ready.”

Tula will be playing on March 25th at Willie’s Locally Known. Smith also plays every Tuesday night with the Northside Sheiks and every Thursday night with the Kentucky Hosscats at Willie’s Locally Known.