Hazy Ray: A Bluesy, Jazzy, Mess of Soul

Hazy Ray has been called “A bluesy, jazzy mess of soul,” “whiskey sex” and lead singer Josh Summey’s favorite, “garage jazz.” I’m grateful  someone described New Orleans/Texas based Hazy Ray’s music so I don’t have to. The numerous influences and styles that make up Hazy Ray’s unique sound make it challenging to describe them succinctly; but their work is unmistakable and easily distinguished from their plethora of influences.

The five members of Hazy Ray (Josh Summey: lead vocals/guitar, Patrick Michael Hays II: trombone/vocals, Mitch Curtis: double bass/vocals, Ryan Normohamed: lead guitar, and Willie McCullen: drums), were gigging in Houston recently and taking care of business with producer/engineer/manager Mike Tristan of Wire Road Studios. Fortunately, I caught their performance at Avant Garden in Houston, TX. Their energy on stage is  unconstrained; when Hazy Ray is in the house – it’s going to be funHazy Ray is currently on tour in Texas, Louisiana (where 3 members reside), Alabama and Nashville, TN. They make their way back to Texas frequently – if you missed them this time ’round, follow Hazy Ray for updates about concert tours, CD releases, and all things Hazy Ray.

I joined them (with producer/engineer/manager, Mike Tristan) the following morning at Wire Road Studios to lay down some some promotional tracks. An epic recording session of 18 songs in 4 hours: don’t try this at home kids, recommended for professionals only. Afterwards they sat down with me for an interview and later that same day – tore it up at Phoenicia in downtown Houston. Hazy Ray is on a mission I know they’ll accomplish: success. They’ve got the right mix of talent, business savvy, determination and my favorite quality: humor.

Patrick Michael Hays II, Mitch Curtis and executive assistant, Dario Scalco in the kitchen at Wire Road.

Check out Hazy Ray’s day at Wire Road Studios interview viddy. Credit to : Willie McCullen and Mike Tristan. Please note Willie’s (drums) skillful rhythms and I-am-the-click timing. My position in the control room didn’t allow for much visual focus on Willie, but he deserves recognition…he is solid. I have to specially acknowledge the bobbing head, with a beard reflected in the control room glass…that’s Mike Tristan, Hazy Rays‘ manager/producer/engineer. Mike’s an integral part of Hazy Ray, and a great example of why managers and artists should be friends first. Trust and support are reciprocal components of the artist/manager relationship and these guys give each other plenty of both…and it’s for real.

Ryan Noormohamed and Willie McCullen at Wire Road.
 Ryan Noormohamed gets a grip.

Mitch Curtis and Hazy Ray listen back in the control room at Wire Road.
Josh Summey
    Ryan Normohamed

    Top to bottom: Willie, Mitch, Ryan, Michael, Josh.
    Ok – I confess. I asked them to pose totem style…they were reluctant but in Hazy Ray fashion: they had fun with it!
    Mike Tristan (producer/engineer/manager).

    Interview Video and recording session with Hazy Ray at Wire Road Studios.
    You can browse Hazy Ray’s current release (produced by Mike Tristan) ‘Deep and Shallow’ here.
    Follow Hazy Ray’s tour schedule on their website.
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    Follow Mike Tristan on Twitter
    Drop some comments about Hazy Ray - would love to hear from some new fans!
    Hazy Ray’s Upcoming Shows:
    Friday, August 3rd - The Judge’s Vinegarroon BBQ (1805 Church Street, 7-10pm) – Nashville
    Saturday, August 4th - The Judge’s Vinegarroon BBQ (1805 Church Street, 8-10pm) - Nashville
    Monday, August 6th - Roosters BBQ (123 12th Ave N, 9-10pm) - Nashville
    *Writer’s Round with Joshua Ray from Hazy Ray
    Wednesday, August 8th - Taps (2117 Belcourt Ave, 8-8:45pm) - Nashville