Ray Naylor: "SLOW COOKER"
Ray Naylor might be the poster boy for the singer/songwriters of the Greater Philadelphia scene. There isn't a bar, a coffeehouse or a church basement that hasn't heard his songs. He has pioneered new venues, hosted and emceed, publicized, represented and championed the lot of his fellows. His own compositions are anthems of the craft he represents and, in becoming the spokesman for a movement, he achieves the designation: Folksinger.
If Cyril Tawney is the folksinger of the British Navy, if Gordon Bok is the folksinger of the Maine boatsmen, if Woody Guthrie is the OK Okie, Ray Naylor is the true voice of the Open Stage singer/songwriters. He understands them as only a committed obsessive can. He is not just another name on a signup sheet. He writes about the writing and the singing and the waiting and the persevering in a world where poets are plentiful and profits are paltry. He writes with a sense of humor and humanity.
He has, at last, released a CD that is as expository as it is entertaining. SLOW COOKER is not the raw Ray of a weekday evening. It is Ray with an array of many of the finest local instrumentalists who glitter like tinsel on a menorah. But it is the lyrics that matter. And Ray does not disappoint. The first cut, "Please Buy My CD" is a plea that every independent producer is dying to scream out loud is handled with Ray's humor and delicacy as is the hilarious "C, D, G" a tribute to the predictability of his arrangements. Professor Naylor, I salute you.
Ray has a website, of course. www.raynaylor.com. Mr. Naylor's three-chord ritual is in keeping with the honored traditions of his calling.
Michael Miller for PFS
Reprinted from PFS "Tune Up," by permission