Des Moines Register Guard
A riotous solo debut with 10 high-octane tunes that rev like a bluesier Cars...
When Brian Ray decided to record his first solo CD, he didn't have to look far for a supporting cast. The award winning songwriter for Smokey Robinson, guitarist and musical director for Etta James, now on tour as guitarist and bassist with Paul McCartney simply asked some of his mentors and friends to help him out.
When he asked the legendary blues singer Etta James if she would sing with him on the CD her answer was simple - and immediate - "I'll do anything for Brian." Not surprising considering the bond the two had developed over the years Brian had spent as her musical director and guitarist. "She's family to me, really," he explains.
The rest of the players were a few more of his best friends - Scott Shriner from Weezer, Davey Faragher from Elvis Costello's band, Abe Laboriel, Jr., Wix Wickens and Rusty Anderson from Paul McCartney's band all appear on the album with Brian. The collaborators? Oliver Lieber, Adam Cohen, Tonio K.
The resulting album, Mondo Magneto, is filled with fresh, stylish songs whose lyrics and catchy melodies stay with you long after your first listening. It's a pop record that rocks and a rock record with pop radio sensibility. "What was really fun for me about making this album," Brian explains, "was that every person involved came into the studio and brought their own personality to the sessions. And that shows on the CD."