(2013) Idaho Red - Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight

Wade Ray

... read moreWade Ray was one of many latter-day Western swing singers who did not have time on his side. He cut his first session for RCA in 1951, just as the tides were starting to shift, as Western swing declined and rockabilly was beginning to rise. Commercially, this didn't help Ray -- he was wiped out once...

01:13′:50″ 30 Songs

1
Wade Ray
Idaho Red
2:21
2
Wade Ray
Two Red Red Lips
2:02
3
Wade Ray
Burning Desire
2:07
4
Wade Ray
I Need A Good Girl Bad
2:30
5
Wade Ray
No Mama – No Papa
2:18
6
Wade Ray
Are You Fer It?
2:25
7
Wade Ray
Cattin' Around
2:22
8
Wade Ray
Too Late To Dream
2:25
9
Wade Ray
Saturday Night
2:09
10
Wade Ray
The Fiddlin' Rag
2:58
11
Wade Ray
Easy Pickin's
2:14
12
Wade Ray
Call Me Up
2:07
13
Wade Ray
Don't Wait To Baby Your Baby
2:27
14
Wade Ray
Rosetta
2:23
15
Wade Ray
All Or Nothin' Man
2:02
16
Wade Ray
Excuse Me
2:39
17
Wade Ray
Dipsey Doodle
2:21
18
Wade Ray
That Love Makin' Melody
2:11
19
Wade Ray
Bill Bailey (Won't You Please Come Home)
2:31
20
Wade Ray
Perdido
2:30
21
Wade Ray
June-Bug Jitters
2:24
22
Wade Ray
Just Like Taking Candy From A Baby
2:47
23
Wade Ray
It's All Your Fault
2:34
24
Wade Ray
Any Old Time
2:45
25
Wade Ray
Little Green Valley
2:24
26
Wade Ray
Down Home Rag
2:24
27
Wade Ray
There's No Fool Like A Young Fool
2:57
28
Wade Ray
Did I Do Wrong (When I Did Right By You?)
2:49
29
Wade Ray
Walk Softly
2:47
30
Wade Ray
Let Me Go, Devil
2:57
Released 11 October 2013, ℗ Bear Family Records GmbH

Review

Wade Ray was one of many latter-day Western swing singers who did not have time on his side. He cut his first session for RCA in 1951, just as the tides were starting to shift, as Western swing declined and rockabilly was beginning to rise. Commercially, this didn't help Ray -- he was wiped out once Elvis Presley came along, left behind by fashion and his label, who went all in on Elvis once they acquired his contract -- but on strict musical terms the 30 sides collected on Bear Family's 2012 set Idaho Red are lively and unpredictable, finding interesting middle ground between Western swing and nascent rock & roll. Ray possessed a jubilant, jovial voice, something showcased on "Idaho Red," a galloping piece of country boogie about trucks accentuated with handclaps and horns that effectively illustrated how his brand of Western swing emphasized hard-driving rhythms and electric guitars over elastic swing and fiddles. All these subtle changes, along with its big-band hop, generally make Wade Ray's music sound more urban than country -- there are exceptions to the rule, such as "The Fiddlin' Rag," which appropriately puts a spotlight on Ray's fine way with a fiddle -- and a great deal of the joy of this compilation is hearing the singer straddle two eras, how his heart belongs to earlier swing but his sensibility is modern. This transitional music fell through the cracks, both at the time of its release and later, as Ray could never be shepherded into one particular sound or style, but this long-overdue reissue of his '50s sides is a delight driven by Ray's good cheer and effortless blending of sounds. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine