September 30, 2012

Let's Discuss Ray Stevens, Part 37...

Hello all the fans of Ray Stevens!! On this final day of September 2012 it's also the day after a concert from Ray Stevens in Renfro Valley, Kentucky. I came across a picture of Ray and a few of the fans from Saturday night's concert and I also came across some reaction on a certain social network site from those who enjoyed the concert. The venue was officially sold-out but I don't know if it were completely sold-out because the seating chart on September 27th shown just two open seats still available for sale. I assume those final two open seats were taken at the last minute but whether they were or weren't it was indeed a packed venue.

I was not able to make the trek to Renfro Valley this time around but I did see him there in 2008 and then I saw him in the summer of 2009 in Nashville, Indiana. This concert appearance was a few months before the on-line music video explosion of "We The People" on You Tube and so there wasn't an official political segment to his concerts at that point in time.

That particular music video, released on-line in December 2009, and it's equally successful subsequent follow-up releases allowed him to insert a political segment into his concerts. When I saw him in concert a few years ago, one of the songs he performed was "Thank You", a salute to the military, and another was "If 10% Is Good Enough For Jesus", a song about taxes. Those were the only topical/political songs of the night...but he did tell some politically oriented jokes from a conservative point of view.

Now, obviously, none of us in attendance at either the 2008 or 2009 concerts had any idea of just how submerged in political humor that Ray would become...but by the late summer of 2010 with his two massively popular political music videos garnering millions of on-line views simultaneously it was crystal clear that Ray Stevens had found himself another creative outlet to experiment with as well as a new avenue for musical expression. The series of politically oriented music video releases spawned an audio release, We The People, which contains 22 songs on 1 CD and a bonus DVD of a few of those music video releases.

Ray hasn't issued a CD of new political songs for 2012 but he has issued a double project, available in both CD and DVD format, of a fairly recent concert. The two projects are titled Such a Night: 50 Years of Hits and Hilarity and Patriots and Politics. The first project is the first half of a concert while the second project is the second half of the same concert. His recent concerts have been split between the non-political half and the political half. The Patriots and Politics DVD can be found HERE. Once there you can navigate around and search for all the other projects at his store, too.

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