The Hon. Rev. Sleepy Ray, formerly Sleepy Ray and the Mighty Blood, has finally released his follow up album to “Where the Highway Turns” 1996 and “Under the Mighty Blood” 1995, both on the Vineyard Music label, with 11 more tracks of his self-described Texas Gospel Blues on his own imprint Corn Row Music. After going underground to plant a church, raise a family of 11 kids and become a City Councilman in the Piney Woods of Conroe Texas, Hon. Rev. Sleepy Ray has shown he still has a lot left to give as he continues to be a prolific Texas songwriter and six-stringer.
All the music is penned by Raymond McDonald himself and moves from gritty honky tonk to soulful country ballads. The collection is like a tour of Texas music, starting with the swampy-stomper “Up On A Hill” followed by the Texas Swing “Celebrate” which brings to mind Asleep at the Wheel and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. The gutteral sounds of Howlin’ Wolf can be heard on “The Hound of Heaven” and I swear you can hear Dwight Yoakam with Pete Anderson (old friends of Ray’s) on the title cut “Jesus Be Famous”. All in all the album is a treat, that is if you like your music really real with an extra helping of electric guitar.