Amelia Ray

The Adventurer of Rock and Roll

2017/07 Mixtape

Here's what I've been listening to lately:

1. "Exhumed," Zola Jesus
2. "Fireproof," Mitski
3. "Festival," Dungen
4. "Betty Dreams of Green Men," Guerilla Toss
5. "Diaspora Slam," Henri Dikongué
6. "Fatal Gift," Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton
7. "16 Psyche," Chelsea Wolfe
8. "Email from Nigeria," Peter Epstein Quartet
9. "Lay It On Me Straight," Dr Danny
10. "Blood," Sons & Daughters
11. "Performance," The xx
12. "I'm Always In Love," Jeff Tweedy
13. "Seagulls! (Stop It Now)," Bad Lip Reading
14. "Omarm," BLØF
15. "Vardavar (Montreux Jazz Fest. 2014)," Tigran Hamasyan Quintet 

Partial YouTube:…

Partial Spotify:…/…/playlist/7CZhHLY2XFDBFnMCROUJq

2017/05 Mixtape

The May mixtape is finally here, and features tracks from Sinkane, Todd Rundgren, Shakey Graves, Special Request, Lake Street Dive, Elliot Moss, Feist, GAS, Harry Styles, Storm Large, Barbara Dane, Sinjin Hawkes, Mappe Of, Jerry Fish & The Mudbug Club and The War on Drugs.




My first contract was very exciting. We visited some very nice ports, of which San Juan, PR, Bonaire, Curaçao and St. Maarten were my favourites. I got to drive a lifeboat in the open sea, meet a lot of great people from all over the world and master Chuck Mangione’s “Feels So Good” on kazoo. The kazoo also came in handy when interpreting Willie Colon’s “Idilio” as evidenced in this video taken with some colleagues of mine, Jose of Natyleo Murano on guitar and Dr. Diego on egg shaker (horrible film technique my own):

Ship music

Here is a snapshot of some of the tunes I'd been performing on the ship:

Recent mashups:
“Lost Boy”/“Wish You Were Here,” Ruth B./Pink Floyd
“Just a Gigolo”/“My Baby Just Cares for Me,” Louis Prima/Nina Simone
“Graceland”/“On the Road Again,” Paul Simon/Willie Nelson
“Thinking Out Loud”/“Let’s Get It On,” Ed Sheeran/Marvin Gaye
“Party Monster”/“Blurry,” The Weeknd/Puddle of Mudd

St. Patrick’s Day set:
“How Are Things in Glocca Morra,” John Gary
“Honesty Is No Excuse,” Think Lizzy
“Danny Boy,” John Gary
“Galway Girl,” Ed Sheeran
“Into the Mystic,” Van Morrison
“Clancy Lowered the Boom,” Dennis Day
“Galway Girl,” Steve Earle
“Still Got the Blues,” Gary Moore
“Chasing Cars,” Snow Patrol
“Girl from Mars,” Ash
“I Don’t Like Mondays,” The Boomtown Rats
“I Will Follow,” U2
“The Last Day of Our Acquaintance,” Sinéad O’Connor
“Dreams,” The Cranberries
“Long Black Veil,” The Chieftains
“New Year’s Day,” U2
“Telegraph Poles,” The Frames
“When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”
“Don’t Go,” Hothouse Flowers
“Teenage Kicks,” The Undertones 

Recent set list additions:
“What Are We Gonna Do?” Dramarama
“4+20,” Crosby, Stills & Nash & Young
“Runaround Sue,” Dion
“Drinkin’ Alone,” The Steeldrivers
“Cry Love,” John Hiatt
"Alive," Pearl Jam
"The Gambler," Kenny Rogers
"Horse with No Name," America
"Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair"
“Somebody’s Knockin’,” Terri Gibbs
“We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” The Animals
“Cry Love,” John Hiatt
“Helplessly Hoping,” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
“Backwater,” Meatpuppets
“Love’s Contagious,” Tarrus Riley
“Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right,” Bob Dylan
"Sex Type Thing," Stone Temple Pilots
“Maniac,” Michael Sembello
“The Air That I Breathe,” The Hollies
“Carolina in the Morning,” Dean Martin
“Never Been to Spain,” Three Dog Night
"Move It On Over," George Thorogood
"Show Me The Way," Peter Frampton
"Do You Feel Like We Do?," Peter Frampton
"In Bloom," Nirvana
"Centerfold," J. Geils
“Everybody Knows,” Concrete Blonde
"Come a Long Way," Michelle Shocked
"V.F.D.," Michelle Shocked
"Good," Better Than Ezra
"Georgy Girl," The Seekers
"She Don't Use Jelly," Flaming Lips
"Take Me Home Tonight," Eddie Money
"I'm a Bitch," Meredith Brooks
“I Can’t Make You Love Me,” Bonnie Raitt
“Crocodile Rock,” Elton John
“Steal Away,” Robbie Dupree
"New York Mining Disaster 1941," Bee Gees
“Stay,” Lisa Loeb
“Ain’t Nobody,” Chaka Khan
“That’s What I Like,” Bruno Mars
“The Rose,” Bette Midler
“Bless the Broken Road,” Rascal Flatts
“Mystery Dance,” Elvis Costello
“I’m Looking Through You,” The Beatles
“Someday, Someway,” Marshall Crenshaw
“Boogie On, Reggae Woman,” Stevie Wonder
“Crash,” Daye Matthews Band
“Sunday Morning Coming Down,” Johnny Cash
“I’m Your Baby Tonight,” Whitney Houston
“Toes,” Zac Brown Band
“Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me,” Mac Davis
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Deep Blue Something
“Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show,” Neil Diamond
“Delta Dawn,” Tanya Tucker
“What I Am,” Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians
“Amie,” Pure Prarie League
“Volcano,” Jimmy Buffet
“Mad World,” Tears for Fears
“Trees,” Rush
“Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” Steely Dan
“Sunny Afternoon,” The Kinks
“Ophelia,” The Band
“Gloria,” Them
“The Last Resort,” The Eagles
“Doctor My Eyes,” Jackson Browne
“Achy Breaky Heart,” Billy Ray Cyrus
“R. U. Ready 2 Rock,” Blue Oyster Cult
“Keep Yourself Alive,” Queen
“Love on Top,” Beyoncé
“Abraham, Martin & John,” Mahalia Jackson
“Stay,” Lisa Loeb
“Rooster,” Alice in Chains
“Handle with Care,” The Traveling Wilburys
“Neon Moon,” Brooks & Dunn
“Get Thy Bearings,” Donovan
“Cecilia,” Simon & Garfunkel
“Party Monster,” The Weeknd
“Always and Forever,” Heatwave
“Need You Now,” Lady Antebellum
“Nightswimming,” R.E.M.
“Indian Reservation,” Paul Revere & The Raiders
“Talk to Me,” Stevie Nicks
“Come to Me, “Bonnie Raitt
“Cornflake Girl, “Tori Amos
“Criminal,” Fiona Apple
“Iris,” Goo Goo Dolls
“Chains of Love, “Erasure
“Latch,” Sam Smith
“Only the Good Die Young, “Billy Joel
“Doowahdiddy,” Manfred Mann
“Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw,” Jimmy Buffet
“And When I Die,” Blood, Sweat & Tears
“Lucretia MacEvil,” Blood, Sweat & Tears
“Beds Are Burning,” Midnight Oil
“What Time Do You Call This?” Elbow
“Is She Really Going Out with Him,” Joe Jackson
“Space Oddity,” David Bowie
“All in Love Is Fair,” Stevie Wonder
“Before He Cheats,” Carrie Underwood
“We Built This City,” Starship
“Good Morning Little Schoolgirl,” Jonny Lang
“Mandolin Rain,” Bruce Hornsby
“Harper Valley P.T.A,” Jeannie C. Riley
“Hope She’ll Be Happier,” Sweetback (Bill Withers)
“Dirty Work,” Steely Dan
“Budapest,” George Ezra
“China Grove,” The Doobie Brothers
“Can’t Let Go,” Lucinda Williams
“Venus,” Shocking Blue
“Shine,” Collective Soul

2017/04 mixtape

Back on land and I've uploaded a new mixtape. Check out the Spotify and YouTube links to the April mixtape featuring Tarrus Riley, Peter Peter, Frightened Rabbit, Abdullah Ibrahim, The Sea and Cake, Brooks & Dunn, Kwabs, John Mayer, The Mountain Goats, Yucky Duster, Isaac Lee, The Black Angels, PJ Morton, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Fiorella Mannoia.

She Ain’t Crazy, She’s My Sister

When I told my friend Shannon I was thinking of specialising in wacky mashups during my time performing onboard the cruise ship the first thing she said was, “I’ve always thought ‘Brandy’ by The Looking Glass and ‘September’ by Earth, Wind & Fire’ would go well together.” I thought that was just about the insanest suggestion I’d ever heard but after a couple of moments had passed I began to see the beauty in such an unintended union. Soon after I became obsessed with crafting the perfect way to join those two songs in happy matrimony. 

With the help of Jake Wood and Ariane Cap, our shared dream was realised in full at our show at Slim’s in December. You can watch the video below. By the way, the show at Slim’s raised over $1,000 for Glide Memorial Church, and contributed towards the amount of a matched donation - in total $40,000 were raised. So a big thank you to all of you who attended and to the other acts who performed!

Never say never

My mom took me on a cruise from Seattle to Alaska and British Columbia in September. We spent most of our time playing cards with a woman named Betty we’d met in the library. One day Betty asked me if I had ever considered performing on a cruise ship. I responded with the same line I’d been using for 25 years: "I don't think I'd like playing other people's music for a living." Betty slowly nodded her head and dealt us another hand.

While disembarking the following day, however, as my mother and I went through our ritual of trying to find places to stowaway on the boat so we could sail the high seas indefinitely, I began to wonder what could possibly be better than getting paid to travel and play music. So I spent our weekend in Seattle researching the trade, figuring once I got home to San Francisco I would spend a couple of months building my repertoire and checking out different hiring agencies and cruise lines.

Four days later my friend Christina Michelle decided out of the blue to forward me an e-mail announcing a cruise line would be holding auditions in San Francisco the following Saturday. How serendipitous! In an instant my two months of scheduled planning had been reduced to two days, and I found myself rushing through a crash course in “Pop Songs of the 21st Century”.

The crash course came in handy at my audition when I was asked to play a song to kick off a spring break cruise, and launched into a spirited version of “Shut Up and Dance”. The fun didn’t last long, though, as I was thrown off my game when I was informed I would have to significantly trim down the nine-minute, multi-genre medley I’d prepared (see video below). But not even botching the lyrics to “All About That Bass” and forgetting the chords to “For Once in My Life” (again) could keep me from getting my sailor’s stripes: two days later I was presented with an offer to join the crew of a ship.

So my next adventure has me setting sail on 31 December for four months in the Caribbean. Now…which songs do you think I should cover whilst onboard?