Ray Wimley

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    To continue the Dudeisms... "Well, there isn't a literal connection."

    I'm in a free association state-of-mind so please bare with me.

    In May 2017 I was riding high on a wave of excitement fueled by my introduction to Spafford in Fall 2016. My wife, two daughters, and I took a trip to New Orleans for a friend's wedding. One night we were strolling back to our hotel along Canal Street around 9pm, early by any clock in Nawlins but unimaginably late and magical in the eyes of a one and four-year old. The street lamps began to buzz and glow as the towering palm trees became shadow giants in the dusk.

    We stopped to listen to a young man who was rapping on the corner with a mic, iPod, and amp. People kept passing by on their way into liquor stores and souvenir shops, hurricanes in hand, while we stood there soaking up four or five awesome songs in a row. While he performed, Aislyn (my four year old) drew on her hands and arms with the markers she had picked out as her souvenir when she was given free range of a huge store filled with plastic crap.

    The quality of this young man's lyrics, his writing skills and the musicality of his hip hop, and the gentle confidence with which he performed were special. It wasn't my exact thought at the time, but thinking back all of these elements of his artistry were the exact things that were drawing me to Spafford. A band that was once young and unknown too.

    Listening to a young artist and poet performing on a street corner of a city with such musical power and history, watching my children's magical eyes soak up this front row experience with dreamy eyes not used to the nighttime, my heart filled with joy and wonder and a sense of connectivity between people like me and you.

    He took a pause to chat with us for awhile, introduced himself as Ray Wimley. Then he dedicated the next song he performed, Letter to My Unborn, to Aislyn and Maeve (my one year old.) This was a song he had written when his young daughter was in utero.

    Links below to some of his songs on Soundcloud. Check him out. Maybe one day he'll open for Spafford. Damn, I could get down with that, I could get down with some hip hop before a Spafford show. Spaff Hop.

    So here's to artists everywhere, the legends, the ones on the way up, and especially the artists like me and you trying to change their world one line at a time.





  • Cool bananas! Nice story. It's great to receive those unexpected musical introductions. I'll give him a listen. Take care.

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