Waco, Texas born singer-songwriter Kayla Ray wipes clean the dust of nostalgia and can bring even the hardest heart to a place of reflection and understanding. All this while remaining feverishly reverent to the roots of country music, greeting current day affairs head on, and chasing whiskey shots with the rowdiest banter one can muster.
Currently touring both the US as well as Internationally Kayla Ray is a quick rising favorite of the independent scene.
Kayla’s latest studio EP “Songs of Extreme Isolation, Economic Crisis, & Other Funny Things” made her Wide Open Country’s October feature of acts to watch.” (Link in press section)
“The Jameson Waltz” (2019) more than quadrupled it’s projected numbers in it’s first quarter.
Kayla’s, “Yesterday & Me” (2018) received high praise in both the United States as well as the UK earning Ray the number 1 spot on Kelly Gregory of ,“Country Music People” Magazine’s, top albums list of 2018.
Despite a recent surge, Kayla Ray is far from new to the scene. Interested in the long game, Kayla has been at this pursuit the majority of her young life. Kayla’s pedigree comes as an almost novella type story. That of a budding classic. Despite growing up rather hard, as a child Ray often entered herself into local talent contests and variety shows. Because of these efforts, Ray was lucky enough to find herself playing often around the Legendary Gimble Family in the Waco, Texas area. The talent, kindness, and class of the Gimble Family remain a large influence for Kayla Ray.
She, then underage and, in a charge of independence, booked her first headlining gig at Papa Joes of Lorena, Texas. Where as she puts it, “Billy Joe Shaver shot that guy in the face and got away with it.” Kayla built a band and spent a few years touring Texas and taking necessary knocks before making her entry into the national touring scene. She made this entry employed as tour manager for accomplished songwriter Jason Eady. During this time in addition to her tour managing duties, Kayla opened shows, sang duets and, “kept the boys in line”.
Kayla eventually grew from this position and left the job in 2014 to tour independently. Although, remaining a close confidant, Jason Eady had a large hand in producing both of Kayla’s full length albums.
Over the last decade Kayla has received many awards and accolades. And, in addition to touring with Eady, Ray has shared stages with artists like Cody Jinks, Erin Enderlin, Jo Dee Messina, Jamie Lin Wilson, Whiskey Myers, Mo Pitney, Marcia Ball, Reckless Kelly, Jason Bolen, The Turnpike Troubadors, Shane Smith and the Saints, Ray Wylie Hubbard and countless others.
From honky tonk dance tempos, to sit you down and contemplate life ballads, Kayla Ray’s music does not disappoint. Her feverish reverence to country music, an indisputable work ethic, stoic beauty, and massive personality, make Kayla Ray an embodiment of what country music should be.