The Ray Mann Three are exactly the band you should never leave your girlfriend alone with. They fuse the sweets soul of Al Green with the raw sex of D’Angleo and their grooves are sexier than a busload of French maids broken down by the side of the highway.
The musical equivalent of sex on a summer’s afternoon…
“The Ray Mann Three fuse D’Angelo’s sex appeal with the grit of Tom Waits” – Sydney Morning Herald
The Ray Mann Three are Australia’s troubadours of minimal Soul music. Three well-dressed cats: sitting, jamming, sketching with minimal strokes; inhabiting a world of their own, but inviting you to visit – and maybe stay awhile…
The live shows of The Ray Mann Three and of Ray Mann (solo) have earned them spots supporting international acts such as Al Green, Tori Amos, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Jamie Lidell and Roy Ayers, and local acts ranging from Ash Grunwald and The Bamboos to Kate Miller-Heidke and Holly Throsby.
After leaving his role of longtime lead guitarist in Kid Confucius, singer/songwriter Ray Wassef went on with bassist Byron Luiters (who now also plays with John Butler Trio) and drummer Bart Denaro (since replaced by Grant Gerathy) to release a debut album, “The Ray Mann Three”: recorded in three days, produced by Tony Buchen, the album blends soul, jazz and hip-hop with timeless songwriting that calls to mind D’Angelo, Al Green, The Beatles and The Roots, and perfectly captures the band’s warm, intimate sound.
Since the band’s sold-out album launch and subsequent 30-date national tour in Spring 2008, The Ray Mann Three has released a series of digital-only singles from their independent album, and completed a successful Australian tour in July 2009, culminating in more sell-out shows in more cities around the country.
In support of the singles, frontman Ray created a series of music videos for $50 each. The first, “Smile”, was featured on Japanese TV’s “Billboard Top 40” show. The second, “Hook Me Up”, was “Indie of The Week” on “Rage” on ABC TV in Australia.
Meanwhile, as the band has quietly gone about building its underground following in Australia, the sounds of The Ray Mann Three managed to reach the ears of a record label in Japan, P-Vine, who signed the band and released the debut album in Japan in May 2009.
Spring 2009 saw Ray Mann debut in yet another new territory – the art world. The Ray Mann: Art Exhibition in Sydney was the first time that various sketches, designs and videos Ray has created for the Three over the years were displayed together in a gallery.
“Urban, neo-soul, a dash of funk, lots of spunk with a truly fresh spirit… The Ray Mann Three have the ability to propel you into a higher sphere allowing your soul and intellect to waltz into the lofty clouds of the unique” – Drum Media
“Classic soul music with a modern funk twist… The musical atmosphere’s right for a band like this to break into the bigtime” – The Brag
Feature Album – PBS Radio (Melbourne)
Feature Album – RRR Radio (Melbourne)
Indie Album of the Week – The Brag (Sydney)
The musical atmosphere’s right for a band like this to break into the bigtime
Can I begin by saying this was just a really, really great night. The Vanguard was sold out and there was a distinct buzz surrounding soul trio Ray Mann 3’s [sic] album launch. They’ve been playing around town since 2005, most prominently their monthly residency at Tonic Lounge, so people have had a chance to catch them here and there. Tonight though, was all about them…
The Ray Mann Three fuse sex appeal with the grit of Tom Waits.
Speaking of being a little out of place, The Ray Mann 3 [sic] were certainly not a usual band to play at the Annandale with their brand of cool funk. It speaks volumes when a band that plays funk with big basslines and in three piece suits can convert such a varied crowd as the Annandale attracts – and they did just that. They were just that mix of entertaining and talented; and most importantly, they were enjoying what they do, which made them simply infectious.
By Bianca O’Neill
Source: Drum Media, Sydney, 27.05.08
Music video by The Ray Mann Three performing “Smile”. Directed by Louis Westgarth and Ray Mann, edited by Dan Jameison.
“Our debut has been my attempt to write the happiest, or warmest, record I possibly could” ~ Ray Mann speaks to mx Continue reading “Interview: “Debut Album: One Mann, three menn and happy music thoughts” ~ mx Sydney”