Raywroldan Ray Roldan

Topanga California   United States of America
Member since February 20, 2019

Collaborations: 0   Joined: 0   Tracks: 0




Can You Feel This

Sometimes true love, or in RW Roldan?s case, reconnecting after decades with a beloved childhood sweetheart, is all it takes to bring an artist?s search for his true musical identity to its boldest and most honest expression.

The Los Angeles based singer-songwriter, who pegs his raw, organic hybrid vibe ?Americana roots rock/alt country? - even if that?s just a hint of his multi-faceted stylistic palette - had been recording under various band monikers since emerging with his debut album In California Country in 2006. After years leading the popular ensembles Swing Samurai and Broke Fence and recording under those names, Roldan, flush with a fresh burst of intense inspiration, is releasing his first album ever under his own name. Teaming with engineer/producer Max Allyn of The Outpost in Topanga, CA, Roldan with these 13 new soulful and heartfelt tracks invites longtime fans and newcomers alike into the deeply emotional experience with the titular question, Can You Feel This.

Grounded by raw emotion, dusty and gritty life experience, crafty storytelling and witty, poetic turns of phrase, the collection darts in many freewheeling directions, from the cheeky blues-country of ?Bad Love Pain? and wistful, lonesome ?The Night Before? to the plucky playful Trump-era romp ?Wyatt Earp? and ?Big Skies,? a hilarious lament about life in Los Angeles, where ?they pulled the stars from the skies and put ?em in the sidewalks.? Yet the true core of the album, the source of the resonance that makes Roldan continuously ask himself ?Can you feel this??, is ?Lauryn?s Song,? a colorful, though starkly produced, reflection on his reunion with the woman who is now his wife. He sings, ?I?ve known you since I was a young man/But hell! We never really had ourselves a good plan/Then the winds of change blew us away/But brought us back another day.? In the sparkling chorus, he declares, ?Lauren, you?re the best of me. . .To love you is my destiny.?

?Meeting Lauryn four years ago and eventually moving up to Topanga to be with her, I found myself in a place where I could really relax and speak more about how I was feeling,? says Roldan, who, like Lauryn, was previously married and raised a family in the years they were apart. ?I began writing prolifically, composing a song every few weeks, driven by pure inspiration and channeling. I probably wrote 25 songs that we recorded and we chose 13. Max and I would spend a few hours on every song, creating really organic sounds, including creating percussion on ?Those Who Fall? with me stomping my cowboy boots on a piece of mic?d plywood. I sent some of these recordings to Brad Cobb, who co-produced my (2012) Broke Fence project Mended Fences and Broken Dreams, and he agreed this was the sound I had long been looking for. The final production sticks as close as possible to the way I wrote these songs on guitar and mandolin.?

Reflecting his old school way of composing and recording, and the joys he felt growing up in a time when record stores were the norm, the singer is also releasing Can You Feel This on vinyl. ?There are a couple of reasons vinyl exists in this universe,? he says. ?You can hold, touch and smell it, and it?s packaged with incredible cover art, which was one of the ways I was introduced to new artists coming up. It?s hard to feel that kind of connection with a CD, downloading or streaming.?

Throughout his career, Roldan has written about what he knows and has lived the classic country and blues/rock lifestyle. It all started with a rough childhood, growing up (sometimes on the streets) in North Hollywood after his mom moved him and his siblings out west from New Jersey, where the singer?s father was killed when he was only five. His dad was a biker/car mechanic/street racer who originally met Roldan?s mother in front of Hollywood High in the early 50s, sweeping her away in a lowered black Cadillac. Roldan grew up listening to Elvis, Hank Williams, Rick Nelson, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and George Jones and has fond memories of his grandfather, a drummer, telling him stories and playing Jim Croce and James Taylor for him. Determined to overcome his hardscrabble roots and provide for his own family, Roldan set music aside for years as he successfully pursued mainstream careers as an auto mechanic and a tool and die designer in the aerospace industry (working on the Space Shuttle and B-1 Bomber) before launching his own construction business.

When he finally set his mind to making music, Roldan quickly made up for lost time, recording with famed musicians like Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams), John J.T. Thomas (Bruce Hornsby), Rick Shea (Dave Alvin, Rosie Perez), Bruce Watson (Rod Stewart), Chuck Kavoorus, and Brad Cobb (Tori Amos), David Chamberlain (Roy Buchanan, Manhattan Transfer). Ray's band also includes Mark Hayes (lead guitar) and Luke Hayes (drums). His two Swing Samurai albums received extensive airplay throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia, and songs from those were featured on compilations with greats like Tim McGraw, Billy Yates and The Bellamy Brothers. In addition, Roldan?s tunes have been top finalists in numerous Song of the Year competitions and in 2007, he won ?Top 25 songs CD? for IndieMusiccom. The following year, he scored eleven finalist nominations for ?Man of Steel? through the FameGame Effigy Awards.

?On those earlier projects, I was grateful to work with so many incredible musicians and producers, but Can You Feel This takes my songwriting and overall artistry to a whole new level,? says Roldan. ?I love the vibe that is behind the work Max and I have done, just as I am so appreciative of the fact that I have found someone like Lauryn who can help me tell these stories. I feel like people these days need this kind of authenticity in their music. I really believe that the true spirituality of this world flows through art, whether music, painting or sculpture, and there are a lot of things that need to be said. So many people in life are closed off to so much and don?t even realize it. For me, music is the most powerful way to pull back those curtains that sometimes make us feel we are alone in the universe.?