Music is a part of the DNA of Ronda Ray! She started treating her family to living room concerts at the age of three and the self-proclaimed blue collar musician has been hustling and honing her craft ever since.
Here’s everything you need to know about musician Ronda Ray!
When we asked Ray what drives her, she told us she lives for the magic.
“I think being an artist is the highest calling. And there is no formula for rock ’n’ roll magic. It’s 1+1=3. It doesn’t add up. You can’t explain it or make it happen. We all just show up and jump off the preverbal cliff together. If things go just right, and the audience reciprocates, we levitate, we go somewhere together and we are never the same.”Ronda Ray
That attitude resonates in Ray’s sound as well as it is constantly evolving. “I don’t like anyone telling me who I’m supposed to be,” she said. “I want people to be excited about what’s coming next. None of my songs sound the same, but I’m definitely influenced by the rock ’n’ roll of the 60’s and 70’s. Rock ’n’ roll is what sets my soul on fire and rock ’n’ roll is a very wide spectrum. It gives me a lot of runway.”
With her current album, titled “Walking Away,” Ray and her crew got out of their comfort zones and pushed the boundaries on each track, creating something unique and timeless. Recorded at Sonic Ranch, outside of El Paso, the instrumentation of the tracks is fantastic and the vocals are very raw.
For the first time ever she recorded and released a cover song, her version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman.” She hopes it honors the original and one of her heroes, Stevie Nicks.
We asked what other musicians inspire her and found out that The Beatles were her first love. Other heroes include Bruce Springsteen and Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. “Bruce, Chrissie, Paul McCartney and Ringo are all at the top of their game in the twilight of their careers. There is a lot to look up to with all of them,” Ray exclaimed.
It’s no secret that it takes a lot of heart and hustle to make it in the music biz. That’s why we asked Ray to share some advice for anyone looking to give it a try.
You can’t just be an artist anymore. You have to also be an entrepreneur. You have to care about this more than anything or you’ll get distracted and settle for less. You’ll fall to the lowest common denominator and fool yourself into thinking you are being the truest artist you can be. It’s very hard, but there are payoffs. And it’s not hard because the universe is picking on you. It’s hard because it’s hard. Always be true to yourself. Somehow things fall into place around that.Ronda Ray
We couldn’t let Ronda Ray go without asking her some of our Totally Texan questions!
What are some of your favorite venues you have ever played?
Main at Southside was a great venue in Fort Worth. The Deep Ellum Arts Festival. Parker County Ice House. Six Springs Tavern. Jester King Brewery. Shade Tree Saloon.
Favorite Austin music venue?
Saxon Pub. I had a life changing encounter there years ago when I first started in the music business, particularly with songwriting. Austin has always been a creative catalyst for me and there’s something wonderful about an older, dark, divey music venue full of the blood, sweat and tears of artists who have come and gone before you.
Best Austin restaurant?
Laundrette. Converting an old laundry mat is brilliant. And I love their front porch.
Fave Austin landmark:
Mount Bonnell. I’m a sucker for anything outdoors with a great view.
What’s your favorite movie about or based in Texas?
Favorite TV show about or based in Texas?
That’s easy. King of the Hill. Best show ever.
Fave Texas singer or band?
Janis Joplin. Girl power. I wish she was still with us, healthy, giving us all kinds of sage advice.
What person would you classify as totally Texan?
Matthew McConaughey is the man. He articulates and represents Texas values so well. While other celebs are making noise, he’s taking meaningful action towards change. Everyone should read his book, “Greenlights.”
You can learn more about Ronda Ray by heading to her website and following her on all the socials: