The term “country music” may have changed over time, but Ray Scott’s definition of it has not. Whenever you press play on a Ray Scott song, you know exactly what you are going to get: tried-and-true, dyed-in-the-wool, salt of the earth, country music. That’s how the country music traditionalist built his first ten albums and that’s how he’ll build the next ten – which conveniently starts right here.

Billboards and Brake Lights, Ray Scott’s 11th release, is a collection of twelve songs by the North Carolina native that remind real country music fans what it’s like to go on a journey through song. Rooted in his signature traditional sound, Scott straddles the line of growing as an artist and standing on that firm foundation of being exactly the same guy his fans have come to love. Self-effacing, self-aware and vulnerable and with a humble confidence that stops shy of arrogance, Scott’s methods of storytelling shine brighter than ever before.

Honesty in music is a calling card Ray Scott has held firmly throughout his career and has defined him in more ways than one. Back in the 00’s when Scott was a staff songwriter on Music Row pulling in a salary to write songs for other artists, the radio “Bro-Country” tide was on the rise. It didn’t sit well with Scott’s stomach as it wasn’t authentic to him, and he’d be damned if he was going to sell himself out to discredit the music that he loved so much. Not only did he walk away from that staff writer life, that walk-off was also the catalyst that drove him back to writing for himself and striking out on his own.

One benefit Scott has with Billboards and Brake Lights is the ability to release and promote it however he likes. His last two albums, 2020’s Nowhere Near Done and 2021’s Cover the Earth, both fought Covid in one way or another. Ironically, that same pandemic gave Scott his new research tool, the award-winning Ray-ve In the Cave, Scott’s then weekly livestream show where he and guitarist Joe Cook would hang out in Scott’s basement with their guitars, a beverage or two, and perform. Named one of Pollstar’s Top 50 Livestreams, that outlet gave him more of a one-on-one, interactional relationship with his audience than he ever had before.

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