When Warner Bros. Records released Ray Scott's debut album in November 2005 to an overwhelmingly enthusiastic reception, it looked like all systems were go.
His "My Kind of Music" offering became the No. 1-selling country album on Billboard's "Heatseekers" chart that week and the No. 1-selling album on CMT's sales chart, in addition to being tagged among the genre's "Top 10 Albums of 2005" by critics at Billboard, the Miami Herald and the Dallas Morning News, to name but three.
However, just a year later, Scott's career stalled after his then-label delayed the release of his sophomore album indefinitely. And today, the singer-songwriter is having his say about the situation -- and releasing new music all on his own.
"After a couple of frustrating years I'm finally free, and the taste of freedom is sweet!" Scott said in a Jan. 4 missive shared with Examiner.com. "The time has never been better in the music biz to do something different."
An embedded member of the Nashville songwriting community, as a tunesemith Scott has had cuts by Randy Travis ("Pray for the Fish"), Clay Walker ("A Few Questions"), and most recently, Trace Adkins, who cut his tune titled “If the Sun Comes Up,” which is featured on the film soundtrack for 2012's "Act of Valor"
Nonetheless, it was the outlaw-country player's direct connection to music fans that fueled the release of his independent albums; namely, "Crazy Like Me" and his latest dozen-tune disc, "Rayality."
The bearded Scott's first indie project, in spite of limited airplay, still sold nearly 100,000 units, demonstrating there's indeed an audience for what he has to offer, and with the growing success of the music on "Rayality," his talent and commerical-radio appeal have been reaffirmed once more.
Steadfastly committed to doing things his own way, Scott recently released the video for “Those Jeans,” a music clip that's been met with positive response from GAC-TV, where it's reached the No. 4 spot on on GAC’s Top videos online and was an voted to No. 1 on GAC’s “Daily Countdown” and to No. 7 on GAC’s “Top 20 Country Countdown.”
Now, with 11 weeks in the mix at GAC’s “Top 20 Country Countdown,” the single continues to move up the charts and is nominated for GAC’s Top 50 videos of 2012, with more than 64,000 views online at this writing.
Regarding the indie release and subsequent success of "Those Jeans," the North Carolina-reared artist said, "Doing it this way is gonna be challenging, but I've been gambling in Nashville for 13 years. Why the hell not bet on myself? Bottom line is (that) somebody's gotta keep real country music alive; there ain't as many of us around as there used to be."
"Those guys defined an era of country music," he said, referring to his musical heroes. "They left a permanent impression on me that I wear like a badge of honor. I loved the realness of their music. That stuff will always be great, always stand up to time. Those old boys meant what they were saying. They lived it."
Scott's latest album, "Rayality," along with his popular "Those Jeans" single, is available for download from iTunes via his very own Jethropolitan Records. To find out more about Ray Scott, including performance dates, please visit his official website at www.RayScott.com or stalk him via his Twitter page.
- Video bonus: To see Ray Scott's GAC interview about "Those Jeans," click here, and to sample his official music video for the rising single, simply access the clip embedded on the left side of this post.