It takes a lot of confidence to rock a miniskirt — male or female, really — but Ray Scott has no problem showing off his lovely gams in the new video for “Drinkin’ Beer,” premiering exclusively on Rolling Stone Country.
“That wasn’t my idea,” Scott tells us about about a particular scene where he sports a nice denim number, “but someone brought it up and I said, ‘Hell yeah, I’ll take one for the team.’ You probably wont see a pair of legs anywhere that look any better than that.”
“Drinkin’ Beer,” the first single from the North Carolina-bred artist with a mahogany voice, signature black hat and traditional tendencies, is an anthem to, you guessed it, the casual art of sipping PBR. Filmed on a lake near Lynchburg, Tennessee, the video’s all about the good times — and the selective vision (a.k.a. beer goggles) — that a healthy pint or six can induce.
“A lot of people know me for fun songs, for songs that can be a little bit polarizing,” Scott says. But his upcoming self-titled record, due October 7th, won’t be all-lighthearted, brew-sipping, lake-cruising fun. “It’s a good, fun thing to lead off with a song like that. But I kind of consider it the top layer of the onion, and once you get into the record, there are some deeper parts.”
Certainly Scott is known for those upbeat, boot-stompin’ tunes — after all, his biggest Top 40 hit, “My Kind of Music,” is a honky-tonker with a Johnny Cash locomotion that bids “adieu” to a gal who doesn’t know her George Jones from her Glen Campbell. But while “Drinkin’ Beer” doesn’t exactly hit on the darker struggles in life, there are songs on Ray Scott that deal in crime sprees (the old-school murder narrative “Papa and Mama”), cheating lovers and steel-guitar ode to trailer park living, written with Brandy Clark (“Wheels on the House”). Produced by Dave Brainard, who recently put his touch on Clark’s 12 Stories, the collection balances Scott’s adulation for the country greats while incorporating lyrics that are both stirring and funny. Take this line from “It Ain’t Gonna Be You”: “you say you don’t know what got into you,” he sing-talks in the lowest of lows octaves, “but if my memory serves me right, I think his name was Bruce.”
It hasn’t always been an easy road for Scott, who was once singed to Warner Bros. but saw a dissolution of his record deal when it became apparent that his style wasn’t exactly in sync with what was currently flying up the charts. “It’s been feast or famine,” he says. So he and Brainard partnered up to start their own label, and he’s been independent ever since. He credits a lot of his success to the support of SiriusXM, who consistently played his songs and spurred his digital resurgence. But while he’s a fan of the satellite station, he’s less than enamored with the current radio trends. Bro-country, for one.
“What they’re doing on mainstream radio is different from what I’m doing,” he says. “It’s very formulaic, especially the male artists, and has been for a while. I’m not really a bro country kind of guy. The depth of lyrics in country music from 20 or 30 years ago is what attracted me to the format in the first place. I love good storytelling.”
He loves a good beer, too. So what’s his libation of choice?
“This is my favorite beer to drink,” he says, without missing a beat. “Free beer.”