As Ray Scott gears up to release the next single from his eponymous new album, the traditional vocalist with the Mississippi-deep baritone is aiming to give country fans a taste of his influences and, in some cases, an education. Scott has recorded a series of six videos of him interpreting songs by some of the genre’s greats. Today, Rolling Stone Country premieres his version of Merle Haggard’s “That’s the Way Love Goes,” with other performances on tap for the coming weeks.
“The song that we’re releasing next is ‘Ain’t Always Thirsty,'” Scott says of his upcoming single, the follow-up to “Drinkin’ Beer.” “It is an extremely country song. In this climate, it’ll stick out like a sore thumb. I thought it was important to set it up and let people know where I’m coming from.”
In addition to his Haggard homage, Scott has filmed video tributes to Don Williams, Billy Joe Shaver, Tompall Glaser, Willie Nelson and, the man to whom his voice is most often compared, Johnny Cash. “There are a lot of fans out there who love that old stuff and will be very familiar with it, but there are also listeners these days that aren’t as tuned into the older stuff that I like to [draw on] from the past,” he says. “These videos are a way to let some newer listeners discover something from a little further back.”
Scott calls today’s selection of the love ballad “That’s the Way Love Goes,” “tops as far as Merle songs go,” pointing out its simple arrangement and straightforward lyrics. “It’s simple,” he says, “and it captured something real that isn’t really out there much today.”