Saturday, August 13, 2011

Jani Lane....

So I'm still in shock about the news about Jani Lane passing away. Some of you know my history better than others but for those who don't, I was a big 80s metal fan. When I was a kid the first time I was actually impressed by a songwriter was in 1989 and it was Jani Lane and his song Heaven. I was always into the crazy party songs of the 80s but at 12 years old this was the first time I could remember being moved by lyrics and melody. It inspired me to get an acoustic guitar. I studied Janis writing and lyrics and approach for the next few years all the way through their cd Dog Eat Dog. His song Stronger Now is as good of a song as anyone has ever written. Anyone.
So after being a huge fan as an early teen one of my missions in life were to actually write with Jani. I once waited outside of their tour bus at 16 years old with my guitar hoping to catch him and was gonna ask him to write w me. I never saw him that day so I sorta gave up.
Fast forward 7 years I'm living in LA and my band had a deal from Sonny records and we had a management showcase at The Viper Room on Sunset. A bunch of big dogs came out to scout us and after words took us out to The Rainbow for drinks. At one of my meetings the guy introduced himself as Obi and told me what his firm could offer us. I asked who he represented and the first client he named was Jani. I then told him I would sign with him right then if he could arrange a writing session w us. He called Jani and the next day at 3pm at a place called Sound Arena in the Valley I met Jani officially as a peer and we spent the next 2 hours writing songs. It was a dream come true for a kid from small town Carolina. We worked up a song "Remedy" that I still play today. He was an awesome guy and treated me well. I would see him from time to time on the strip and he always said hello. A few more years passed and Obi was trying to fill in some dates for Janis solo tour and I offered him a gig at The Money in Rock Hill and he accepted. Jani came to town and didn't have a guitar so he used my Guild acoustic for his show. I was so proud that one of my heroes was playing my hometown and using my guitar on the gig.  After the show we hung for a while and he was off to the next show. I never saw him again after that but I always pulled for him to do well. So last night when I got the news about his passing it bummed me out pretty hard. He was one of the main reasons I do what I do. 99% of musicians wouldn't admit that as they're too cool for school but I proudly admit I went to the Lane songwriting school and if you listen to my stuff it's obvious. R.I.P Jani... Here's a picture of Jani playing my guitar in my hometown for me and about 20 friends.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Updates and Rants.

So this summer has been great for everyone here in the Early Ray camp. Been playing a ton and spreading the gospel. Just played the Shinefest last week and had a blast! Looking forward to next weeks show opening for Charlie Daniels. Planning a Suds and Sandals booze cruise next month. Check out our Facebook and for all the details.

So last week I go to play a gig and this particular gig is one I've been doing for years and beside the gig is a Borders book store. Anytime I play this show I get there a couple hours early to go sit and enjoy some books. Sometimes I'd buy a couple and sometimes I'd just enjoy some coffee and checking out new books. This past week I pulled up excited to go in and on the front was a huge going out of business banner. I hoped that this was a silly marketing tool and not legit. I then walked in to see books scattered everywhere with sale tags, furniture gone, coffee shop closed  and it hit home that my favorite book store was indeed closing. A couple years ago when the kindle book thing came out and made books downloadable my buddy told me that bookstores would not survive another 5 years. He was right. Borders all across America are closing and it sux. Once you could download a book and put it on torrent sites for free downloads then the product became valueless. This really really really sucks. So now books will go the way of the CD and become a dinosaur. So you will see libraries closing and an entire workforce will be cut now. Writers, publishers, printing companies, stores, etc etc etc will now all lose jobs now that books are available free online. You will see the quality of book decimate as anyone can self publish on amazon for free. When you pay for a book you actually read the book as you have something invested. Now most folks will give up on a book after a few pages cause it was free. Some of my fav stuff didn't even become interesting till half way threw. There is nothing I can do. The technology is out there and yet another form of art is now gonna be destroyed. Music is shit now and anyone with a laptop can put a cd out on itunes. Musicians can't sell cds so they can't pay for gas to tour, etc etc. Great writers will soon not care to write as there will no longer be a payback. I know I'm ranting and sound like the fun police but music downloading cost nearly a half million jobs over the last 10 years and now you will see this in the book world. Imagine if I could right click and download a car for free? Imagine if I could go to a torrent site and get a free washer and dryer? This would be outrage and punished to the highest degree but when it comes to the arts it doesn't matter. The thing that sux is tons of folks will lose jobs and the enjoyment of books will slowly fade away. I know I sound drastic but how many cd stores are currently in your town? How many were there 10 years ago.  So I urge you that if you enjoy art then support it or it will go away. Period.

My next rant. Can we officially bury the term "much needed". I see on every social media that everything now is "much needed". Sorry but if your "date night" is "much needed" then I think you're doing ok. Please only use that term when it's appropriate. Example A. Got some "much needed" medicine today for that chlamydia I caught on spring break. See that was Much Needed. Sorry but rewatching the Notebook is never much needed.

Ok now for news of the obvious. So I admit I'm very very very late on the whole Bob Dylan thing. Truth is I was never a fan. I could never get past his voice to enjoy the songs. Just wasn't my deal. Just recently I discovered a tribute cd of his material and holy shit. I gotta admit this guy is one of the greatest writers ever. After listening to his catalog I can point out at least 50 diff songs that has been stolen or ripped off from Bob. Songs that I loved over the years were just Dylan rip offs. So a public apology to Bob Dylan. Wow holy damn can you write a good song.

Sorry if this blog is a big rant. I think the summer heat has gotten to me. On a positive note. Early Ray is trucking along and things are going great. We got some cool shows coming up and some great new songs. I'm excited about the future.

Go listen to some Dyan and buy a book and give some "much needed" support to the arts!

Early Rizzle

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lifting weights with The Rock!

Ok so many years ago I lived in L.A close to Venice Beach. I worked out at the worlds most famous gym (Venice Beach Golds Gym) and it was common to see celebrities in there working out. One of the unwritten rules of the gym was that you didn't bother celebrities. I saw many movie stars etc in there working out but I never broke the rule of chatting with em.
So I notice that the wrestler The Rock was working out and it it seemed that we were on the same workout schedule (everyday at 1pm) anyway.. Near the free weights there was a row of benches and we often would end up working out there. A few times we exchanged nods and would wait for machines after each other.
One day I was watching the college world series in between reps (the gym had a bunch of tvs up) and I was proudly wearing my Gamecock gear.  The Rock sees me and says "So ya'll gonna win that thing or what" I knew immediately he was referring to The Gamecocks and we then had a quick chat about college sports and he told me he was a big Hurricane and we both chatted for a sec about our teams.
Then a few days later as I was struggling to get up some free weights i see a guy appear behind me and start coaching me to "get em up, you got this" and I was shocked to see it was The Rock so I couldn't look like no fool so I got the weight up. After the rep he smiled at me and said "I hear ya Gamecock" and went back to his workout. I was pretty pumped to have just gotten spotted by The Rock.
So for the next couple months when we'd see each other we'd smile and nod and occasionally chat about southern college ball. It was weird. I had a gym buddy who would later go on to be a famous movie star, though at the time he was still a wrestler trying to break into movies.
So tonight I turn on the tv and the WWE is on and The Rock is on there doing his thing and for  a sec it took me back 10 year ago to Venice Beach Golds Gym. Though he puts on a crazy bad ass mofo vibe on tv he's a good guy who came to save the day when I was struggling with 40 pound free weights.. Cool to reflect tonight on that story.


Friday, May 20, 2011

World Record Holder...

Was going threw some old emails tonight and came across some dialog I had with Guinness book of world records.  Figured I'd share a fun story with yall. Here's a cool and somewhat odd story about my music career.

So back in 2007 I played a lot of gigs. I mean A LOT OF GIGS! I was playing seven nights a week and twice on Sat and Sun and occasionally Three shows in a day. In the entire year I had 9 days off. I was just a gigging machine. At the end of the year I was doing tax stuff and added up my gig count and it was around 400 gigs of 3-4 hours each.  Everyone I told about this (managers, agents etc) said they had never heard of this many gigs in a year and one day a buddy of mine suggested I check and see if it was some sort of a record. So I contacted Guinness book of world records to see if there was a record for shows in a year. The guy got back in touch with me and told me that some band had the record for shows in a year at 350-something gigs at 90 min each. Well I started to get excited as I just did 400 3-4 hour gigs. I started the paperwork to see if I qualified and the guy got back with me and informed me that because my gigs weren't all ticketed events that they did not qualify. So I sent the guy an email and thanked him and this is what he wrote me back.

"Sorry that we can't accept your application but between you and I, if you indeed did 400 shows of 3 hours this past year then you not only beat the record but you destroyed it. So enjoy the un-official world record for shows in a year"

I got a kick out of it and to this day I am proud to be the most gigging man on the planet!

Will play for food...

Early Rizzle

Monday, May 9, 2011

Yes yes ya'll and we won't stop!

So it's been a minute since I checked in so I wanted to get ya'll up to date on some stuff.
 First off, this Friday night the 13th we are having a cd release party for the Highway to Jail six pack at Amos's at the lake. Come celebrate and get wasted with us! We'll be playing all your old favorites and some new surprises. So come celebrate the cd and Fri 13th with us! All info can be found at

We have some new merchandise we'll be rolling out friday including girl shirts and trucker hats! We'll also have some Jager gear for all you crazies!

I'm gonna be doing some video blogs soon as well so check back in for that.

Random rant #1.. Why do people come up and try to talk to me in the middle of songs? It's the most annoying thing in the world. When I'm in the middle of singing a song and engaging with the crowd the last thing I want to do is talk to you about a request or the fact you play guitar too and just bought a sweet Telecaster. I could care less. In fact it's impossible to sing, play and talk to you at the same time. So please go back to school and retake common sense 101.

Random rant #2.. Why can't Chick Fil A have some sort of secret Sunday service. I get and understand the reasoning for closing on Sunday but damn.  Spicy chicken from Hardees just isn't the same.

Random thought #1. Why do they report power outages on TV?

Random thought #2.  If a cow laughed, would milk come out their nose? 

So I think I want to find a new drink so any suggestions would be nice. Get creative. Best suggestion gets a free drink! 

Random rant #3.. Had a guy who was managing the local carwash ask me where he could download my music for free. So when it was time to pay and tip him I just drove off.  Enjoy the free music and I'll enjoy the free carwash. I have now told all my local friends where to go and get free washes. Let's see how long they stay in business. Nothing in life is free. Including music. Next time you go to a concert and you have to pay a $7 ticket service fee, 40$ for a shirt, 10$ for a beer and $10 to park just remember it was all worth it to save $7.99 on that cd. 

Randon Thought #3.. Laughing stock: cattle with a sense of humor. 

So who else is ready for Football to come back on? 4 more months... South Carolina vs ECU at Panther Stadium Sept 3. Make plans to come and tailgate w me. It's gonna be epic! I may even break out the gas powered blender! C'mon!! 

Still making plans to shoot a video for "Where the wild things are" just getting some things organized and trying to lose a few more lbs so I look pretty for the camera. Don't worry though. A Early Ray music video will be coming soon! 

Well I'm off to bed. Make sure you come out this Friday night!! Amos at the lake!! Be there!! 

Early Rizzle 

Thursday, March 17, 2011


So it's been a few months since I decided to start this blog and I haven't really released it yet to the public. I'm planning on changing that soon. So here's another new blog of random thoughts and such.

#1. I'm so excited about Early Ray and the project as a whole. I have a great team together on this thing and great management. Management is key to success in the music biz. For many reasons it's vital or the artist will slowly fade. With that being said. You will meet my new manager Troy Perry soon at a show or event and please introduce yourself. He won't bite....hard

#2. Everything is coming together. Website (, CDs, Merchandise, Band, Show etc. It's pretty cool to see this thing I had in my head for the last few years come to life.

#3. Random Thought... My new Pink and Blue Trucker hats rock. 

#4. Rant.... I've had some great shows lately and I hope that continues. I want to ask everyone to do me a huge favor. If you don't want to be at a show then please don't come. Negative energy affects the entire show. People (including myself) can feel it when someone doesn't wanna be there. Trust me..It's not gonna insult me if you don't come. I only want folks to come out if they intend to have a good time. Not to meet some "support quota" If you show up and immediately tell me you're leaving soon then please just don't come at all. Imagine a great dinner with friends laughing, eating, telling jokes, drinking etc and then someone pukes on the table. That's the affect of negative energy at shows. Don't be the puke. If this means I only see you at 1 show a year then that's fine. Come out to have fun or don't come at all.

#5. Rave... Chic-Fil-A Spicy chicken sandwich is yummy in my tummy. If you come to a show and stop by Chic-Fil-A please pick me one up.

#6. Rave pt 2.... Little Debbie Zebra Cakes...mhmmmmm

#7. Closing... Thank you to everyone who supports me and is excited about the new music! Please check back in soon. I'm gonna try to update this thing often.

Early Ray

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Let me introduce myself

Hello my name is Early Ray....sorta.

My birth name is Rayen Belchere and I am a musician. I've been a professional musician all my adult life. 8 years ago I quit the band I was in and decided to pursue a solo career. I've done quite well but there has only been one thing that always seems to hold me back.

The one problem I've always had is my name. I love it but it's become painfully obvious over the years that it's impossible to market and for most folks it's hard to remember. Folks either misspell, mispronounce, or just fuck it up. I can't tell you how many times I've had friends tell me their friends would look me up but couldn't remember how to say or spell my name. Or how many adds have me listed as Ryan Blechere. Or Radio guys that call me Ragan, Raymon, Ryan, Rain, etc etc.. Don't even get me started on the endless fuckups of my last name. So with a unique first and last name you can imagine how much time I spend teaching people how to say my name correctly.  This is a big problem when you're trying to promote your art with said weird hard to pronounce name.

Most musicians and actors with this problem change their name to a stage name that's an easier name to market. IE Bob Dyan was born Robert Zimmerman and Lady Gaga was born Stefani Germanotta etc etc.

So here I am. I knew that I would come to this bridge someday. I'm starting over in a sense with a new cd, new music, new manager etc etc. So I thought this would be a good time to put my music under a more marketable umbrella.

My name is Rayen Earl Belchere the Earl comes from my Grandfather. When I was young and would come in from a long day of fishing with my grandfather my grandmother would always say. "Look! It's Earl and Early Ray". She would combine my first and middle name to this cute nickname.

So when I was thinking of a new name to put my music out as this came as a no brainer. I wanted this new name to have meaning and have a realness. Not just some random made up name. So on Feb 17th 2011 my next cd will be released and it will be as Early Ray.

For the record. I am not having an identity crisis and am not suddenly gonna demand to be called Early, Earl, Ray or whatever. Just when you tell your friends about my music you now have a simpler name for you and them to remember. With that being said. When you speak to me in person you can call me whatever you'd like.

If you are a friend please don't be the "cool" person that mocks the idea and say stupid shit in an attempt to be funny. If you're my friend then you've been there when my names been messed up and I hope you support this and have my back. 

I will be writing in this blog often with updates, stories, and random thoughts on my life. I hope you check in from time to time.  

I am starting over in a way. I look forward to the adventure. I look forward to the new friends I will make and the new faces. A rebirth of sorts has been in order for quite a while.

Welcome to the rebirth.
Early Ray