Hitsville AUS

The Ray Mann Three circa 2008 L to R: Me, Ray, Byron
Once upon a time i was a member of the Ray Mann Three. It was the brainchild of Ray Wassef, one-time Kid Confucius lead guitarist and soul singer. Ray imposed a sort of vintage suit'n'tie dress code for tRM3 gigs, and we extended this aesthetic beyond the stage and into the studio.

This was a really smart idea, it didn't feel like artifice, on the contrary it helped to legitimise the project without needing to consciously contrive anything- it put us in character, made us feel like we were doing something special and i really think it translated onto the tape.

It connected us to another time and plugged us into that old school Hitsville USA ethic of going into the studio to work, but in the best possible sense of that word. Like: this is my job, this is my office, i am the motherfucking shit!

Ray on a tank, on tour with Kid C
Ray was a very influential figure in my musical life. He is a brilliant guitarist and a really stunning visual artist. More than that though, he has a real eye for the big picture. Everything we did in that band was integrated, nothing was done without some consideration of a greater intention, an ultimate goal.

During his time in Kid C he was an assiduous networker, gathering advice from anyone who would offer it. Once he felt like he had enough of an evidence base, he left Kid Confucius and put his full creative weight behind tRM3. Gigs that seemed like a waste of time would be booked to fill a gap in the resume, and that in turn would impress the right person who would then stick their neck out for the band in some other well-anticipated context. Posters that Ray designed for the band's very first gigs hang now, many years later, in perfect congruity with those from last week's gigs.

I aspire to this sort of shrewdness, but i don't think i have the discipline to pull it off. All you have to do is take a short click-stroll through this blog to see how sidetracked i can get. My creative energy shoots outwards in a diffuse spray- a lack of focus and foresight that leads to catastrophic stuff-ups and personal meltdowns. I'm about due for the next one actually...

ANYHOO, in the spirit of Motown and the Ray Mann Three, Dave and I suited up for the rhythm section sessions for the briscoe album.

And while the stress of knocking out a whole album's worth of drum and bass tracks in a day isn't conducive to the kind of romance i was trying to invoke, it at least made for some nice pictures.


  1. Those rugs really tied the room together.

  2. I loved the vibe RM3 put out, and that is why I kept coming to see you guys even though it was way out of my genres of choice. Certainly, the "look" contributed, though I always wished that white drummer boy would have grown a 1977 Lindsey Buckingham fro to shame Ray's and Byron's.

    I'd love to help briscoe, but only if they are as good or better than Dusker......

  3. trust me, if i could fro i would