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Mr. Haircut

Tidal Motion

by John Daniel Ray

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Tidal Motion is my new single, and I managed to get two of the finest musicians I’ve ever met to play on it– Jonathan Greene and Matt Sickels. Jonathan co-hosts Mr. Haircut with me, and Matt is our most recent guest.

Matt said it would be a good idea to tell the story of how I wrote this tune. There is a reason it’s called Tidal Motion; I came up with the original groove sitting in my canoe out in the ocean, barely in sight of any land.

I had played a gig somewhere on the outer banks of NC the night before, and knowing I would be off work the next day threw my canoe on top of the car, packed a cooler full of beer, frozen shrimp and granola bars, and grabbed my travel guitar and a fishing rod. This is one of the reasons I love my job so much- I get to do these things on a regular basis! I could already fill up a book with stories of these trips, but this one was pretty uneventful. Except that I don’t think I caught a single fish (beside the point) and ended up just sitting in my boat being rocked by the waves and picking on this little guitar. This rhythm just came to my head, and I wrote the first few sections of this tune as I sat and drank beer. It wasn’t until I got home and played the riff again that I realized it was in 15/16 time and modulated time signatures frequently. It all flows well though, at least in my head. Translating that to other people is a challenge, though, and the chart took me a while to write!

I hope you enjoy this tune as much as I have enjoyed the whole process of writing, rehearsing, recording, mixing and producing this!


released May 13, 2016
John Ray, Bass
Matt Sickels, Guitar
Jonathan Greene, Drums


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John Daniel Ray Winston Salem, North Carolina

John Daniel Ray is a progressive bassist and composer from Winston-Salem, NC. He specializes in using computers to augment his bass and voice in an improvisatory setting. He is passionate about improvised music, and enjoys playing with anyone who loves music, energy, and life as much as he does. ... more

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