“Utterly original and oddly beautiful… [with] off-the-hook creativity and dead-on musicianship,” ~ Mark McDermott, the Easy Reader
(pF)art punk swamp pop, surfo-delicatessen cow bop, prog priest skank-a-billy Glam rock... & roll. Rooster Ra is fondly nutiful; Swooning, irreverent, mystical and absurd love; in the same exhale.
The friendship of Ray Waggoner and Scott Hughes began with a punch in the stomach at a spin the bottle party the summer before 8th grade. A contentious friendship, obsessed by rock & roll, butt-head metal, prog rock and fusion, was born. Out of their friendship grew a musical partnership that has lasted over 35 years. By their sophomore year, they were writing tunes together, leading a quartet, and spinning the records of Zeppelin, Floyd, the Beatles, the Buzzcocks and whatever they could get their ears around: Bartok, Dylan, Material, the Stanley Brothers, Ravi Shankar, Patsy Cline, the Bulgarian Women's Chorus, Coltrane... After graduation, their paths diverged for a time...
ROOSTER RA started in 1991 with Ray Waggoner on guitar and voice and Mitch Velasquez on drums and percussion. Multi-instrumentalist Sunny Erickson joined shortly, playing bass, flute, guitar and voice. The trio played the then burgeoning indie coffee house scene and bars of Ventura, Santa Barbara, Napa and Mammoth. This first phase of the band culminated in 1998 with an album entitled ‘Trillion Dances,’ and disbanded shortly thereafter.
Around this time, Hughes and Waggoner rebooted their musical partnership, jamming out and work shopping material together. In the early 2000’s, there was a brief Rooster Ra resurgence with Waggoner, Velasquez and now bassist/vocalist Hughes, but Velasquez passed over during this time. Eventually, in 2009, Waggoner and Hughes restarted the group, recording the album ‘High Heel Rockets,' with studio drummer Jim Christie. Subsequently, Rooster Ra gigged around with three different drummers, intitially John Lacques, then Scott Belsha and finally Robert Rachelli. Now in 2019, Rooster Ra releases three more albums: 'High Art,' 'Burning Low' & 'Under the Blinking Sky.'
LINEUP ON 2019 RELEASES
Ray Waggoner: Voice, Guitars
Scott Hughes: Voice, Upright Bass
Robert Rachelli/John Lacques/Scott Belsha: Drums
Jeff Evans: Kitchen Sink/Engineering