Updated Tue, Mar 27, 2012 8:36 pm
For the past year, Athens audiences have been enjoying The D-Rays' high-energy brand of reverb-soaked surf/garage rock. Now the band is poised to take its music far beyond the A-Town city limits.
Since forming at a company party in late 2010, guitarist Erick Coleman, bassist Missy Pence and drummer Maceo Gabbard have performed regularly in Athens, Columbus, Dayton and Marietta.
One notable show in Marietta included an opening slot for rockabilly stalwarts Southern Culture on the Skids, with The D-Rays bringing a little bit of Athens to the river city. Literally.
"We rented a bus big enough to haul the band and 30 of our friends to The Adelphia," said Pence.
Now, having ventured as far as Fort Wayne, Ind., and Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas), the band is planning to promote a new three-song single, Safety Third, with a short tour that will take them to Chicago, St. Louis, Madison and Minneapolis.
The single, which features the songs "Epi Pen," "Chili Doggin'" and "Landlocked," was recorded at an all-analog studio in Fort Wayne called Off The Cuff Sound. According to Coleman, it was a good fit for the band.
"Owner Jason Davis engineered and co-produced the recording with us and it was a great," he said. "We plan on going back for our next release, too."
The single was mastered at Chicago's Boiler Room Studio by Collin Jordan, who had previously worked with blues legend Hound Dog Taylor and industrial metal band Ministry.
This Friday, the band will celebrate the record release with a show at Casa Cantina, featuring fellow Athens bands Hex Net, Bonzai and Octopus & Owl.
"We asked three of our favorite local bands to play with us," said Pence. "The Athens music scene is thriving; we consider ourselves lucky to live in a town where there’s never a shortage of great live music happening."
Fans will be able to pick up a vinyl copy this week at Haffa's Records and at Friday's show, although the band can "accomodate the turntable-impaired with a CD," said Pence. The single is also available as a download on iTunes and cdbaby.com.
For more information, visit www.draysathens.wordpress.com.