A photograph of Houston by Melissa Richardson Banks is the cover art of the album “Televisions Dreaming” featuring music by Space Yard, a duo featuring electric violinist and composer David Strother and lap slide steel guitarist Scot Ray.
David Strother is an electric violinist and composer based in Southern California. He has recorded several unique, exploratory solo CDs including the EP “In the Center of It All,” released in March 2018 on the Spirit Charity label, and “Azul,” which was came out in 2014. “Space Yard,” an experimental, adventurous duo set with the esteemed lap steel guitarist, Scot Ray, was a 2016 release. “Televisions Dreaming” marks the duo’s second album in their “Space Yard” series. Listen and buy the digital album at https://davidstrother.bandcamp.com/album/televisions-dreaming.
David is currently working on improvised solos and sonic textures to contribute to upcoming projects by visionary German musician Morgen Wurde, Canadian ambient musician Anne Sulikowski, and Los Angeles guitarist Michael Gayle. The upcoming independent film “When the Desert Was Home,” directed by Corey Deshon, is going into production and will feature David’s playing on its soundtrack.
In addition to the solo EP “In the Center of It All,” recording sessions are underway for a full-length solo CD, which will include collaborations with other musicians in addition to unaccompanied works and layered sound sculptures.
Along with the remarkable poet Ricardo Lira Acuna, David has hosted a popular L.A. area monthly poetry salon for over four years, accompanying spoken word artists with in-the-moment compositions. He has also contributed scores to Acuna’s poetry videos. David and Ricardo continue to create spoken word/music events in various Southern California locations, which are also broadcast globally via Facebook Live.
David’s playing has been featured in both film and television, including David Lynch’s “The Straight Story“ and “The Rookie“ and the Nickelodeon animated series “Doug.” A veteran of the Los Angeles roots/swing/blues scene, David was a member of both the Radio Ranch Straight Shooters and Lawrence Lebo’s band for many years. He has also guested on many albums in various genres, including Scot Ray’s “Earth Circuit,” the brilliant rapper Tito Calloway’s “Thugelligence,” and country artist Davie Gayle’s “Amber in the Clay.” His most recent guest appearances on CD are on Michael Dallas’ set of Bob Dylan love songs, “Romance in Durango,” and pianist/vocalist Jennifer Russell’s “Lie Down in That Grass.”
In 2015, David also recorded a solo for a song by singer/songwriter Joe Kevany, whose work has been recorded by Ry Cooder. David is a now a full-time member of Kevany’s popular roots/psychedelia ensemble Haywire, which gigs in Southern California on a regular basis.
David Strother’s current music explores electronically looped soundscapes that are generated through the use of both orthodox and unorthodox violin techniques. The improvisational spirit of jazz tradition remains a vital element, and despite the increased density created with looping technology, his intimate performances and recordings retain a quiet, nuanced intensity. He is an NS Design artist. To learn more, visit https://dstroviolin.com.
Scot Ray is a lap steel slide guitarist who is presently experiencing an accidental second career of sorts, having retired in 2003 from his many years as a jazz trombonist working with Brian Setzer, Nels Cline, Vinny Golia, Francisco Aguabella, Tony Bennett, and Jason Mraz, to name a few. Since that time, he has applied his lifelong fascination with portamento and the non-fixed pitch to slide guitar. That obsession – plus reconnecting with past sonic collaborators such as Steuart Liebig, Bill Barrett, Mark Raynes, Dan Clucas, and Alex Cline – has propelled Ray into a number of recording projects along with performances in Europe and the US. Current activities involve holding down the slide guitar chair in Steuart Liebig’s newest project “Men-Tot Six,” performing in the duo YAR with his pianist sister Vicki Ray, and a recent solo project entitled Vessel, recorded in The Tank at Rangley Colorado. A sampling of his work can be heard at https://scotray.bandcamp.com.
The “Televisions Dreaming” album was originally released in 2018, but it was re-released October 2021 by the Space Yard duo of electric violinist David Strother and lap steel guitar visionary Scot Ray. Like its predecessor, “Televisions Dreaming” was recorded live in a single session at Glynn Sound in the Southern California foothills. All music was spontaneously composed/improvised on the spot, with plenty of looping, but no overdubs. Angular/glitchy/transcendent soundscapes.
Re-released October 26, 2021 ; originally released October 2018
David Strother electric violin + fx, composer
Scot Ray lap steel guitar + fx, composer
Production Michael Gayle
Recording/Editing/Mastering Michael Gayle @ Glynn Sound
Cover art by Melissa Richardson Banks
David Strother is an NS Design artist