Nashville-Based Folk-Rock Duo, Linen Ray, Set To Release Sophomore Studio Album 'On The Mend'
On May 13th, Rebekah and Gabriel Craft, of married folk-rock duo Linen Ray, will issue an album that represents a powerful rebirth. The couple’s sophomore studio album, On The Mend, it comes after an intense time of uncertainty; healing and longing to be healed; exploring childhood trauma; and saying goodbye to the old and coming into something new.
The 12-track album is also a love letter to the breathtaking bucolic expanse of Tennessee with its many state parks, waterfalls, and its “Old Hickory Lake,” also known as the Cumberland River which is just a stone’s throw away from Rebekah and Gabriel’s cozy home.
“What’s important in this life is vulnerability, feeling loved and valued, friendship, acceptance, and sensitivity,” says singer-songwriter Rebekah. Songwriter and multi- instrumentalist Gabriel adds: “The state of Tennessee is so beautiful, and being out in nature, taking walks, hiking and gardening has contributed to our healing process.” The 12-song album was made during the pandemic through remote sessions with British producer Patrick Jordan (Young Rebel Set, Cattle & Cane, Matt Wilde).
A butterfly’s metamorphosis metaphorically embodies the spirit of On The Mend, as no other life form beautifully represents the power of soaring after a prolonged period of inner transformation. The masterful folk-rock/Americana album is lavished with elegant roots music touches like pedal steel, harmonica, folkie acoustic guitars, twanging electric guitars, and well-placed percussion. Throughout, Rebekah’s vocals are dynamically expressive, her range sweeps up from sweet soft tones to full-voiced soul singing with a warm and wide vocal vibrato. The album opens with the single, “Try,” an inviting country-rock tune with a poignant message of empowerment. The stately piano ballad title track features vocals that emote like they have a heart-in-your-throat flutter. Here, the music frames the message with tastefully dramatic percussion, and hauntingly beautiful ethereal textures. Other album standouts include the triumphant gospel-soul of the previous single, “Love Ain’t Easy,” and the smoldering Fleetwood Mac style pop-rock grooving single, "In The Fire.”
Ten years ago, Rebekah and Gabriel Craft found themselves living parallel lives as musicians. At night, while Gabriel was out gigging as an in-demand pro drummer, Rebekah would compose songs in the privacy of their bedroom. Each didn’t realize their romantic life partner was also their musical soulmate. Coming together, the two discovered untapped artistic potential.
Today, Linen Ray has emerged a powerhouse roots-y Americana band. Freshly inspired after relocating to Nashville.
“We have a story to share, and we’re hoping that we’ll help others through our music,” Rebekah says. “Our songs are vulnerable and thought-provoking, and they take the listener through a journey of healing and recovery.”
Linen Ray features Rebekah’s pristine and soul-tinged vocals upfront, ably backed by Gabriel’s subtly dexterous drums, conjuring the pocket and clever syncopations of Mick Fleetwood. The pair fill out the sound with ace musicians playing nuanced and intuitively, letting the songs and Rebekah’s vocals luxuriate in sympathetic and restrained musicality.
Lyrically, Linen Ray write with raw candor but always nestle messages of hope in its stirring songs. “We write about our personal and life experiences. We do a lot of soul-searching while we write, and we want to be as transparent as possible,” Rebekah says.
The group’s name is a playful amalgamation of the couple’s middle names, Lynn and Ray. Musically, Linen Ray pulls influences from 1970s Laurel Canyon folk-pop, 1960s and 1970s rock, alt-country and traditional country, and gospel.
The pair’s classic and contemporary folk-pop perspective conjures an array of comparisons, including Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Joni Mitchell, Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Neko Case, and Jenny Lewis, among others.
To date, Linen Ray have released a studio album, a live keepsake album recorded at the famed Ann Arbor nationally-known folk and acoustic venue The Ark, and an EP.