TEXARKANA, Ark. — Country legend Collin Raye comes here today, but this time he’s treating fans to something different — classic rock ‘n’ roll.
“It’s going to be a guaranteed fun night, because who doesn’t love classic rock,” Raye said. “We’ll be doing UK and US hits. We’ll be playing songs from the Eagles, Bob Seger, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and more.”
The show, Collin Raye and the Riff Raff is a “homage to classic rock”. The show starts at 9 p.m. at Whiskey River Country, 310 E. 49th St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30.
Raye, who was born in De Queen, grew up in Wake Village and graduated from Texas High School, said he was looking forward to returning to play in his hometown. His brother Scotty Wray is sick and wants to see the show. That’s one of the reasons he’s performing in Texarkana.
“It’s an idea I’ve wanted to do for two or three years, and I’ve put together an amazing band,” Raye said. “I did a show in Nashville and a lot of people on Facebook asked us to take it to Texarkana. Whiskey River is a wonderful place with a great fun atmosphere, good sound and lights.”
Although most of the show is dedicated to rock ‘n’ roll, country fans who want to hear some of Raye’s classic ’90s country hits, such as “Little Rock” or “Love Me”, can make this request and will be obliged, he said. Raye burned the sales charts in the 90s with a mix of country-rock melodies and socially conscious material.
It also blazed across the spectrum with snappy rockers like “My Kind of Girl”, https://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/2022/feb/17/country-legend-collin-raye-flips- classic-rock/”This is my story”, https://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/2022/feb/17/country-legend-collin-raye-flips-classic-rock/”I Can Still Feel You and “I want you so much.” He has 25 Top 10 records, 16 No. 1 hits and 10 times nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year to his credit.
“I grew up with classic country artists like Haggard, Jones, Buck, Cash, Waylon, Johnny Horton, Charley Pride, Tammy Wynette, Dolly, Connie Smith, Ray Price and all the greats,” Raye said. “But I discovered rock ‘n’ roll as a teenager and grew to love it too. My brother and I played a lot of both styles of music throughout our youth and were influenced by both genders.”
Raye said he hopes the show will take viewers on a musical journey to a time when life seemed a little less chaotic.
“My goal with The Riff Raff is to take audiences back to another time in life where we were young and carefree with life ahead of us,” he explains. “For two or three hours, we will be young and carefree again.”
Perry Steitler, owner of the property on which Whiskey River Country sits, said he was a drummer for Raye in his early days. He fondly remembers those years as well as working with Raye’s brother, Scotty Wray, who was Miranda Lamber’s early guitarist and was by his side for about 20 years.
“It’s going to be one of the best shows you’ll ever see. Collin Raye is going to make music like he’s very capable of and what I remember early on,” he said. “When he got into country ballads, it was so opposite. He’s so good at rock. You’re going to get a good idea of what Collin can do with 70s, 80s and 90s rock.”
Although Steitler didn’t follow Raye and his band to do shows in Vegas and Oregon early in their career, he’s still happy to have known Raye and played with him while he was doing it.
“I didn’t play with him long – about six to eight months, but Collin Raye got me a job as a drummer at Pines Country Club in 1979,” he said. “He changed the course of my life that year. I played at the Pines for 11 years, from 1979 to 1993 and played with all the greats like George Strait, Eddy Raven and Gary Stewart.”
Raye and his brother, Scotty Wray, worked together on a 2020 album called “Scars.” This album was Raye’s first released since 2009. It is a personal album filled with music that Raye has said he has wanted to do for a long time. He said fans might find it exciting that Vince Gill and Miranda Lambert also have a spot on the album.
(For more information on the show, go to whiskeyrivercountry.com online.)