R&B, Blues, Soul & Stax

Road Trip With Ray

15 SEP 09 ANNE FARNSWORTH

If your holiday travel plans have been downgraded to a staycation, Concord's got the remedy. Ray Charles' The Genius Hits The Road will take you on a cross-country trip that hits all the musical hot spots from Basin Street to Blue Hawaii.

One of the first concept albums, Ray personally chose the original 13 selections on this 1960 recording. Six bonus tracks from other recordings are also included, all with a destination or traveling theme.

Vintage chestnuts from the worlds of pop, swing, traditional and country get the patented Ray Charles touch. When you think of Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia On My Mind," it's Ray's version that comes to your mind. And so it will be with other familiar standards, from the cool sophistication of "Moonlight In Vermont" to Americana classics like "California Here I Come" and "Deep In The Heart Of Texas."

"Carry Me Back To Old Virginny," minus some of the more controversial verses, takes on new life as a mid-century gospel-tinged anthem, with Ray rolling the octaves on the piano and the Raylettes grooving a slow jam in the background. The album hits shelves Sept. 22. Pop it in the changer and I guarantee you'll be hitting the road, Jack.

in this playlist.