GEORGE LYNCH's ELECTRIC FREEDOM Performs Without Singer RAY WEST In Missouri; Temporary Replacement Announced
July 16, 2022
George Lynch's GEORGE LYNCH AND THE ELECTRIC FREEDOM project performed yesterday (Friday, July 15) in St. Peters, Missouri with another short-notice replacement singer, a Seattle-based musician named Travis Bracht (BRUISER BRODY, SECOND COMING). Also joining the legendary DOKKEN axeman at the gig were his longtime drummer Jimmy D'Anda (BULLETBOYS) along with TANTRIC bassist Jaron Gulino, who was filling in for Rob DeLuca (Sebastian Bach, UFO, SPREAD EAGLE). A local musician also got up on stage and sang DOKKEN's "It's Not Love" with George, Jimmy and Jaron.
It is not clear why singer Ray West (SPREAD EAGLE), who made his live debut with GEORGE LYNCH AND THE ELECTRIC FREEDOM on July 8 in Saginaw, Michigan, was absent from the St. Peters concert. DeLuca, meanwhile, is currently on the road in Europe with UFO, with whom he has been playing since 2008.
After video of GEORGE LYNCH AND THE ELECTRIC FREEDOM's July 9 show in Woodhaven, Michigan was posted online, several fans were critical of West's performance, with one person writing on YouTube, "The vocal sounds best on [the instrumental song] 'Mr. Scary'", and another person chiming in: "I can't get into this singer. Awful." A third person wrote: "What happened to Ray West? He's great in the studio but I guess not when he's live. This is sad." A fourth fan added: "kinda bummed on this gig, had high hopes for Ray, maybe once they find their groove things will fall into place. Right now it doesn't seem too natural, kinda awkward." Bracht also weighed in on the discussion, writing simply "hold my beer" in a comment that was posted on July 13, two days before his own live debut with GEORGE LYNCH AND THE ELECTRIC FREEDOM.
Not everybody panned Ray's delivery at his second concert with GEORGE LYNCH AND THE ELECTRIC FREEDOM, with one fan writing: "Ray West is Amazing singer….Give him a chance." Another person chimed in: "Ray has a style of singing that fits perfectly. Would have loved to see this."
Gulino took to his personal Facebook page on Friday to write that he and Bracht would be performing with GEORGE LYNCH AND THE ELECTRIC FREEDOM again today (Saturday, July 16) in Plymouth, Indiana.
Last month, Lynch announced that he had recruited West to sing for GEORGE LYNCH AND THE ELECTRIC FREEDOM after the departure of Andrew Freeman (LAST IN LINE, GREAT WHITE). He told Andrew Daly of WWMusic about how he enlisted West for the project: "Well, I've known about Ray for a while because he was good friends with [former LYNCH MOB singer] Oni [Logan]; they kind of came up together. In the pre-LYNCH MOB days in Florida, Oni and Ray had a lot of history, and they were kind of at the same level, but Oni hit a little harder than Ray did as far as making an impact and making a name for himself. But it's really interesting because they're kind of out of the same mold. So, with Ray, he is just a great fit for the band, you know? And so what happened was Rob DeLuca has been in the band for a while as the bass player, so when we lost Andrew to GREAT WHITE, Rob said, 'Hey, you should check out Ray.' And I hadn't even thought of it, but Rob said, 'Check him out. He might be a natural fit. And so I did, and he really is. I mean, I probably couldn't have designed a better fit in a laboratory."
Asked what he feels Ray will bring to the table, George said: "Well, LYNCH MOB has been a revolving door for sure. At this point, there have been more people that have been in this band than haven't been in this band. [Laughs]. And so it hasn't always been the perfect guys that I would have liked to handpick. It's almost like, and I don't want this to sound negative in any way, but it's always been more of a matter of convenience at times. It's like this: when you get a different member of the band, be it a drummer, singer, bass player, or whatever — and this happens with a lot of people I've played with — it doesn't always click. But I think what is a little different about Ray is that it's like I'm putting myself back in time.
"When we formed LYNCH MOB initially back in '89, the world was our oyster. We had worldwide tryouts and we really took our time because we wanted to just hit it hard right out of the box. Without all the hype and expectations, I think I have a little bit of a sense with Ray that he could have been that other guy instead of Oni. And that's not to say there was anything wrong with Oni; it's more a testament to Ray, that I think he could have easily been the guy back then.
"Honestly, I can't think of any weak spots with this guy. There are some guys who can't cut it in the studio, or they can't do it live because they're not much of a frontman. You see some guys who don't write lyrically, or they're not a poet in that way. Some guys just don't have the chops for melodies; they just don't have a sense of that. Or they can write lyrics, but they're not poets. There are all these different things, and stylistically, yeah, you might have a guy that's just a monster machine, but he's got no soul, and he lacks that thing that really fits with the legacy of the music. So, with all those things, for me, you have to put that all together, and again, I think with anybody else that has ever come through the door, toured, and done record, I've enjoyed every minute of that, and I appreciate everybody that I've played with. Through the years, it's been a wonderful experience and adventure, but I think Ray is kind of like the cap on the end of the bookshelf. I mean, of course, you never know, and I guess nothing's forever, especially in this band. [Laughs]. We could be having this conversation again six months from now, and maybe the turnstile turned again, and we had to get a new guy. I am not anticipating that, but I've learned well enough that with this band, you just never know. But for the moment, I'm really appreciating the fact that we hooked up, and that we're going to do this, and I'm very excited. I know Ray's very excited too. He's over the top and we are too, and I think that's a little bit infectious.
"When you become a little bit older like me, it starts to become a little bit harder to get around. The result is it takes me a little bit more to get my motor going, so it's kind of like, 'Well, we've had thirty-five guys in this band. Okay, this is number thirty-six. Let's see.' But, you know, I really am genuinely excited, and we're always excited about having new guys and getting fresh blood. But this one is even more of an exceedingly animated thing for us because I think Ray is gonna bring some new life into our whole little world here. And we are planning on doing a record; we just signed up to do another album. It will be through Frontiers [Music Srl], and this will be my first official ELECTRIC FREEDOM record."
It was only six months ago that Lynch introduced the previous GEORGE LYNCH AND THE ELECTRIC FREEDOM lineup at a concert at Count's Vamp'd in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lynch, D'Anda and DeLuca were joined at that gig by Freeman. At the time, Lynch wrote on social media that he "finally put together" his "perfect band."
Oni first hooked up with LYNCH MOB in 1990, but exited the group after the release of its first album, only to rejoin the outfit in the late 2000s.
Logan is featured on five of LYNCH MOB's eight albums, including 1990's "Wicked Sensation", as well as 2009's "Smoke And Mirrors", 2014's "Sun Red Sun", 2015's "Rebel" and 2017's "The Brotherhood".
2 shows with George Lynch & The Electric Freedom boys Jimmy D'Anda and Travis Bracht kicking off tonight! See ya at...
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