RaIL is a duo comprising Will Scott and Preacher Boy. Separately, their sounds have been described as “hill country blues and soul-Americana” and “a devious storm of gothic Americana and gritty country blues." Together as RaIL, their sound is all of this and more, driven by stomping grooves, howling vocals, and driving slide guitar.
What began as an idea in Brooklyn nearly two decades ago has taken shape in 2020 in the form of a debut single, “In The River.” It is the duo’s darkly reverential re-working of a song by 80’s-era alt-rockers The Call, released on March 17th to honor the birthday of Michael Been, The Call’s departed and much-missed leader.
The song’s unique call-and-response form is an ideal vehicle to showcase the powerful and unique voices of these two artists. New York Press once said of Will Scott that he had “a voice as thick as blood,” and Sing Out has praised Preacher Boy’s “gruff, whiskey-soaked vocals.”
The name “RaIL” is, in fact, an acronym for Tony Joe White’s brilliant song “Roosevelt & Ira Lee,” and while The Call may be the inspiration for the new single, it is Tony Joe’s singular weave of swampy rhythms, earthy storytelling, and bluesy sensibilities that marks the core point of connection between Will and Preacher Boy, who last worked together on Will’s debut release “Grawbone.” The album earned a coveted four-star rating from legendary Q magazine, who wrote that, “the rumbling title track alone will set hellhounds on your trail.” That Robert Johnson spirit has emerged in reviews of Preacher Boy’s work as well, whose music was once described by Melody Maker as “country blues that marry Nick Cave, Robert Johnson, Woody Guthrie, and Tom Waits."
“In The River” marks the official debut of RaIL, but the partnership behind the music is a long-burning fire that continues to set new sonic sparks alight. The only question now is, will there be a full album forthcoming?