Local singer-songwriter Ray Flanagan to debut with new band in Winchester

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  • Courtesy of Ray Flanagan
  • Local singer-songwriter Ray Flanagan.

Singer-songwriter Ray Flanagan says he intended to change the name of his revamped backing band, which he now calls the Mean Machine, some time ago.

“My brother Russ plays the drums, and it’s a different thing than anything we’ve ever done before,” says Flanagan. He will officially debut with Ray Flanagan and the Mean Machines on Friday at 8 p.m. at the Winchester in Lakewood, where he will perform with Orefice Roth, Abby Rose and Jen Maurer.

“Dave Alan Shaw, who normally plays guitar, plays a few keys and Anthony Papaleo, a new member, plays guitar and violin,” Flanagan continues. “The band members now do ancillary things, and people sing, which has always been a problem with my bands. People are always afraid to sing. Joe Botta plays bass. There are a lot less rules with it. what we’re doing right now. We don’t just want to be a rock band with guitars. Even if we are, we want to find a way to make it interesting.

Since the pandemic hit, Flanagan has focused on improving his songwriting game, and he’s been remarkably prolific despite the turbulent times.

“I release two songs a month, and I’ve been doing it regularly for a year,” he says. “It started because of the pandemic. I had no home recording equipment. I bought a bunch of them at the start of the pandemic thinking I would need them for streaming. I wrote a lot during the pandemic and have a huge catalog of things that I never published. I used to think that I didn’t have enough money to make an album the right way. Now I just got stuff out. I found that more people are paying attention because I post stuff.

Just last week, Flanagan and Orefice Roth, a local band led by singer-songwriter Skylar Keffer, released a terrific single split.

“Orefice Roth is on the darker side of Americana, and for me there are some progressive elements,” says Flanagan. “It’s really strange.”

The split single features Orfice Roth’s odd number “Be Dust!” and Flanagan’s roots rock song “Stay Out of My Dreams”, a tangy song that echoes the band.

Ray Flanagan and the Mean Machine and Orefice Roth will both perform at 8 p.m. Friday at the Winchester in a show designed to celebrate Flanagan’s 29th birthday. Abby Rose and Jen Maurer complete the poster.

Flanagan says he will join Orefice Roth for a live performance of “Be Dust !,” and Keffer will join Ray Flanagan and the Mean Machine when they play “Stay Out of My Dreams”.

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Corina C. Butler

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