Robert James Ray
DON'T WANT YOUR LIES: BACK STORY
Updated: Aug 7, 2018
This song is one that I hadn’t really considered releasing until Liam Watson mentioned it would be a nice one to try. I often take him batches of material and although this one was included on a CD I gave him it was was relatively under my radar. However having been through the process of recording it, it stands out as a representation of part of my record collection, just not the part of my record collection I thought it would.
It was written after a recent phase of listening to The Everly Brothers. I say a phase, I have been listening to them all my life but let's just say I had a more intense period! They are one of those artists that I keep coming back to, like you would a therapist or a Tibetan monk. Seeking what other advice and knowledge I can use/borrow/steal. There’s something about vocal harmonies that sounds so satisfying to me and is equally rewarding to sing. I don’t think anybody did two-part vocal harmonies better than Phil and Don. Don had the killer lead phrasing and Phil sealed the deal with his beautiful upper range.
‘Don’t Want Your Lies' is about being in a relationship that has become too difficult to be a part of, but one that is equally difficult to end. It's basically a no win situation, and as Bart Simpson would say 'you are dammed if you do, and dammed if you don't'. Thinking about it, Bart Simpson's 'Deep Deep Trouble' may have been the first record I ever owned which explains alot (It was even on vinyl). At some point I think all relationships have their moments like this, and they are usually turning points where things either change and get better or someone decides to break away.
Musically it’s got a 60s pop-folk quality to it which was how I was hearing it, but I never expected it to come out so country. On the session I was lucky enough to have Chris Hillman on board who is one of the UK's finest pedal steel players (and a fellow northerner). I’ll blame him for the country-ness! He added a real touch of Sweethearts Of The Rodeo by The Byrds, which although some will argue is not ‘real’ country is a timeless and iconic record. Vocally I ended up channeling more George Jones than the Everly Brothers. Not to say that I think I pull off the mastery of George Jones (who could!) but something about the melody made me phrase in a way that was reminiscent. He was such a skilful vocalist, one of those rare few who could sing the phone book and make it sound good. He’s definitely up there for me along with Patsy Cline, Lefty Frizzell and Marty Robbins.