First Listen: Raymond Coats wants to know "What It Is"

(May 6, 2021) Sometimes an artist simply lives by, for and in the groove.  For Raymond Coats, it is all about the West Coast Groove (named after one of his backing groups), a musical zone with which he is most than familiar through his solo performance catalog of singles and E.P.s including the 2016 release, Just Friends.  That is why he claims as his motto, “You know before you go.” 

That is why this Bay Area based singer/songwriter simply loves to entertain his audiences via YouTube videos and regional clubs and festivals, even without major media exposure after all these 30 plus years.  Feeding off inspirations like The Impressions, The Temptations, and Bill Withers, Coats weaves his musical flavors from soul to steppers, faithfully sticking to the old school way.

(May 6, 2021) Sometimes an artist simply lives by, for and in the groove.  For Raymond Coats, it is all about the West Coast Groove (named after one of his backing groups), a musical zone with which he is most than familiar through his solo performance catalog of singles and E.P.s including the 2016 release, Just Friends.  That is why he claims as his motto, “You know before you go.” 

That is why this Bay Area based singer/songwriter simply loves to entertain his audiences via YouTube videos and regional clubs and festivals, even without major media exposure after all these 30 plus years.  Feeding off inspirations like The Impressions, The Temptations, and Bill Withers, Coats weaves his musical flavors from soul to steppers, faithfully sticking to the old school way.

With all that recorded music under his belt, the 72-year-old Coats finally breaks through to our First Listen pages for his recent single, “Tell Me What It Is,” a ballad on which a lover is trying to encourage his partner to move on from the heartbreak.  “Shadows of the past, all that’s in your mind/We grow and we choose to learn with what we leave behind/When one door is closed, another one is there/I’m here for you now and for you I care.”

The simple arrangement features female backing vocals, keys, and strings, stamped by Coats’ distinct enunciated delivery capturing all the emotion behind the storyline.  After a through listen to “Tell Me What It Is,” tell us what you think.

By Peggy Oliver

Raymond Coats - "Tell Me What It Is"

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