“Dave Alan Shaw, who normally plays guitar, is playing some keys and Anthony Papaleo, a new member, is playing guitar and fiddle," Flanagan continues. "People in the band are now doing auxiliary things, and people are singing, which has always been a problem with my bands. People are always afraid to sing. Joe Botta is playing bass. There’s a lot less rules with 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 figure out a way to make it interesting.”
Ever since the pandemic hit, Flanagan has focused on upping his songwriting game, and he's been remarkably prolific despite the turbulent times.
“I release two songs a month, and I’ve been doing that for a year consistently,” he says. “It started because of the pandemic. I didn’t have home recording equipment. I bought a bunch of it at the beginning of the pandemic thinking I would need it for streaming. I have written quite a bit during the pandemic, and I have a huge catalog of stuff I’ve just never released. I used to think I didn’t have enough money to make an album the right way. Now, I just put stuff out. I have found that more people are paying attention because I’m putting stuff out.”
Just last week, Flanagan and Orefice Roth, a local band led by singer-songwriter Skylar Keffer, released a terrific split single.
“Orefice Roth is on the darker side of Americana, and to me there are progressive elements to it,” says Flanagan. “It’s really eerie.”
Ray Flanagan and the Mean Machine and Orefice Roth will both perform at 8 p.m. on Friday at the Winchester as part of a show designed to celebrate Flanagan’s 29th birthday. Abby Rose and Jen Maurer round out the bill.
Flanagan says he'll join Orefice Roth for a live rendition 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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