Raymond Coats has been the voice of Northern California soul for more than forty years. A veteran of stage and studio, the singer, songwriter, and bandleader has worked with everyone from Michael Jackson to Bill Withers. He and his band the West Coast Groove have entertained R&B fans in the Bay area and beyond for decades.
This site has followed Raymond Coats’ journey in recent years, since his 2021 single “Tell Me What it Is”. The prolific soul man has released over two dozen singles in just the last three years. In December he delivered a brand new full-length LP.
Uncle Ray’s Project is the new album from Raymond Coats, released worldwide via all major streaming services on December 5, 2023. The twelve-song set is a curated collection of some of the singer’s most popular singles of the past year. Regular readers will recognize tracks like “The Blues Running Wild” and the funk-infused “Lay it to Your Heart“.
From the percussive island vibes and Memphis horns of “A Love I Can See”, to the hip-hop/r&b jam “The Reason That I Smile”, Raymond Coats and The West Coast Groove pair classic soul vibes with modern beats and style on Uncle Ray’s Project. They lay down some smooth blues on tracks like “You’re Not a Bad Dad”. The band shows-off plenty of jazzy virtuosity throughout the album, especially on tunes like the 70s-inspired “Lady Love ”.
The band continues that classic soul vibe on tracks like “All Love Ain’t Good Love”, “This the One”, and on Raymond Coats’ faithful cover of the Quincy Jones and James Ingram 1981 hit “Just Once”. And of course, there is no shortage of love on the record. Chilled and sexy slow jams like “I Feel Hot For You” offer the perfect soundtrack for candlelit romance.
Check out the “You’re Not a Bad Dad” video below, or listen to Uncle Ray’s Project in its entirety on your favorite streaming service. You can also hear the songs “The Reason that I Smile” and “A Love I Can See” on the Deep Dive : Hip-hop and R&B playlist. Follow the links below to connect with Raymond Coats.