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Woodmoor resident Sandy Reay just released her first album, “I Wanted to Fly.” The album, a blend of Americana that features numerous local artists is available through Colorado Sandstorm Music. Photo by Ryan Boldrey

She wanted to fly
By Ryan Boldrey
Published: 03.07.10
in The Tri-Lakes Tribune

Woodmoor resident Sandy Reay has been playing music since she was “old enough to lift a lid on a piano and pick out a tune by ear.”

In other words, for her, it’s been 55 years since she fell in love, at first touch and listen, with the sounds of music.

Since that time, Reay has been in countless bands as a supporting musician, playing bass, guitar, piano and harmonizing with her vocals. But it wasn’t until two years ago at a Peak Potentials Life Directions seminar in Los Angeles, where she decided to turn her lifelong passion into a dream of becoming a recording artist.

Not even a year-and-half later Reay made that dream a reality, putting the final touches on her debut album, “I Wanted to Fly,” a blend of Americana folk, country and blues that features numerous Colorado artists as supporting musicians, performing under the moniker of Sandy Reay and Friends.

Drawing from musical influences ranging from Peter, Paul and Mary to Joan Baez to Simon and Garfunkel and Jefferson Airplane, Reay has penned or co-written14 original tracks for her debut release, and has her second album already in the works.

Aside from not having a full-time backing band, part of the reason Reay brought in 16 other musicians into the studio with her was her desire for a great final product.

“I know a lot of people that can do what I can do better, so when I went into the studio that was my approach,” she said. “I can find someone who can play the guitar better than I can and I can [sometimes] find someone who can sing my song better.”

Reay takes the leads on vocals on five of the tracks, while on all of the co-written songs — even though she is responsible for most of the lyrics — she allows her co-writer to sing, lending to the album a nice variety and vocal blend.

“I’ve been lucky enough to find the most phenomenal co-writers and they are all dear friends,” she added. “I said let’s make a cd and have a party.”

And that’s exactly what Reay did, recording the album in Jim Ratts’ studio in Englewood with a mix of musicians she had come to know through her various affiliations with the Colorado Renaissance Festival (where she was the bass wench for six years), the Swallow Hill Music Society and the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society.

She has already received radio play with two songs on the album; “State Line Cafe” and “Already Gone,” and the song “Maybe This Time” features mandolin play from Peter Schwimmer, who has won top honors at The Telluride Bluegrass Festival for mandolin, banjo and guitar playing.

Reay, who has done everything from race cars to live on a horse ranch to breed and rescue collies and work on an oil-drilling rig, has found herself “bitten by the bug to write” and is feverishly at work on new material. She is also in the meantime, playing out every chance she gets.

“Right now I’m going to a lot of open mics and jams and playing guitar and singing my songs,” said Reay, who can be heard live at places such as Swallow Hill in Denver, Sheabeen in Aurora and Kunjani in Parker and possibly sometime soon at the Speed Trap in Palmer Lake.

“About 16 years ago I started writing songs seriously,” she said. “Songs have always come to me and I had always let them go. Friends started telling me I needed to play my own songs and I finally listened to them.”

To order a copy of Reay’s cd or download the mp3 go to I Wanted To Fly.

     
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