Here's What's New:

"The War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness" Has Finally Arrived! 

"The War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness" officially dropped this morning in a host of shops and distributors. You can find the new album on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, and more. Of course, you can buy it here, at JuleanAndTheRai.Com as well!  

We can't list them all here, so please check your local poison, and find us there!

"Sons of Light" Album Hits Stores Tomorrow! 

Just about FIVE HOURS before the album is finally in stores and online outlets. It's so exciting to see all the hard work the band and I did finally come to fruition!

So where can you find it? Well, pick your poison.

I don't have the links to every store just yet, but here're are the basics I know so far:




And of course, it's going to be here, on the new website, in digital format for only 6.99 for the next five hours.


Welcoming New Bassist Dave McHale 

Hey Everybody!

Even though this pic is from the third rehearsal, let's all give a warm welcome to the new bass player for Julean and the Rai, David McHale!

I'm exciting about the energy he brings to the band, and hopefully we'll be working out the song arrangements for "Sons of Darkness" soon, as we get caught up on the "Sons of Light" playlist for shows.

That's right ... local live shows coming soon, here. And we're discussing the possibility of stepping out a bit from our Denver enclave, as well!

Completing and Re-releasing Muse Tree, Here, and Alexandria, Falling. 

So I've been asked a few times recently about why I keep releasing a few of the same songs from Muse Tree, The Muse Tree Demos, and Here. And that's a good question. 

To start, a lot of my early music career was held back by the lifestyle I chose to live; which was essentially that of a nomadic musician. And while I wouldn't take any bit of that back, it certainly did result in a lot of my recordings being self funded, opportunistic, rushed, and usually plagued by some form of financial problem or another. That means that while my song catalog stacked up, the recordings weren't happening to match them. And when I did get to record, it was usually leaning on a favor (as in, not normal, paid studio time), and that limited a lot of what I could do. And with my energy often focused on survival, a lot of things went unfinished. 

The Muse Tree Demos (2003) is easy: I did everything on my own, and I had originally intended for it to be a release, but later just felt none of the songs were ready, mixed well, or really good to go in any way. So it left me with an "unfinished" feeling for all the songs on there. But it gave me good ideas for where they needed to go. 

Muse Tree, Here, Alexandria, and Disconnect (later called The New York State Demos) were all recorded at the same time, in the same sessions between February and March of 2007. They were also intended to be a regular release. And in many ways, they are. 

For the most part, I liked a lot of the performances, especially on "Here." and "Alexandria", which were pretty much played straight through in single takes. And in my opinion, much of it is good as is, performance and recording wise. 

But it was plagued by the same issues I had with The Muse Tree Demos: it was rushed, as I had little time to do it, it wasn't in an environment I had much control over, and everything about it was last minute. Also, doing everything myself, and still being a little green in the recording, mixing, and mastering arena, I still made some basic mistakes (like not keeping source recordings). And due to time constraints, I also had to leave before some of those were really finished, meaning that I never had a chance to add items to some of those tracks (particularly in "Here.") that needed them. 

And then a few months after those recording sessions, as Europe loomed, I had these unmixed, unmastered recordings lying around I hadn't finished yet, and needing something to sell as I traveled; particularly while busking and doing last minute shows. So, without having a chance to go back and fix things, and without real equipment, I quickly mixed all three, pressed them into shoddy demo jewel cases with the printed covers, and off I went. 

At some point, however, when I was overseas, those recordings found their way into the Torrent filesharing networks, and were then disseminated all over the place. And when I got back home to the States, they had beat me here. 

The recordings for Disconnect were never actually released. They included "Kristin", "Behind the Wall", "Delilah", and of course "Disconnect" itself. 

Time has passed, but as I couldn't fix anything I wanted to before, and since the mixing process was rushed, the intention was always to do three things: one, fix the mix and get a real master on all three albums, so that they're enjoyable without having to adjust your stereo to make it work ... for everybody. Two, mix and release the recordings for Disconnect, which have generally been hiding in a vault for 10 years. And three, give a few of those songs a full band treatment (as the vast majority of the arrangements on all three albums were intentionally sparse). So "The Exchange", "Leaving Goes", "Darlene", and "First Light", I felt needed to be updated, given the full band treatment, and on a release aiming at the mainstream. Hence, they found their way onto "The War of the Sons of Light" album. 

As for those three (or four, with Disconnect), I'm working now to finish cleaning up and remix them for a final release (in some recordings, you can literally hear a toilet flushing through the thin walls of the artist studio I was able to use to record). Any of the missing instrument tracks that weren't added to the earlier mixes, or intended to be there in the first place, will be restored or finished, as well. And in the end, they'll just be better sounding versions of themselves, properly mixed and given a proper master. I feel that all three releases could stand on their own given the full treatment they should have gotten in 2007. And I've been making great pains not to "add" anything that wasn't there already; especially things that require retracking. The exception being restoring the missing kick, cymbals, and true bass instrument sound in some recordings (the earlier takes in the mixes were all tracked just using my guitar as a bass). 

It's taken me so long mainly because it's a daunting task: going back and editing, cleaning up, lining up, and mixing roughly 40 songs. But I've been chipping away at it for the past year, finishing what I can, when I can. 

The original mixes will still be out there; they're called the "European demo" versions. I won't be paying for their release through the normal distribution channels, but I also won't be pulling them down from anywhere, either. Mostly, they'll just be a reminder of earlier demo versions of the work. 

And while there are two tracks set to appear on next year's "Sons of Darkness" album, "Sin" and "Alexandria, Falling" (for the reasons, above), for the most part, at that point, those songs and those albums are all done. 

There are still about 6 albums worth of unrecorded material to focus on, and that's what we'll be doing next. 

I hope that clears everything up, and be sure to snag the "Sons of Light" album coming out in THREE DAYS on all your favorite music shops, including Spotify, iTunes, Play, Groove, and heck; maybe even Pandora. We'll see. 

Meanwhile, while you're here, check out the tracklist for the upcoming "The War of the Sons of Darkness against the Sons of Light" album!

Interview with Julean Rai @ AudioGaZm 

{Source: AudioGaZm}

Hey guys! So this week i’m obsessing over Julean and the Rai, the ever-changing band headed up by (coincidentally) Julean Rai. The sound varies from relaxing to heart-stopping, Julean has a voice that will really make you LISTEN, and if you give it a chance, I promise at least one of his songs will steal your heart 🙂 Okay, I’ll quit being all emotional and sappy. The vlog and playlist will be up later tonight (or tomorrow morning?), but I got the pleasure of interviewing Julean via Skype this week and I couldn’t wait any longer to share it with you guys! *SPOILERS* turns out “95.676%” of his songs are about girls (think he should write one about me? lol!), he’s a former member of MENSA, and he’s got two new albums coming up! Wow! Check the link at the bottom to buy/listen to some of his stuff and let me know what you think! See ya next week!


Hailey Q


Follow them on twitter @juleanandtherai

and follow Julean @juleanrai


Julean Rai: Hey Hailey —

Hailey Q: Hey Julean!
Julean Rai: Hey there —
Hailey Q: It’s great to finally catch you on! 🙂 how are you?
Julean Rai: I’m doing well, how are you doing?
Julean Rai: I caught your blog — you seem like a busy girl lol
Hailey Q: Pretty good! I try to keep pretty busy
Hailey Q: Ok so I noticed you’re the only
regular member of Julean and the Rai. Are there any other
members that make regular appearances?
Julean Rai: The only regular member, yeah. Over
the years, the band part comes and goes. There was Lee
Dockery, Todd Jensen, and Sol between 1999-2001. Then
a few players in Tucson circa 2005-6, like Dave Mason and
— then later, in New York it was Wayne Van Zee on drums,
Mikey on backup vocals and percussion (on the live album)
and also Lev Pelekh on bass (same album). Europe found
me doing pretty much mostly solo work.
Julean Rai: But for me, it seems keeping a band together has
always been about as easy as keeping a relationship together.
Except it’s like having … I dunno … three to six girlfriends at
once; and then *they* all have to get along. These days I’d like
to work with an all-girl band, except for myself, because I figure
if it’s gonna’ be like that, then — why not?
Hailey Q: haha, exactly! That makes sense.
Hailey Q: When I listen to your albums like “The Muse Tree”
and “Darlene” I get an indie/folk vibe…what genre do you
personally identify your music with?
Julean Rai: That would be it. I dunno — “Folk Rock” sounds
too light for my overall fare. Because I mean, when you get into
albums like “Alexandria”, as well as the more recent upcoming
albums, they’re probably more fusion, or indie, than folk —
Julean Rai: And most of the people I’m compared to a lot, like Ray
Lamontagne or M Ward, or Ryan Adams — they’re in the same
community genre. But I think the radio classifies us as “Adult
Alternative” hahaha
Hailey Q: I see. I love the sound, especially the strictly
instrumental “Alexandria, Falling”. Did you compose all of those
Julean Rai: I did.
Hailey Q: Nice!
Hailey Q: What inspired you to write them?
Julean Rai: Alexandria started out as an improvised
instrumental work I composed when I was doing some
odd left-hand / right-brain training in 1999. Musicially, it was
sort of a wake-up call at the time (did I just play that? kind
of thing). Lyrically, it kind of got inspired by
some deeper political / sociological beliefs I had at the
time that have evolved since; and also partly inspired by
the girl I was dating at the time who
had decided that she was getting off of her medication
and that nothing was wrong with her. We talked a lot
about the over-medication of society and the like, and
I guess it kind of went from there. I remember I actually
started writing it sitting there, with her, at the Perkins in Colorado.

Later, once the song evolved and became too long to play
at most shows (15 minutes on average), even though it was
kind of a listener favorite, I started thinking about splitting it up
into its major themes and making a concept album out of it; which is
what I did, more or less. It was all built off
of the main song (1:1 Alexandria, Falling) so when I play it live
today, it’s a combination of that, the Theme, “Longest Arm”,
“Man of Two Faces” and “Closing”. I rarely play the other parts
live these days.
Julean Rai: A lot of “Alexandria” became more distinct when I
picked up more traditional Egyptian and Indian music and rhythms,
primarily supporting belly dancers in Tuscon around 2003-5, or so
Hailey Q: awesome! So is “Darlene” another album inspired by
a girl you dated?
Julean Rai: Ah; it is haha
Julean Rai: But in this case, it isn’t about just one particular girl
Julean Rai: There’s “Darlene” herself, mentioned in that work, as
well as in Like This and The Way That Leaving Goes on the Muse
album. There’s another, nameless girl (that I call Guenivere in a
different album), mentioned in The Roots and Like This, as well as
in Here. Star is only in The Dance. The girl from Sin is unique — that
songs about her, and Mountains of Anastasia is written *to* her …
and then there’s Laura, from Without the Kiss and A Wedding for
Laura, who I’m actually still friends with today —
Julean Rai: I think 95.676% of my music, in retrospect, is probably
about a girl,more or less.
Hailey Q: isn’t most music? 😉 lol
Julean Rai: Every artist needs his muse; I need several lol
Hailey Q: so are there any other bands/artists that influence you??
Julean Rai: I don’t really keep a lot of heroes; I don’t believe in them.
I feel as if we’re all exactly the same, fundamentally, though. But a few
particular people have made it on that shortlist, if there is one, I think.
I really look up to Peter Gabriel, and he’s not only a big influence
emotionally, as a writer, but also when I look to the future at what I
can become. He’s alive, awake, aware, and himself. Publicly full
of love, concern, heart and connection. And humor. The same
would be true for others on that list, like David Bowie, Taj Mahal,
Richie Havens, Tori Amos.
Julean Rai: But slightly more recent bands, like the Counting Crows
are a definite fave — I think Adam and I have something in common
as writers. And Damien’s “Blowers Daughter” blew me away when
I first heard it. And Norah Jones is definitely on that list, as well.
Hailey Q: I’m addicted to Norah Jones! You guys both made my
“Chill Out” playlist lol
Julean Rai: lol Yah; she’s on mine, too —
Julean Rai: But I always hear people that inspire me, though I don’t
know who they are. Or they aren’t that famous yet. I credit most
of my playing style to a guy named Steve Maymo,
from Dayton back in 1996. And I picked up some playing cues from
Foscoe Jones and Shane Bartell, in Austin, as well years later.
Hailey Q: 🙂 are you currently signed to any label?
Julean Rai: I am … thinking of starting my own.
Julean Rai: i’ve had a few label offers, but I really feel like I’m
just too independent and spontaneous to go that route. I mean,
unless we’re talking a real “indie label family” kind of thing. I haven’t
had any offers from any of those at this time —
Julean Rai: For most of the last 10 years or so, I’ve been handling
publishing, tour management, merchandising, studio work and production,
rights management, radio play, band management; all by my lonesome.
haha But it kind of makes me think that with all of the great indie folk players
I encounter, I could easily find 2-3 for a short roster and start an indie
label family of my own
Julean Rai: Oh, and one thing… The guys / girls that set this interview up —
I do have some support, but I just wouldn’t call it a label. These are the
folks only recently that have kind of made it a point to get me to stop working
on my own, lol. If I didn’t give them a mention, they’d kill me, haha
Hailey Q: that sounds awesome! there’s a real shortage of indie labels nowadays.
Julean Rai: But that’s [starting a label] not decided yet. I’m actually considering going
major label lately, as these are also the guys with the resources to really push
an album and an artist
Julean Rai: So I’m half-half right about now
Hailey Q: got it!
Hailey Q: ok, last question. Just for fun.
Julean Rai: sure 🙂
Hailey Q: Quick, five things you want Audiogazm readers to
know about Julean Rai!
Julean Rai: Oh, crap
Julean Rai: Hm. Okay, well — let’s see
Julean Rai: I like to travel, and I don’t like to make plans or
answer to anyone for it.
Possibly once or twice a year, I’ll spend 11-15 weeks absolutely
minimized and living a “road trip” life. I don’t how long that can last,
but — it’s highly addictive and exciting. I just can’t do it as much anymore
because people recognize me in the strangest places.
Julean Rai: Working on two new albums right now:
“Secrets and Stains” and “The Taos Merchants”.
I hope to record and release them at the same time,
“Taos” as an EP. I also hope to skip recording demos first, as that
takes forever.
Julean Rai: I am … a classically trained singer with a musical theatre
background, but I’ve gotten more introverted as a songwriter, so
don’t go expecting any showtunes anytime soon 😉
Hailey Q: Well thank you so much for the interview!
It’s been a pleasure talking to you 🙂
Julean Rai: You too, Hailey
Julean Rai: And don’t party too hard 😉
Hailey Q: lol no promises 😉

Read the original post @ AudioGaZm

Filed under: News Tagged: acoustic rock, alexandria falling, indie folk, indie folk reviews, indie rock, julean & the rai, julean and the rai, julean and the rai interview, julean rai interview, secrets and stains, the taos merchants

More “Darlene” Releases to Come 

While four of the total ten tracks of the remastered “Here.” 2008 release are finished, a daunting six more remain.

Nearly a week past the expected re-release date, the studio remastering process is still underway.  Some of these tracks, recorded in an artist studio and in challenging acoustic conditions, are looking at more cleanup than others, while the rest have yet to see the light of day because they aren’t — as I see it — finished.

Darlene LP by Julean and the Rai

Preliminary album cover for the 2011 release of "Darlene", by Julean and the Rai

[Listen to the “Darlene” Album @ Bandcamp]

When I released the “Here.” version, I was eager and anxious to get those songs into circulation, and I’m glad I did.  Those releases, however, were essentially just the dry mixes and takes of each session, mixed as quickly as possible for release.  At the same time, on returning to the United States and needing to start the review process for each album I let go of in Europe, these tracks deserve more attention and care to truly become as close as they’re going to become to what I originally envisioned.

Cover for

Original album cover for the "Darlene" LP's European release "Here."

Some of you might notice new instruments added to some recordings, while others are being cleaned and “shined”.  The U.S. release should, in the end, give me a feeling of completion for this part of the story (“Darlene”) so that I can move on to the next two concurrent albums “Secrets and Stains” and “The Taos Merchants”, something that I’ve been looking forward to for a while.

Parts III and IV of the nine-album story have been waiting for proper recording sessions throughout, and in the meantime the songs for parts V through VIII have been enjoying demos, live performances, and the like.  I’m beginning to feel very … behind ?

What are the remaining seven albums to come?  Well, I’ll tell you … I’ll even give you the alternate titles for each:

I – The Muse Tree (The Fool) – Written 1995-1996; Released 2007, re-released 2011 (Listen @ Bandcamp)
II – Darlene (Here.) – Written 1996-1997; Released 2008, re-released 2011 (Listen @ Bandcamp)
III – Secrets and Stains (The Dark) – Written 1998; TBA
IV – The Taos Merchants (Leaving Gomorrah) – Written 1999-2000; TBA
V – Texas (Fall from Grace) – Written Written 2000-2001; TBA
VI – Effortless (A False Start) – Written 2005; TBA
VII – New York State (The Arrival) – Written 2006; TBA
VIII – When I’m Gone (The Candy EP) – Written 2007; TBA
IX – Salvaged Dementia (Final Journeys) – Written 2008-present; TBA

That’s right; these songs are, for the most part, ancient — while the songs for the ninth and final album in the series are the only songs still being crafted and tooled.  One might also notice that “Alexandria, Falling” is not in this list; namely because “Alexandria” is considered a detour of sorts.  Experimentation on my part — there’s no real intended contribution to the “Muse Tree” storyline.

The track list for each should be up and online soon enough.  Some of these songs have already been recorded either in live form or as a demo, such as “On the Way to Boulder” and “Some Plans” from Secrets and Stains (featured on the Logical Muse and Some Plans EP, respectively), “Go On” and “Effortless” from Effortless (featured on the Live at the Green Tortoise and Disconnect EP, respectively), “Candy” and “Long, Long Walk” from the Live at the Baggot Inn EP — both belonging to the When I’m Gone album — and of course the songs from The New York State Demos that belong to the album New York State.  A few songs from Salvaged Dementia are also performed on the Live at the Lizard King and Live at the Green Tortoise albums, as well.

The official Julean and the Rai store at Bandcamp is also a work in progress, as it requires that a lot of this older material be remastered for quality so that it belongs in the store.  Several of the albums at this point — such as Some Plans, The New York State Demos, Live at the Lizard King, Live at the Green Tortoise and Disconnect — remain hidden from public view until this process has been completed.

In the meantime, I’ve moved all of the ready and salesworthy tracks and existing material to the official store at Bandcamp.  I placed it there to make sure that it stays up and active, and automated, as well to provide full-track streams and instant downloads as long as the site remains.  Bandcamp is where it’s at.  Literally.

[View the Julean and the Rai Bandcamp store]

At the moment, back in San Diego to finalize all of this and prepare for the upcoming March 29th show at the House of Blues.  Aside from these projects, it has mainly been a period of downtime; though I have taken my music to the street on several occasions since coming here, performing for the bar crowd, exercising the voice and the arm and trying out new songs on the most difficult and unforgiving of audiences — selling album downloads just as I did in Europe before the tour.  I may, in fact, be doing that tonight…

And that’s a good-bye and goodnight for me, for now —

Filed under: Alexandria Falling EP, Darlene LP, Here., News, Secrets and Stains, Shows, The Muse Tree Tagged: alexandria falling, bandcamp, darleen, darlene, here, julean & the rai, julean and the rai, julean rai, julian + the rai, julian and the rai, julian and the ray, julian rai, live, live albums, live shows, lp, muse tree, news, official store, remasters and re-releases, secrets and stains, songs, the muse tree, the taos merchants

California, Dreaming? 

Now living on the Mexico beach, seeking both inspiration and quiet to remaster the “Here.” tracks for a proper release, plans are now underway for a 6-week tour through the state of California. Keep posted for more information here as I have it.

The new release this year, “Darlene“, is a remastered version of 2008’s previous European release, “Here.“, an import that I let go of hastily and was out of my hands before I had time to really work on the masters.  ‘Darlene‘, hopefully, contains the kind of tracks and “finished” sound that I expect in a real release, and I’ve managed to complete the first two tracks from those masters; both tracks are available on both SoundCloud and BandCamp, for streaming and for sale, respectively.  The goal is to complete the album masters by mid-march, and I am currently working towards being done with these by that timeline.

As “Here.” was never truly released to the public officially — save for hand-to-hand sales at shows in Poland and Romania, this will give me the chance to properly distribute this album and focus on the next two or more, resources allowing.  Several of the songs, at the same time, have been making the rounds; specifically “Darlene” and “Sin”.

Latitud 32 Cafe, Tijuana Mexico

Performing at places like the Latitud 32 above, Julean lives on the beaches of Tijuana while working on the remasters from the "Here." album.

My time in Mexico has been a coincidence, and a month later I actually find myself missing the States … (a little bit).  As usual, it takes me a little while to fully get my brain around a new currency (just imagine walking into a grocery store and seeing $240 for *anything* … ).  I’ve managed a few shows here in this current city but spend most of my time near the beach, being solitary or spending time with new friends, whichever is applicable for the mood I’m in.  January found me performing a lot in the cafes along the beach.  I never pay for coffee anymore.  Meals are ‘on the house’.  The people in Mexico are a very giving and very appreciative of music and their makers.  This month much of my time is spent these days organizing and mastering the ‘Laura’ album, and now doing research for a California tour.

This tour should begin with one (confirmed) show at the House of Blues in March, in downtown San Diego.  It’s just a showcase performance, so I thought it might be worthwhile to use the Spring to my advantage.  What do you guys think?  If there are any California listeners out there, be sure to let me know and I can look into booking shows in your town.

Either way, you can track live upcoming Julean and the Rai performances at SongKick; you’ll know the minute that I do.  Or maybe a few seconds later.

Filed under: Travel Blog Tagged: darlene, here, julean and the rai live, mexico, remaster, remasters, tour, tour dates, travel blog, travelingrai

San Francisco, California 

It was probably the promise of warmth that spurred my traveling musician act into San Francisco.  My arrival, however, has been marked with cold rain and varied experiences.  Performing outdoors, which I’ve always loved doing (more or less), has become slightly impossible.  I’ve done so just the same, really — selling CDs and meeting people face-to-face.  And at the same time, a few opportunities have come my way while haunting here in San Francisco.

Julean Rai; beardy and in-cognito in San Francisco

I’ll be performing on the ballroom stage at the Green Tortoise Hostel in North Beach on the day after Christmas, the 26th of December.  More details will be posted in the gig area.  For now, I’m still here, and I’ve run into a few busy listeners here in SF; would love to run into a few more.

So if you see me, flag me down — I’m all beard-y and incognito, always carrying the guitar with me wherever I go.  Generally hard to miss.  I’ll give you a personal copy of the CD and we can grab some beers at Vesuvio off of Broadway.

Filed under: Travel Blog Tagged: acoustic rock, california, fans, green tortoise, indie folk, live shows, san francisco, travel blog, travelingrai

Julean Off the Grid, Again … But the Website Stays Online 

Hey friends and listeners. This is Julean. I’ve decided to move the official site to a new blog format and keep it hosted here on WordPress; mainly because I want to make sure that the info stays up even when I go ‘off the grid’. Which is something I do, occasionally, so be warned. In any case, though, this blog stays up with any updates and info about albums, releases, shows, tracks, and just about anything else relevant some of you’d like to know.

And without making any grand promises, I’m considering a few features that might be useful here. All tracks made available, of course, to start. A travel journal so you guys can keep up with me. And maybe a forum to touch base and stay connected with each other, and with me.

As I always have, I appreciate your kind words and appreciation of what I make and do, and am doing this to make sure we always have a place to come to; myself included. Expect a slew of updates to get started, as I move all of the older information here, to the blog. From there on out, I will update everybody as I can.

Take care, everyone, and hope to see you ‘out there’ while I’m traveling about —

Julean Rai

Filed under: News Tagged: indie folk, indie rock, julean and the rai, news, offician website, travel blog

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