Ray Stevens Tells the Story of Musical Primates in New Song, ‘CoCo Cabana Band’ [Exclusive Premiere]
Ray Stevens is leaning back into his funny side for a new album, and he's giving The Boot's readers a sneak peek at one of its songs. "CoCo Cabana Band" tells the story of a group of musical primates who become a hit house act at a Gulf Shores, Ala., juke joint; press play below to listen.
Over a melody of conga drums, jungle-inspired sounds and jazzy scatting, Stevens traces this unusual musical act's origin story: They "stowed away on a freighter out of the Congo," and landed in New Orleans, La., then traveled to Biloxi, Miss., looking for a new home.
"When they knocked on the doors down in Gulf Shores / Well, the rest is history," Stevens explains. With a beachside bar's house band on a break, the jungle quintet "snuck up on the bandstand" and put on quite a show.
"The gorilla plays the guitar, baboon plays the bass / The chimpanzee is a sight to see, playin' drums all over the place," Stevens narrates. "The monkey sings funky backup, plays piano like he has four hands / And the orangutan rares back and sings like an old Alabama blues band."
"CoCo Cabana Band" is one of 14 songs on Stevens' forthcoming new album of comedy music, Ain't Nothin' Funny Anymore. The Country Music Hall of Famer is well-known for humorous songs such as "The Stream" and "Shriner's Convention," but it's been half a decade or so since he's focused a full record on his funny side.
"When you turn on the news, it seems as though the planet is in utter turmoil," Stevens says in a press release. "Like my old friend Mel Tillis used to say, 'Laughter is the best medicine in the world.' And we need it now more than ever."
Among Ain't Nothin' Funny Anymore's dozen-plus songs are several that take their inspiration from current events. Notes the singer of these tracks, "I know most folks can relate, and everybody could use a good laugh today."
"I think there's something for everyone on this album," Stevens adds. "It's something I'm proud of, and I hope folks enjoy it as much as I did recording it."
Ain't Nothin' Funny Anymore is due out on Friday (Oct. 8). It's available to pre-order and pre-save now.
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