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Song premiere: Singer-songwriter Ray Prim dives into blues with new track, vintage video

Ray Prim has a vintage video for his new single, "Half a Dolla Short."

Austin musician Ray Prim, who was our Austin360 Artist of the Month in September 2017, likes to call himself a "singer-soulwriter." It's a fitting description, as his songs tend toward folk-based acoustic instrumentation but carry the vocal sound and feel of classic soul music.

So it was an intriguing surprise earlier this week when he mentioned in a social media post that "I’ve been living in Austin since 1992 and I’ve never written a blues song until now."

That song, "Half a Dolla Short," is from an album Prim is releasing next month with a May 22 show at One-2-One Bar. (Tickets are available for both limited in-person attendance and livestreaming.)

READ MORE: Our 2017 Artist of the Month feature on Ray Prim

Asked why he'd never gone down the blues road before, Prim responded that "I'm not that good of a guitarist, so I never attempted to write one. But now that I've got the skills to produce and get other people involved, I decided to take the plunge."

Prim programmed the drums, piano and bass parts himself, then brought in local guitarist Dave Scher (a veteran of Eric Johnson's touring band) "because I've always admired his playing." Vince Wiley contributed additional parts on horns and Hammond organ.

The result is a compelling two-and-a-half-minute song we're premiering today on Austin360. Prim created a video for it using dance-party footage he found on YouTube from a 1940 film titled "Sunday Sinners."

Here's "Half a Dolla Short":

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