Epiphany the EP by Colonel Ray Charles Dickerson

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US Army officer, Colonel Ray Charles Dickerson inspired by his family and 27 years of military service continues to contribute to the public in retirement through his motivational music. Song writer, vocalist and producer are among the Colonel’s many hats he wears. Ray Charles Dickerson recently released his first EP “Epiphany”.

Command and Control Music LLC. describes the release as “A smooth mixture of urban contemporary, pop, R&B, soul, and jazz songs laced with “Powerful” and “Inspirational” messages”.

Never judge a book by it’s cover or an album by it’s artwork. After taking the time to listen to the 12 song EP my own conclusions were made about the music. One thing that my fellow critics, writers and readers alike will concur on is that you’ll always get the God honest truth out me. Sugar coating is for candy asses in my opinion. In this particular case with “Epiphany”, I feel that the powerful and positive message that is being projected by Ray Dickerson outweighs any areas with a need for improvement on the project.

Epiphany is enveloped with an array of funk pop sound layers that appeal to the mind and body as soon as you hear them. The music really make you want to move when you hear it.

Command and Control Music is putting a strong push behind I Turn to You, New Angel and You Gotta, off of the Epiphany EP but after listening to the project in it’s entirety I think I’d narrow the focus down to just one.

If I had to pick one to lead with, it would be You Gotta because it hold the most commercial value. Examining music takes time and a couple of  the factors that weighed in heavy for me in regards to leading with You Gotta are the song’s versatility and capability to be successful in multiple genres. Multiple genres mean multiple markets, multiple markets means more dinero. You have to respect that no matter how you slice the cake.

Other songs among many worth noting on the EP include, You Can Do and Don’t Stop. Both songs are upbeat, uplifting and have strong messages. Watching what the Colonel does with his EP will be interesting, he has a lot of options.

In short, the type of songs on Epiphany in general may do well with sync licensing and soundtrack opportunities geared towards youth audiences, schools and other public programs. I feel like the entire project (with the exception of 2 songs, that were way too long) would do well in the Christian and Gospel markets in particular as well. I say this simply because you can’t help but feel the praise in Ray Dickerson’s music.

I won’t skate past that last statement in parenthesis either, so here we go. Throughout the history of records and radio the average song length has always been somewhere around three minutes and thirty seconds. With good reason that make sense. Radio programming is typically scheduled in 30 or 60 minute slots, with a set amount of commercial space or a sponsorship(s) that must be aired during the slot times. For the most part the industry has adapted to these standards. Anything over four minutes might be great on hard copies of a record for the fans, but unfortunately wont get much airplay in it’s entirety on the radio.

New Angel on the EP is a nice selection and undoubtedly emotional. Understandably close to Ray Dickerson’s heart, this song will grasp you quickly. Ray has managed to put into words and sound what most would find hard to talk about when it comes to death of a loved one. I salute the Colonel for channeling his energy through his artistry, it must of took a lot of courage to dig that deep into his emotions. Many people are bound to be touched and left in aposiopesis when hearing this song.

The Epiphany EP overall is a montage of gospely , jazz, pop, bluesish and high energy music. The EP is laced with just the right amount of spoken word to draw emotion from the listeners. For those of us who are in the 35+ zone, you might find yourself thinking back to a time of music that puts a smile on your face.

Let’s just mention as well that listening at any age is fun with this one. I could totally see myself vibing out to Epiphany early on a Sunday morning with my kids… it’s full of clean cut family appeal.

Readers interested in purchasing the Epiphany EP can download it on CdBaby or visit Command and Control Music LLC’s website. 25% of the proceeds from the sales of the songs on the CD “Epiphany” will be divided between St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Wounded Warrior Project, and the Alzheimer’s Association.

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