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James is releasing his solo album Everything on March 24th.
The first single has premiered on Surviving the Golden Age. Enjoy!

Wishing all our friends and fans a happy and healthy new year.
Lights Out from Acres

Visit our Facebook page to view a photo set from the shoot for Dizzy on Daddy by Valerie Galloway from 1998.
It's on my silver rooftop in East Harlem. A dreamy shoot indeed. Lovely work.

Our good friend and colleaugue Hannah Fury (from the song "Always" on Acres)
has released a brand new tune on her Bandcamp page. Check it out!

Thanks to Russell Suereth for his new review of "Acres" on iTunes and Amazon.
Visit our Facebook page to see the post
and read it below in New Reviews.

"NYC’s famous Music Row is about to be a ghost town" - NY Post
I bought my guitar at Rudy's for recording and performing "Dizzy on Daddy" back in 1998.
I still have it and love it dearly. I'm so glad I had a chance to spend numerous hours on 48th St., Music Row.

"Dizzy on Daddy" was written and recorded in honor of both our fathers.
Happy Fathers Day from James and Jeral.
Listen here and visit our Facebook page to see the post.

Nine new photos added to our Facebook page:
"Tracking strings at Loho Studios for the album Acres. 2009"
See them on our Facebook page

I am starring in a series of photographs called The Book of James by artist Stephen Honocki.
These are large format artworks and they are beautifully printed. I can't wait until you can see the full exhibition.
Here is one called "Facing Temptations."

We posted an early promo shot of James by Valerie Galloway on our Facebook page.
View it here

Thanks to RUST Magazine for referencing RWR in a review for the new Soft News album:
"RUST Magazine recently interviewed James Raftery, half of the creative core behind Rat Wakes Red, along
with Jeral Benjamin, who described his work as making “music so beautiful it hurts”..."
Visit our Facebook page to see the post.

20 years ago, Jeral and I met and started planning the first RWR album. Here's a photo from the vaults. It's the last day of recording for Dizzy on Daddy at Dubway Studios and we are laying down hand percussion on the floor for Gold. We clearly have gone and opened the celebratory bottle of Veuve. Was a great day and a wonderful first recording experience.
See the pic and listen to Gold below on our Facebook page.

James was featured today in Come Saturday Morning, the photo blog by Walter Briski, Jr., who took the portrait for Acres. These pictures were part of the photo sessions.

Celebrating fifteen years of Rat Wakes Red on Rat Disk!
Wishing you a happy holiday season!

Happy New Year from James and Jeral. We are celebrating 15 years of Rat Wakes Red.
Thank you for listening and supporting. We hope you keep enjoying all the albums.
XXOO !!!

Happy Holidays from James and Jeral. We are are celebrating 15 years of Rat Wakes Red.
Thank you for listening and supporting. We hope you keep enjoying all the albums.

After opening for Hayden at Maxwell's, I opened for Sloane the next month. But, in 2003 I had one of my favorite shows ever when Rat Wakes Red opened for Bob Mould. We were both going to play solo acoustic. The sold-out show was scheduled for August 14th, 2003; but, as I was getting ready to go out the door, there was a city wide blackout. Luckily, the show was rescheduled for September 18th and it was literally a dream come true. The crowd was amazing and he was super nice. Wow.
View original show announcement here.

The closing of Maxwell's brings back some amazing memories . One was doing a Rat Wakes Red show there opening for Hayden in 2002. The room was packed and the crowd was rapt. Such a great night.
View show pics here.

Check out Rat Wakes Red on 8tracks. You can hear the mixes at the bottom of the page. You can also create your own mixes as well and add in some of your favorite RWR tunes, if you so desire.

Enjoy this mix on 8tracks, Boys Do Cry. Sensitive men singing sensitive songs.

The new video for Your Way Out is out now along with the just released Come Over both from the album Acres.
View them here.

Check out this new interview with Rat Wakes Red in Rust Magazine.
Click here to read it.

Out now, the new music video by Rat Wakes Red. Come Over
is over here...

There are now 2 videos ready for release. In the meantime, enjoy five stills from Come Over, from the album Acres,
posted on our Facebook page. All these gorgeous photos are by Tim Gerken. Click here to view.

We made a Rat Wakes Red station on Spotify
and man, they are playing some good tunes.
Try it, you'll like it!

A lot of the RWR catalog is now up on YouTube, with more to follow.
Give a listen and if you like, spread the word....Thank you in advance.

Acres reviewed in Independent Clauses.
"...for those who love the experience of setting an album on and blissing out to the mood it creates, this is a treasure trove."
Read more here

New review for
Acres in the esteemed Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music. "It's one of those magical albums
that seems to lack flaws." Read more here and visit The Ectophiles' Guide

Acres gets another great review in the new issue of the prestigious publication M Music & Musicians.
Read the review here and look for it in the November, 2010 issue of M. Check out the magazine's website here.

Rat Wakes Red is today's MP3 At 3PM on Magnet Magazine. Two free downloads, plus a cool write-up and photo.
Check it out here, spread the word and take a look at this great music magazine.

Acres makes Jack Rabid's Top Ten for September 5th in The Big Takeover Magazine's online edition.
We are so honored to be in such illustrious company! Check out the list and review here.

Rat Wakes Red is now on Bandcamp, the best site on the web for super high quality downloads in 320k mp3, AAC,
FLAC, Ogg or just about any other format you could possibly desire. Also, you can find Bandcamp downloads on our
MyStuff Tab on the Rat Wakes Red Facebook page. Check out our updated Facebook MyStore too. Become a fan!

Runrunaway loves
Acres, too. Another great review! But, don't forget the violas!
"Rat Wakes Red is the musical vision of James Raftery. The latest incarnation of this vision is a new CD titled “Acres”. The album is a collection of 18 songs featuring James on vocals, guitars, piano, synths, organ, and tin whistle. To further round out the sound James is joined by a supporting cast on bassoon, clarinet, French horn and drums. In addition, on the opening track “Always”, he is joined on vocals by the incomparable Hannah Fury.
Read the entire review here.

Acres gets a sweet review in Sentimentalist Magazine.
"Rat Wakes Red may sound like the name of a punk band belting out three-chord, angsty anthems, but this act is quite the opposite, and the haunting, charmed surprise is partly what makes RWR, and their latest release, Acres, stand out."
Read more at www.sentimentalistmag.com.

It's official. Rat Wakes Red
Acres was released today. Three songs are previewing here
and now through August 10 order from our website and get a free Weekend EP.

The new LP would suggest a prolonged elegy to the dead and awakening. It is a spectacle of simple sounds:
piano, acoustic guitar, synths, organ, strings, woodwinds, drums, tin whistle and many, many voices. James sings, plays, plucks and blows. Jeral returns to produce and provide violas while woodwind stars chime in to emboss the layered lather. Matt Raftery adds the needed kick from his drums while Hannah Fury lends her voice to "Always". The ensuing song service is sung from the heavens inside, like an internal choir and orchestra. It comes from loss, change, death, and new beginnings. A slow burn of sad, beautiful dark nights of the soul.

Our upcoming release
Acres was reviewed by Jack Rabid, publisher of The Big Takeover, in its new
special 30th anniversary issue, #66, spring 2010. Check it out here.


The new album is called
Acres. It will be released by the end of this month. I hope you all are as excited as I am.
More details to follow...


Ok. This is really big. The new album was mastered today. The 18 songs that I've gotten to know so well over the last
couple years opened up before my ears, unfurling their petals, revealing hidden layers. I love the mastering process.
It takes something great and makes it even better. Feels like magic. Seems like mystery. Science and art collided today
and we smashed a few atoms along the way. Soon, baby, soon.


Today, the last sound recorded for the album was a tin whistle I got when I was 11 on a family trip to Ireland. The mouthpiece is covered in bite marks. I used to play the shit out of that thing. Funny part was, my teeth remembered the grooves.


The album is almost there. Last week was the cherry on top and the frosting all at once. More lush strings went down, and three amazing players came in to add bassoons, clarinet and french horn. Songs were silkened by strings and frothed with a woodwind meringue. A very tasty treat. Soon enough you can have a bite.


RWR was featured on Jack Rabid's "Big Takeover on Breakthrough Radio" this week. Sloan opens the show, who I opened for a few years ago. Cool! Also, some Dead Kennedys and Feelies... yeah! Listen in, y'all.


In the studio today, I knew we had something special. It keeps revealing itself. Rich, glittering, multi-layered, opalescent, labyrinthine. Quietly jeweled. A spectacle not making a spectacle of itself. Just being, reflecting in all directions.


Well, everyone. Seems to have become fall suddenly. I'm windswept and burnt orange. Fires are being lit, leaves are asunder, and I am planning many things. The tunes are a bubbling cauldron. Simmer simmer, little ones. Stay warm by the coals.
We are adding spices and herbs to the widescreen steam. It will happen, just let it stew. We are stirring the pot. Stay with us. You will be rewarded.


I've recently had the honor of having a secret guest vocalist grace my new album with her singing. Details will follow as we lead up to the release, but I don't want to spoil the surprise just now. We hunkered down in a basement studio in Brooklyn and captured her tones. It was bliss. There's so much cooking right now with this project. Strings are being layered, synths are vibrating, tracks are mixing, voices are blending. It definitely has scope. Cinema-Scope, only sonic. Soon, baby, soon.


The album is taking shape. Jeral is upstate with me laying down strings this weekend at Dryhill Studios. It's grey, wet, and very, very windy. Everything is blowing everywhere. Just the right atmsosphere. I can't wait for you all to hear this.


You can have it if you want it.
It'll shuffle for you, too.



bridgit's back
Re-introducing Bridgit. The new and improved widget portal to all things Rat Wakes Red on the web.
Get it, share it, embed it, post it. Just use it! Click here.


I just put up a page on thesixtyone.com. The address is thesixtyone.com/ratwakesred.
If you haven't seen this site, check it out. It's a pretty cool place to hear new music.
Oh, and Happy New Year! Thanks for supporting Rat Wakes Red.


Energy Garage has been entered and reviewed in the Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music.
Also, the guide re-visited Horizon Drops and gave it a second review. A nice surprise!
We love the Ectophiles' Guide and are happy they include Rat Wakes Red in their esteemed pantheon.
Click here
to read the new Energy Garage review here.
Click here to read our entire Ectophiles' Guide page.


Click here to use the new Official Rat Wakes Red Bridgit, a widget portal to all the RWR pages online. From MySpace to Facebook to iTunes and everything in between. Check it out, add and use it on your Facebook profile/page, see some new sites, and if you are already a member of any of them, drop me a line and say hello, or join up and do the same. Happy spring!


Rat Wakes Red has a home on Facebook now! Click here to view.
Also, visit our pages on Last.FM, PureVolume, ReverbNation, OurStage, YouTube, TagWorld
and be sure to keep an eye out for our new page on AbsolutePunk!

Happy New Year!


Rat Wakes Red will be featured on XM SATELLiTE RADiO this Thanksgiving, November 22nd at 10PM ET on
the Radar Report on XMU Channel 43. The Radar Report is a special feature highlighting XMU's most notable bands each week. The Radar Report re-airs every Friday at 2PM ET and Saturday at 6AM ET. The show airs on: XMU, XM RADIO Channel 43, XM RADIO Online, Direct TV Channel 831 and on AOL. XMU, XM 43, is located on XM SATELLiTE RADiO in the United States and Canada: xmradio.com or xmu.xmradio.com. If you don't have XM you can listen online with A FREE ACCOUNT simply go to xmro.xmradio.com and use the following code: XMB4MD.

When you sign up for a free account, you can listen for several days for free with no credit cards.
All you need is an email address.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Energy Garage is here. After bated breath and much anticipation, you can now order the new ep/dvd which began
life during the sessions for Horizon Drops and were completed for this new collection. A four song ep and music video dvd, "Anyway Now", originally released on Horizon Drops, shows up again on track 4 and as a music video to sate the
masses with visuals. Three new songs, "Energy Garage", "You" and "Be Kissed" are spacey acoustic to pop with
sweeping strings to quirky rock nugget. Something to enjoy on its own and to tie you over since the next
full-length project is under wraps and proving to be yet another departure as well as a new return to form.


We are pleased to announce that the video of "Anyway Now" from Rat Wakes Red's new "Energy Garage" ep/dvd,
available October 2007, is being featured and can be seen exclusively now at Digifestival.net.

Digi Festival, created in 2004, is the first online festival in streaming video at full TV broadcast resolution. The festival's purpose is to extend the reach and popularity of artists by exhibiting their works through innovative web technology.

Visitors to the site can participate and vote for their favorites videos. Visit our link below and vote directly on our page by simply clicking on the buttons.Voting closes on September 15th so vote now because winning videos will be presented at the final exhibits in Milan and Florence, Italy on October 25th -28th during the Festival Della Creativita
and partner events around the world.


RWR emerged from the studio in late March with the beginnings of the new album. After a week of twelve hour days
in the darkness, the new project began to reveal itself. Will keep you posted on the proceedings.

Before the new full-length is completed, we plan to release a new EP/Video. The "Anyway Now " video and a few
new songs will comprise this surprise late summer CD/DVD. Title and release date TBA.


The video for "Anyway Now" is getting ready to drop. Directed by Antonio Leon and set/lit by Tim Gerken,
who did the album photos for Horizon Drops, it is beautiful and we can't wait to show you all.
Stay tuned for news on how to see it and for now click here to see exclusive stills.

Thanks to everyone who came to the show at the Brooklyn Lyceum. What a good night it was.

We are now featuring a music download center here and on our MySpace page

Final preparations are being made to begin recording the new album. We plan to start this winter.

New review for the Weekend EP in The Big Takeover! And a good one it is. Click here to see it.

(Click here for more reviews!)

"Acres" Review on iTunes and Amazon
September 14, 2015
This is a wonderful collection of memorable melodies and rhythms that are crafted into an innovative album. From the distinctive vocals to the artful piano lines, these songs capture new flavors that are sweet and inviting. Both the artist Mr. Raftery, and Ms. Jeral Benjamin who produces, work magic on this album. My favorite track is Crying Chair which blends soft harmonies and engaging piano work, to create a song that I like to hear again and again. (Russell Suereth)

Skope Magazine
April 26, 2012
Harmony, harmony, harmony and musicianship at its finest is what you will get from Rat Wakes Red and their new release titled 'Acres'. Just from the name of the band alone, I am already very intrigued and I so badly want to get to the bottom of this Rat Wakes Red. Their story is simple and that is to supply 'Acres' and 'Acres' of valuable material and to never succumb to the scene that is best classified as "Popular" and mainstream. Rat Wakes Red has more integrity than that as you will soon find out on their latest LP 'Acres'. The group is made up of leader James Raftery who is responsible for writing all 18 songs and dishing out vocals, guitars, piano, synths, organ and tin whistle. You also have Jeral Benjamin who produced the record, wrote all of the stringed & wind instrument parts and played violas. (Jimmy Rae) Read complete review here

Independent Clauses

August 14, 2011
I don’t often sit back and chill, as I usually relax by reading or writing poetry. But the dreamy simplicity of Acres by Rat Wakes Red makes just being a very pleasant experience indeed. ...for those who love the experience of setting an album on and blissing out to the mood it creates, this is a treasure trove. Fans of Other Lives, Elliott Smith, Sigur Ros and Joshua Radin will find much to love in Rat Wakes Red’s Acres". (Stephen Carradini) Read complete review here

The Ectophiles' Guide
February 12, 2011
Rat Wakes Red returns with a more folksy set than their last one, and it's utterly gorgeous. Hannah Fury guests on the opener and adds her unmistakable harmonies. The sound on "Come Over" is lush and intricate, and the vocal drop dead beautiful. "Forestry" is another lovely moment, Raftery's vocals being especially evocative. "Lights Out" is a very Red House Painter-like song and of course that works fine. It's one of those magical albums that seems to lack flaws.

M Music & Musicians
November 2010, Volume 01, Issue 07
Who would think that a trio that tags itself Rat Wakes Red would sound so seductive? If the name suggests punkish mischief, the music shatters that suggestion through its dimly lit melodies and sensual settings. The supple addition of violas, synths and keyboards to standard rock regalia makes Acres all the more alluring.

Magnet Magazine
September 8, 2010, MP3 At 3PM:

Rat Wakes Red is the musical project of vocalist and multi-instrumentalist James Raftery, who also happened to star in 1993 cult-film Night Owl. The creepy and moody sound he creates is very fitting for someone who once played a murderous vampire. Just take a listen to “Always” and “I Heart” below, which showcases Raftery’s brooding voice while producer Jeral Benjamin’s viola adds a dark ambiance. The two tracks are off Rat Wakes Red’s fifth release, Acres, which is out now via Rat Disk.

Runrunaway's Blog
July 16, 2010
Rat Wakes Red is the musical vision of James Raftery. The latest incarnation of this vision is a new CD titled “Acres”. The album is a collection of 18 songs featuring James on vocals, guitars, piano, synths, organ, and tin whistle. To further round out the sound James is joined by a supporting cast on bassoon, clarinet, French horn and drums. In addition, on the opening track “Always”, he is joined on vocals by the incomparable Hannah Fury. Musically “Acres” 18 tracks bring to mind a slow float down a peaceful river surrounded by lush vegetation with textured sounds and sights overhead. It really is a very beautiful piece of work. Read complete review here

July 11, 2010
Rat Wakes Red may sound like the name of a punk band belting out three-chord, angsty anthems, but this act is quite the opposite, and the haunting, charmed surprise is partly what makes RWR, and their latest release, Acres, stand out. Singer/songwriter James Raftery creates orchestral pop with everything from piano swells to strings and viola, all given a crystalline finish by producer Jeral Benjamin. Voices, at the forefront, harmonize in blissed out states, backed with soothing lyricism that revels in its emotional core. Songs like “Crying Chair” stand out with an upbeat tempo and edge that bursts unexpectedly from its neo-classical base, while single “Always”, with added vocals by Hannah Fury, is a poignant toast to taking chances. (Selina S.)

The Big Takeover
Issue 66, Spring 2010
James Raftery, AKA Rat Wakes Red (I still expect a hardcore band with that moniker, not a transcendently beautiful alternafolkie!), is not like modern solo artists with release diarrhea. He takes his time, crafts, plots, plans, processes, and perfects; Acres is only his third LP in 11 years (a couple of modest EPs helped plug the passing years), and together with crucial producer Jeral Benjamin, he bequeaths warm sonic gifts. 1999's more acoustic Dizzy on Daddy and 2005's more electric Horizon Drops were morsels of chamber-pop in the old 4AD aesthetic. This time, RWR has chosen equally resonant, persistent piano as his principal love bomb, plus copious strings (far beyond Benjamin's charming viola on Dizzy) among deep orchestral touches that delight the senses betwixt his earnest voice. Big T favorite Hannah Fury chips in sweet guest harmonies, completing a hell of a record, another lovely affair from this consistent pairing of artist and loyal producer. (Jack Rabid)

The Ectophiles' Guide
04 May 2008
Rat Wakes Red returns with a folksy and intriguing EP, only four songs but they really hit the mark. "Energy Garage" itself is soft folk with a superlative vocal. "You" is dreamy and reminds me of Red House Painters, in its slow hush. The EP is over way too soon and whets the appetite for a new album.

The Big Takeover
Issue 61, Winter 07/08
Jack Rabid
With each release, New Yorker James Raftery impresses more. Although one thinks of him as a modern folkie in the Kristin Hersh "Your Ghost" vein, it's electric guitars that make this quiet sound on the oddly named "Energy Garage". (It's actually more like a nice afternoon nap.) Bouts of guitar texture seem to tumble down from nowhere to add a mournful quality to Raftery's Elliot Smith-like voice. And when producer Jeral Benjamin brings back her violas (regrettably missing from the sophomore Horizon Drops) on "You", it's like your well-thumbed This Mortal Coil records, with light drums and bass to add to a light breeze. Lovely! "Be Kissed" is an incongruous, disjointed punchy, rhythmic number-not sure about that one-but Horizon's familiar "Anyway Now" is a good closer. (That song also appears on the video on the accompanying DVD). Time for LP #3!

Issue 26, Fall 2007
Though their new release Energy Garage will be nearly out when this issue hits, it's always worth going back and exploring a band's previous release. Horizon Drops combines shimmering 4AD, Throwing Muses inspired moments with chunky bass-fueled sounds. Songs like "Weekend" stand out with hooks, smooth vocals and off-kilter phrasing reminiscent of bands like Autolux, which is always a plus. Rat Wakes Red's approach is a fragile balance between cocksure and vulnerable, drawing you in immediately. Songwriter James Raftery has a knack for switching between intensity ("Spider") and sublime introspection ("Lovely Invalid") with the greatest of ease, making for a dynamic listen.

The Big Takeover
Issue 59, Winter 2007
Jack Rabid
New York’s own solo alterna-folkie James Raftery soldiers on with his talented female producer Jeral Benjamin. This stopgap EP is a sampler, containing two songs from the forthcoming Horizon Drops (possibly out when you read this), two from the previous debut Dizzy on Daddy (said me: “Acoustic folk guitar and viola, with a whispery, troubled voice? Yes please!”), and one bonus track for completists. The bonus track is a nice acoustic outing, but the two new songs suggest an intriguing, totally new direction, with a drummer added and electric guitars. “Weekend” is like the particular later-‘80’s 4AD period when Ivo Watts-Russell was fixated on Pixies and Throwing Muses, with loopy harsh guitar, beat, and cooed vocal. And “Galaxy” is like that with a bit of what you liked about Weezer’s radio hits. Both good! -Bring on the LP.

The Big Takeover
Issue 58, Spring 2006
Mark Suppanz
Five years after this outfit's attractive, whispery, acoustic/viola-laden debut, Dizzy on Daddy, Rat Wakes Red (AKA James Raftery) finally releases a follow-up. Old fans will be surprised to find a re-vamped beefed-up sound; acoustic guitars have been replaced by electrics, and drummer Christy Davis joins Raftery to further toughen the attack. And while Jeral Benjamin returns to provide typically excellent, warm production, her viola is completely AWOL (pout, pout!). Thankfully, Raftery's multi-tracked, Elliot Smith-like voice still beguiles, ensuring plenty of lovely moments (check out "Galaxy", "Lovely Invalid" and "Anyway Now"). Further, Davis's dynamic stick-work not only adds more of a post-punk edginess and tension, but also allows Raftery to infuse each song with varied and shifting loud/soft moods. Despite the stylistic alterations, Horizon Drops is another modest winner.

Grave Concerns E-zine
May 5, 2006
Joshua Heinrich
Based in well-crafted pop sensibilities, Rat Wakes Red's Horizon Drops is, without a doubt, a significant stylistic departure from the band's previous output, but it's also one that works...read more

Grave Concerns E-zine
May 5, 2006
Joshua Heinrich
Dizzy on Daddy
, is something of a foray into the duality of light and dark, moody melancholia juxtaposed against airier, more upbeat offerings...is permeated by strong songwriting by central member James Raftery and excellent production from violist Jeral Benjamin...read more


Read the tale of another satisfied listener! Click here for a review on Amazon.com.

The Big Takeover

Jack Rabid
Acoustic folk guitar and viola, with a whispery, troubled voice? Yes please! Rat Wakes Red is a strange moniker for such an exquisite murmur...read more

Alarm Magazine
Eddie Fournier
Raftery is quite the storyteller, which is part of what breaks your heart, because it often sounds as though he is speaking directly to you...read more

Boston's Weekly Dig
Graham Wilson
Rat Wakes Red blends neo-gothic-folk with modern 21st century recording to produce a sublime sonic sedation of melodies...
read more

Reno Gazette-Journal
Mark Earnest
Fans of the darker side of mellowness (or classic 4AD records) should seek it out...read more

hEARd Magazine
A superbly crafted release...Every song without exception sees this most interesting of bands make their mark on your mind...about as good as it gets...read more

Splendid Ezine
Deirdre Devers
Rat Wakes Red...pay(s) homage to the likes of Kristin Hersh, Kate Bush and Leonard Cohen, who also make pain and loss the cornerstone of their musical melodramas...read more

NY Rock
Bill Ribas
...the purity and simplicity of the instrumentation, the sense of sadness culled from the lyrics, and the pop folk feel together all sounds so refreshing it's hard to get the disc out of the player...read more

Rat Wakes Red makes music for autumn evenings. Outside it is cold and windy. Inside we have the music to warm our body...read more

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