The Tonic Rays was a rock band that formed in Pai, Thailand in 2006. They were led by Marie Dance, a singer/songwriter from the UK, and Joe Cummings, a US-born guitarist/songwriter better known as a freelance travel journalist for Lonely Planet and other publishers.
The Tonic Rays quickly became local favorites in Pai, a haven for Thai tourists and Western backpackers, but later moved to Chiang Mai. From 2006 to 2008 the band performed regularly in Chiang Mai, Pai, Bangkok, Pattaya, Ko Lanta, and Ko Phi Phi.
The band changed rhythm sections frequently in the first six months, finally settling on Thailand's Sunny Jakkaphan on bass and Japanese drummer Mark Iwamoto.
Initially the band played a repertoire of covers, including songs by Razorlight, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Johnny Cash, The White Stripes and others, but they soon began adding original songs by Dance and Cummings.
In 2007 they produced a self-named album of original music. The songs were recorded and mixed at Rangsan Chaiya's studio in Chiang Mai. Also known as Rangsan Rasidib, the Thai producer-musician had previously earned Album of the Year and Best New Artist awards at Thailand's annual Season Music Awards. After mixdown, Cummings took the tracks to the USA and had them mastered at Prairie Sun Studios, well known for its work with Tom Waits.
In a June 2008 review for online music magazine Blurt, rock critic Chuck Eddy described The Tonic Rays' sound as a 'rustic, sitar-spiced, and surprisingly catchy species of psychedelic folk-rock that Jefferson Airplane or the Shocking Blue might recognize.'
In December 2008 Chuck Eddy named The Tonic Rays to his Top 10 Albums of 2008, as published in Billboard and Rhapsody.
Dance has since joined a UK (Brighton) based folk/rock band named PaperFaces. The band have released two EPs and headlined Brighton's Heart Festival in 2010.
In 2011 Cummings toured and recorded with Mexico City's La Sabrosa Sabrosura, and in 2012 he formed a funk trio called Lovebone, based in Bangkok.
Famous quotes containing the words rays and/or tonic:
“I am often mad, but I would hate to be nothing but mad: and I think I would lose what little value I may have as a writer if I were to refuse, as a matter of principle, to accept the warming rays of the sun, and to report them, whenever, and if ever, they happen to strike me.”
—E.B. (Elwyn Brooks)
“We need the tonic of wildness,to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)