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Fancy Ray "The Best Lookin' Man In Comedy" McCloney is still at it, cracking audiences up in the clubs and charming hell out of viewers as a pitchman in television commercials. He's also ratcheted his game up a notch, inking a deal with local label Secret Stash Records. For a fresh chuckle, go to their website and you'll see a nice shot of Fancy Ray cheesing like a fat rat alongside SSR owner Eric Foss.
“I love the cats at Secret Stash", says the ace cut-up in the p.r. material. "They’re smart, creative, and put out great records. Them joining forces with Fancy Ray is a brilliant move. This is gonna be the ultimate party record. Comedy, music and inspiring, vibrational shifting." Whatever that last thing is. "In other words, it's gonna...make you...feel good!" Quite likely it will. The guy has long shown himself to a proven talent who leaves crowds laughing in his wake.
More news: he'll be headlining and hosting the 15th Annual Hosmer Library Talent Show, a popular event that's all about community spirit. Children, as the saying goes, of all ages 8-80 are invited to get up and do a few minutes of whatever they're good at doing to entertain folk. Part phone call, part e-mail, part chatting in a South Minneapolis coffee shop, Fancy Ray McCloney talked about his newest goings-on.
How much are you looking forward the Hosmer Library Talent Show?
Hosmer Library Talent Show is my most anticipated show of the whole year! It's not a contest. It's a talent showcase and anyone can perform. We get professional entertainers, novice stage adults, experienced performers, and always some kids who are making their performing debut. All ethnic groups have performed. Latin dancers, Hmong acrobats, Somali kids doing an original play about freedom of speech in America. It's community. It's fun. It's young, old, black, white, and everything in between. If you come to watch, or perform, you'll leave with a smile on your face.
You've expressed excitement about the fact that branch director Roy Woodstrom is responsible for the event and how much good he does for the community through the library. Say something about that?
Roy is the heart and soul of the event. He had the vision, the idea, and brought me in to host. Roy loves the Hosmer Library and the community it serves. Every week there are performers from all over the world sharing their gifts and enriching Minneapolis. If you go to Hosmer Library, seek out and shake Roy's hand. When you do you'll feel his dedication and joy. He is a special man.
How did the deal with Secret Stash come about?
The Secret Stash guys hired me to emcee and host the Twin Cities Funk and Soul All Stars at The Current's 8th Anniversary Party at First Avenue. As part of my pay I negotiated studio time to record a comedy album. As time went by we both came to the conclusion that Secret Stash and Fancy Ray should join forces and put out the ultimate party record!
What's up with the "The Fancy Ray Cocktail" on the menu at Amore Victoria Restaurant?
The good folks at Amore Victoria have paid me the biggest compliment by creating this wonderful drink named after me. It's got all my favorite ingredients, including ginger! I've yet to try it, but it sounds delicious and I can't wait to sip a virgin "Fancy Ray Cocktail"!
What else is coming up? Standup gigs? Commercials?
Work, work, work.
What material are you considering putting on the album?
The best of my best comedy material. Original poetry that is funny, boastful, and over the top. Plus, inspirational material that I've developed leading church service at Centers for Spiritual Living Minneapolis over the past three years. The material is gonna knock folks out!
Have you ever thought doing a live album?
This will be a "live in the studio" album with audience and live band.
How do you prepare when getting ready to do your standup?
Practice, practice, practice! Club dates, open stages, in the mirror, and sometimes I even perform to the fishes by the Mississippi River.
How do you decided what material to go with? After all this time, you have so much to choose from.
We are gonna record over an hour's worth of material and then trim it back to the strongest 42 minutes.
Read Fancy Ray McCloney, a "human chocolate orchid," spreads his roots (Dwight Hobbes, 2010)