House band Train lets 'Rachael Ray' be 'Jimmy Fallon for a week'

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rachael-ray-gallery-325-cbs.jpg Rachael Ray says having Train aboard her show is "like being Jimmy Fallon for a week."

For the first time, the daytime cooking-and-talk-show host will have a "house band" on her eponymous syndicated program for five consecutive days starting Monday (April 16). The Grammy-winning group will perform daily, with "Hey, Soul Sister," "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)," "Meet Virginia" and "Marry Me" among the Train hits featured ... along with the band's current single, "Drive By."

"Train has been a friend of our show for years," Ray tells Zap2it during a benefit-show appearance at her alma mater, Lake George (N.Y.) Jr.-Sr. High School. "They just did the South by Southwest Festival for us, as the closing act at a showcase that had over a couple dozen bands on three different stages. It's a very eclectic mix. We try to have up-and-coming acts, then you have to have some crowd-pleasers.

"Every year, we get someone who's iconic and who I've listened to for decades; this year, we had Jimmy Cliff. My husband's ( John Cusimano) band The Cringe plays with Billy Gibbons there every year, and we saw Train down there and talked to them about doing something special for their upcoming album release."

train-california-37-album-cover-art.jpgRay explains that album -- "California 37," which drops Tuesday (April 17) -- is "a really personal collection for them, named for the road they all used to get back and forth to each other's houses when they were kids developing this band. They wanted to do something special to help launch it. Around the same time, they're also playing small clubs around the San Francisco area where they come from, to thank their fan base. They're just amazing guys."

During the "Rachael Ray" tapings, Train supplied what Ray happily deems "a private concert for five of our audiences. Each audience got two full-length performances, plus they played in and out of many segments. It was kind of weird to be cooking with Train serenading you, and you weren't hearing it on your iPod or on satellite radio. They were there."

And it wasn't only a big deal for Ray, who adds, " Anna Faris taped one of the shows with us, and she was like, 'How freaky is it that your intros and outros are being played by Train? I'm really bugged out!'

"It was fun for all of us, for the guests and the crew and certainly for me. I love these guys. If you like them or don't like them on an album, you have to hear them live. Pat Monahan's voice is incredible. It was just huge to have such amazing musicians do something that was their first-ever time for television."

Photo/Video credit: CBS