Get this crazy baby off my head!


Kenny "Blue" Ray

Kenny "Blue" Ray - Fired Up! - 1994 - Blue Ray

Although this album is very SRV influenced, (The album, in part is dedicated, to the Vaughan brothers), Kenny "Blue" Ray has his own instrumental technique, and he uses it to great effect on some classic numbers by Magic Sam, Little Milton, Freddy and Albert King, Bobby Bland, Howlin' Wolf and A.C. Reed, while also presenting seven original compositions. Rather than play jaw dropping, mind blowing solos, Kenny "Blue" Ray plays with a subtleness, and dexterity, that beautifully ekes the blues out. Little Danny's heartfelt singing complements Kenny "Blue" Ray's beautifully understated guitar work perfectly. An excellent album. Listen to, and/or buy Kenny "Blue" Ray's "Way Down In Memphis" and "Blues Obsession" albums. They are both tremendous blues rock albums.


1 Squeezin` - Kenny "Blue" Ray
2 Everythings Gonna Be Alright - Magic Sam
3 Fired Up! - Kenny "Blue" Ray / Rock Hendricks
4 Found Me A New Love - Little Milton
5 Just Pickin` - Freddie King
6 Ridin` In The Moonlight - Howlin' Wolf
7 Little Voice - A.C Reed
8 Tele Talk - Kenny "Blue" Ray
9 Crib Theme - Kenny "Blue" Ray / Rock Hendricks / Duke Jethro / June Core
10 Honey Bee - Bobby Bland
11 Where`s My Cadillac? - Kenny "Blue" Ray
12 Blues For Albert King - Kenny "Blue" Ray
13 The Bushmaster - Kenny "Blue" Ray


Kenny "Blue" Ray - Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Little Danny - Vocals & Harmonica
Burt Winn - Bass
Jim Overton - Drums
Mike Schermer - Rhythm Guitar (Tracks, 7, & 12)

Guitarist Kenny "Blue" Ray (Born: Jan 11, 1950 in Lodi, California) has the kind of fat guitar overtones, complex chord changes and lightning-fast chops that tend to draw rock fans into the blues fold. Not unlike Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ray's playing owes almost as much to his rock influences as to his blues mentors. Ray's resume includes performances and recording sessions with William Clarke, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Charlie Musselwhite, Smokey Wilson, and a bevy of other West Coast blues stylists. Ray first became interested in music via his father, who played guitars, harmonica, fiddle and piano. Seeing Elvis Presley perform on the Ed Sullivan Show was a turning point for him, and later that year, his father bought him a guitar. As a youngster, Ray would listen to disc jockey Wolfman Jack at night, listening to music by Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf and others. Ray often skipped school to play guitar with his friends. He made his amateur debut at a high school dance in the mid-1960s. While in the Air Force, Ray was stationed in London from 1969 to 1972. There, he met Ferdnand Jones and began playing '60s-style soul and blues. After coming back to the U.S., Ray toured with the Paul Hermann Band until 1975, when he took a job as lead guitarist with Little Charlie and the Nightcats, then a regional northern California band. In 1976, Ray left the Nightcats to head back to Los Angeles. There, he became part of the house band at a club run by guitarist and singer Smokey Wilson. Onstage at Wilson's Pioneer Club, Ray had the chance to back up legendary artists like Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulson and Big Mama Thornton. A few years later, Ray made his recording session debut with the likes of harmonica player William Clarke and vocalist Finis Tasby. After moving to Austin, Texas in 1980, Ray joined the Marcia Ball Band, touring with her for four years around the Texas Triangle. Ray can be heard on Ball's 1985 album for Rounder, Soulful Dress. He befriended guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and continued his career as a session man, recording with Ball, Mitch Woods, Charlie Musselwhite, Greg "Fingers" Taylor, Ron Thompson, and Tommy Castro, among dozens of others. By 1990, Ray decided it was time to start leading his own band, and in 1994, he recorded Fired Up!, the first album for his own Blue Ray/Tone King label. Ray's releases helped broaden his touring base beyond central Texas and northern California. His other mid-1990s recordings include Cadillac Tone (1995), Pull the Strings (1996), and Git It! (1997), all for his own Blue Ray/Tone King label. Most recently, Ray recorded In All of My Life (1997) for the London-based JSP Records. He was accompanied by John Firmin (tenor sax), of the Johnny Nocturne Band, as well as Rob Sudduth of Huey Lewis and the News on baritone and tenor saxes. On record and on stages around the U.S., Ray's guitar playing reflects his smorgasbord of influences: Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins, and Aaron "T-Bone" Walker. His vocals are powerful and soul-filled. Ray continues to tour around the U.S., Canada and Europe. © Richard Skelly, All Music Guide


One of the most interesting features on the modern blues scene has been the advent of the non-singing guitarist/bandleader, artists like Ronnie Earl, Anson Funderburgh, and Little Charlie Baty, whose prowess as instrumentalists has led to their names appearing on billboards and CD sleeves with the vocalists appearing as "featured artists."To the above list of talented instrumentalists, you can now add the name of Kenny Blue Ray. Kenny is a blues veteran of 35 years whose pedigree includes recording and appearing with artists the caliber of William Clarke, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Charlie Musselwhite, Smokey Wilson, Albert Collins, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.Kenny Ray was born in California on January 11, 1950. His interest in music was forged by his father, who played guitar, harmonica, accordion, piano and fiddle. Seeing Elvis perform on the Ed Sullivan show in 1956 sealed Kenny's passion to play guitar.His father bought Kenny his first guitar in 1958 for $7.00, a Stella. His dad later bought Kenny his first real guitar, a 1959 black Danelectro for $38.50.Kenny's obsession with the blues was triggered by the infamous Wolfman Jack, when as an eleven year old, Kenny would lie in bed listening as his older sister played the radio to the sounds of Jimmy Reed and Howlin' Wolf on XERB-FM, from Chula Vista, California, and was inspired by music that Kenny claims "just totally blew my mind."Kenny and his friends would skip school to learn Albert King's album, "Born Under A Bad Sign" and B.B. King's live album, "Blues Is King."Serving in the Air Force from 1969-72, Kenny was based in London, England, where he hooked up with ex-Jr. Walker band member Ferdnand Jones in a nine piece soul review called El Jade, where they covered Al Green, Aretha Franklin and "lots of blues." On his return to the States, Kenny spent two years touring California with the Paul Herman Band. In 1975 he took over the guitar spot in Little Charlie and the Nightcats, which at the time was fronted by Charlie Baty on guitar, harp and vocals. Rick Estrin joined the band in 1976, and not long after Kenny left and moved to Los Angeles where he became a member of the houseband at Smokey Wilson's Pioneer club, backing artists like Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulson, and Big Mama Thornton. The late 70's were a productive time for the blues in LA, and Kenny became immersed in the Watts scene and made his recording debut with William Clarke and Hollywood Fats ("Diggin' My Potatoes") and Finis Tasby (a set which remains unreleased) in 1978.In 1980, Kenny moved to Austin, Texas, where he joined the Marcia Ball Band, touring with her for four years on the Crawfish Circuit and appearing on her 1985 Rounder release "Soulful Dress." During this time Kenny met and became good friends with Stevie Ray Vaughan. Further recording sessions followed with Greg "Fingers" Taylor ("Harpoon Man"), Marcia Ball on Varrick, Mitch Woods, Charlie Musselwhite, Ronnie Earl and the Roomful of Blue Horns on Blind Pig ("Solid Gold Cadillac"), and sessions with Tommy Castro, Ron Thompson, Gary Smith, and others. In 1990, Kenny, with his big, fat toned, Texas guitar sound liberally laced with Albert King and Magic Sam and honed to perfection, took center stage and formed his own band.In 1994, Kenny released the first of nine CD's on his own Tone King label. Each CD garnered critical acclaim from all corners of the blues world, and amazingly, each surpassing the previous in sheer quality. Few artists could release so many CD's in such a short period of time without staleness and a sense of repetition setting in.Since 1994, Kenny has put out two to three CD's a year, as well as producing and playing on other recording artists' projects. Kenny is a big fan of Jazz as well, especially the bluesy side of Brother Jack McDuff, Jimmy Smith, and Jimmy McGriff.Kenny has appeared on 40 CD's and albums since he began his music career. He's also done seven blues guitar instructional videos, and he plans to do a Chicago blues guitar instructional video in the near future.Kenny had the great honor of working with Little Charlie & The Night Cats, William Clarke (Kenny's favorite), James Harman, Shakey Jake Harris, Rod Piazza and Gary Smith. Blues harp is another favorite of Kenny's!Kenny's biggest influences on guitar are Albert King, T-Bone Walker, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Robert Lockwood, Jr., B.B. King, Freddie King, Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomerey, and Johnny "Guitar" Watson. Kenny also digs Jimmie Vaughan and Anson Funderburgh.Kenny uses Kenny "Blue" Ray Signature Series guitars. Kenny brings his years of first-hand experience to the design and development of fine blues guitars. He offers these under the "Blueray Guitars" name. These guitars are very 50s & 60's looking, and have a distinctive West Coast, Texas, or Chicago blues sound.Stevie Ray Vaughan, T-Bone Walker, Albert Collins, B.B., Freddie, Albert King or whatever your blues reference - Kenny Blue Ray guarantees "Blues Satisfaction". © Richard Skelly, All Music Guide


A.O.O.F.C said...



prin said...

Hey! making the rounds this morning...Hope you have a great holiday!!! Hope you and yours are well, safe and happy!!!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks a 1,000,000 prin/c. A joyous and peaceful Yuletide to you and your loved ones. TTU soon