Tell us about yourself and your music
I grew up listening to the top one hundred on AM stations which featured a variety of pop and rock songs. Becoming of age while forming my own bands, I would go out and listen to groups such as Sweetbottom and Oceans, here in Milwaukee, which gave me a great appreciation for Jazz. Both groups featured Daryl Stuermer, who I loved to watch performing on his guitar. He later ended up playing with Gino Vannelli, (who I loved to see perform and listen to, also having all his albums), and Phil Collins, who I admire as a great artist and love a lot of his music, as well. During which time I got hooked on Yes, hearing Jon Anderson’s haunting and captivating voice, along with Steve Howe’s virtuoso guitar playing on such classic tracks that still influence me today. Having played in bands throughout Wisconsin, I later tried writing my own songs and recorded them on an 8-track cassette which was a bit hard to do cleanly. Then came digital, I bought a Zoom digital recorder, in 2004, along with a Kurzweil keyboard and bass guitar, and with my Les Paul Deluxe and Ovation guitars, started writing and recording songs.
Talk to us more about your latest release
My latest release is “Man In The Night”, an album featuring rock, pop, dance and contemporary music, similar to my first album “The Quiet Storm”, which has more of a soft rock flavor to it, and added with a pinch of hard rock blues and southern rock . I guess I mirror what I grew up with, I love variety.
What inspired you to write this release?
Just my love for music and to explore where I can go.
Any plans to release a video?
I’d love to do one, but just having me performing on it for others to watch, wouldn’t be all that appealing. An doing an MTV type video is too costly.
Any plans to hit the road?
That’s something I always enjoyed, but being a solo artist makes it hard. The reason being is because of my back disability, and having to set up and tear down equipment after every performance, makes it impossible along with having to perform, as well. And putting a band together is harder than it sounds.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
My variety of songs, mainly.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Yes, Led Zepplin, Rush, Journey, Lee Retinour, Pat Matheny, David Sanbourn,Phil Collins, Talking Heads
Tell us about your passions
I like to write, I love to golf but don’t do it much.
What else is happening next in your world?
I wrote a book called “Rebel of the Stars”, now being sold on Amazon, and plan to write more, as well as putting together another album.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Ray!
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