About Bill Ray

br-15mos

Bill Ray has been playing drums since the beginning. Finding his father's drums at 15 months old and discovering the power of 2 & 4, his purpose on this plane of existence was set in motion at the age of four, having seen the local drum guru perform a drum solo at his parents' photography studio in Jackson, MS.

In 1989 a move to California was inevitable and taking gigs of any musical style turned out to be a fertile training ground. In 2001 Ike Turner offered BR the gig and as he said many times "Billy Ray is the drummer of my soul". Bill played with Ike on up to the end of his life and played on his 2007 Grammy Award winning album "Risin' With The Blues". Bill also holds over 150 other album credits to his career in all styles of music from Rock to Jazz, Country, R&B, Funk, and Eclectic "experimental" styles.

Bill is currently enjoying residence in the beautiful Pacific Northwest; Seattle, WA.

Bill endorses Stone Custom Drum, Sabian Cymbals, Pro-Mark Drumsticks, Aquarian Drumheads, Kickport International, Sonall Percussion, Humes & Berg, Etymotic, Eccentric Systems, and Slug Percussion Products.

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The Wild Truth

Musicians

  • Sven-Erik Seaholm - Vocals, Guitar
  • Charlie Loach - Guitars
  • David Ybarra - Bass
  • Bill Ray - Drums

Released 2005

In 2004, having gone through a big breakup and gargantuan personal struggles I was on track to make a 180ยบ turn and leave this business of music in the rearview. My longtime friend Sven-Erik Seaholm pretty much called me daily until I agreed to come over and begin playing this music.

And so we did. With Charlie Loach on guitar and David Ybarra on bass we worked up the tunes, played a few gigs and tracked the album for posterity. It's a great slice of Americana and the music stands up strong.

Ryan Montana Electric Picture Show

Musicians

  • Ryan Montana - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
  • Leo Dombecki - Piano, Keys
  • Kevin Cooper - Bass
  • Seth Blumberg - Guitar
  • Bill Ray - Drums, tape dispenser
  • Todd Gunnerson - Engineer

Released 2006

This album holds dear to my heart on a number of levels. For starters, the band consisted of the younger set of the Ike Turner group; The Kings of Rhythm. Also I was in the thick of my divorce and there were a ton of emotions floating around.

Every day I would go to the studio if not just for something to do. The "studio" was actually a palatial residence up in the hills of Del Mar, CA. We tracked everything live in the "Great Room" and even had one of those outdoor canopies that we draped with packing blankets and surrounded with plexiglass as a sort of makeshift iso booth (hey, it worked).

In 2007 I joined my friend David Ybarra in a band that goes way back in San Diego musical history; the Playground Slap. Marcelo Radulovich and Ray Dezonia rounded out Guitar and Keys respectively and it was a lot of fun to play with these guys. Guitar God Mike Keneally joined us for a few gigs and that was a lot of fun. Check out his guitar solo on "Automatico", down in the video list.

Marcelo and I currently are playing in Nice World together, an Avant Garde experimental band.

The Playground Slap Disco Nausea

Review of "Disco Nausea" in The San Diego Troubador

The Project:

Recording original music in the Jazz Fusion vein, with a third album on the way. These start out as drum solos and become works of music.

bill cornish

The Odd Get Even is a project with my friend Bill Cornish who lives in Chicago. The tunes start off as improvised drum "solos" which are actually my sketching out a drum part for something I'm just clicking along to in my head. There's an organic nature to all of this that lends itself to some pretty cool arrangements.

The general philosophy is to play the drum track like a hole of golf; "play it like it lays" with no nips/tucks but sometimes a small trim or loop is necessary for continuity. In any event, the inspiration is there. If ever there were truly an album "created from the drums up" it would be this collection.

The project picked up steam and Bill finished the album in 2009; Self-titled. In 2010 the next album was being written and it became "Objects in Motion".

We have a third album on the way with the title "Happy Critters". The tunes are as eclectic as you'd imagine and there is one that is a 10 minute epic titled "Stumbling Towards Nirvana" with a guest guitar player Mike James on two tracks.

These are artists who have had a tremendous impact upon my drumming and overall "concept" of music.