I found my father’s drums at 15 months old and was immediately drawn to the power of a backbeat and how it made me feel. My then-four year-old self discovered my dream, nee’ purpose when the local “drum guru”, a man by the name of George Lawrence (who is still a friend to this day) performed a drum solo at my parents’ photography studio in Jackson, MS. while getting band pics done.
In 2015 a move to Seattle began a new chapter in my life. Currently I instruct at Seattle Drum School and in my own private studio. I have been playing with Paul Gilbert and did his recent release “Behold- Electric Guitar”.
During my teen years I was on the road with various bands throughout the South, playing Blues, Rock, Country and Top-40 music. In 1989 I departed Mississippi for California and began taking any and all gigs that came my way. In 1991 I went with a group to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Iraq to perform for the troops “In-Theater”.
In 1993, I lived abroad in Taipei, Taiwan for a bit. Upon returning home, moved to Orange County, CA and began work as a drum instructor at the famed drum company Orange County Drum & Percussion (OCDP). During that tenure, I taught many students; the most notable was a young drummer from an Orange County band called No Doubt named Adrian Young.
In 2001 Ike Turner offered me the “chair of a lifetime” and said many times “Billy Ray is the drummer of my soul”. We went on to create the 2006 Grammy Award-winning album “Risin’ With The Blues”. With Ike, we went “to the top of the mountain”. It was an amazing ride.
From 2004-2014 I was “house drummer” for Kitsch-n-Sync Productions with Sven-Erik Seaholm in his home studio in San Diego, CA and played on upwards of 150 albums by various artists. in all styles of music from Rock to Jazz, Country, R&B, Funk, and Eclectic “experimental” styles.