Before the age of three, Ray Goren played nursery songs on his toy keyboard. By the age of five, he was playing his favorite tunes by Thelonious Monk, J.J. Johnson, Lee Morgan, Milt Jackson, Miles Davis, Jackie McLean and Oscar Peterson.
A few years later, while searching Youtube, Ray stumbled on a clip of BB King, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy and Albert Collins playing together. Before the day was over, with the Internet at his disposal, Ray discovered many other blues and rock greats including Albert King, Luther Alison, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Otis Rush. After talking his parents into getting him a guitar, Ray put all of his musical efforts into learning the blues before going back to playing other styles.
Ray started to write his own original music which draws primarily from R&B, Rock, Blues, Jazz, and Gospel. In the winter of 2013 and the spring of 2014, Ray went into the studio and recorded some of his original tunes. Ray will release his first EP early in the summer of 2014. Ray plans to continue recording his original music over the summer for another late summer release.
Aside from his original music and studio work, in 2012 Ray visited Bell’s - a blues juke-joint located in South Central Los Angeles. There, he met Jamie “Bluesboy” Powell and Harmonica Sammy Lee. Playing together, the three instantly discovered a spiritual connection. They formed the Generation Blues Experience and for the past two years have bonded through their love for music. They still play shows throughout California regularly.
Ray is an explosive live performer who has been playing all around the United States since he was 10 years old.
After seeing Ray and the Generations Blues Experience open for BB King in Monterey, reviewer Jason Debord wrote:
“[Ray] is a real phenomenon, and you sit there not believing what you are seeing and hearing… It was really one of the most unbelievable moments I’ve experienced at any concert. Amazing.”
Renowned Chicago Tribune music critic Howard Reich wrote of Ray’s performance:
“No one rattles the place like Ray Goren, from the Los Angeles area. He plays electric guitar — and sings — with a fluency, ease and depth of expression that defy easy explanation”.
After opening night of the 2013 Chicago Blues Festival, Chicago Sun Times music critic Thomas Conner wrote:
“Young Ray Goren stepped up Thursday night and ripped out a guitar solo that would have made some hairs fall out of Stevie Ray Vaughan's soul patch”.
After Ray’s performance at Doheny Blues Festival (opening for Buddy Guy and Steve Miller), reviewer Robert Kinsler wrote:
“The festivities began with an impressive set from singer-guitarist Ray Goren, who at the mere age of 12 already plays his Fender like a master…and sings with convincing emotion”
Among Ray’s fans are some of the most respected figures in music. Though it’s just about impossible to grasp where his soulful phrasing, profound lyrical sense, or deep sense of melody come from, one thing is agreed upon by all of Ray’s admirers: He has a very exciting journey ahead of him.
Ray is planning a tour showcasing his original music with his newly formed Ray Goren Band. In addition, Ray will continue to perform with his band mates from the Generation Blues Experience.