Michael Ray

  • Genre
  • Blues
  • Awards and Nominations
    • SAMMIES 2020 Nominee★ Blues ★
    • SAMMIES 2019 Nominee★ Blues ★
    • SAMMIES 2018 Nominee★ Blues ★
  • Musicians
    • Joe Lev — bass
    • Matthew Hevesh — guitar
    • Michael Ray — guitar, vocals
    • Ratatat Pat Balcom — drums
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Q & A

All-time favorite song?


One isn't enough. I have a hundred.

How do you describe your music to people?


Something firmly rooted in the blues but not afraid to go where the music takes it.

Tell us about how the band formed.


These guys actually said yes to playing with me more than once. I still don't know, why but I'm happy they did.

Tell us about how you first started gigging.


My dad died, and I got arrested for growing a plant that the government thought was bad to grow at the time but now is OK. I felt like I failed at everything, so now would be a good time to fail at playing music. Turns out that not being afraid to fail is a huge ingredient to not failing. Also a ton of open-mics.

Tell us about your best gig in Sac.


I got to open for ZZ Top in a soccer stadium; that was pretty hard to top. The Raw album release at Torch Club was badass as well.

Tell us about your worst gig.


There are no shortage of contenders for this one. I won't name venues or dates, but there was one time we just knew no one would be there and the sound was going to suck. On top of that, I can't stand the opening band. Long story short, some of us (mainly me) got way too drunk before the set and just sucked. It was so bad, my girlfriend left mid-set. You learn a lot from things like that if they don't happen too often.

What artist or band are you a little embarrassed to love, and why?


The Strokes, Trick Daddy.

What was the first song you learned to play?


"Stairway to Heaven." In my head, that's what seventh grade girls in 1998 were into. Turns out they were not.

What's next for the band?


We're planning a group trip to the annual Boise Potato Festival. The other three guys don't know it yet, but they're fucking coming with me, goddamnit.

What's the story behind the band name?


We took the guy who was singing's name and put the word band after it. It's sort of meta and uber complicated. But our fans are smart, so most of em get it.

What's your favorite local artist/group?


Element Brass Band, The Philharmonik, Aaron King.

Who are your biggest influences?


Jimi, Both Stevies, Taj Mahal.

Who first inspired you to play music?


None of us can do anything else. Matt tried to work as a bus boy for a few days once. I can't tell you how many people died of e-coli, but it was a lot.

Words to live by?


What's up with some wedding gigs?

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