“It is not a coincidence…
– that musical greats such as Leon Russell, Robby Krieger, Steve Jordan and Eddie Kramer (Hendrix; Zeppelin), to name just a few, have all taken a keen interest in helping Ray Goren develop. The story began in South Central Los Angeles- inside a tiny a juke-joint, twelve year old Ray Goren meets Jamie Powell along with Harmonica player Sammy Lee for the very first time. Little did the trio know this would be the birthplace of a deep musical bond and spiritual connection resulting in the formation of “The Generation Blues Experience”. Pulling from a vast back-catalogue of R&B, Rock, Blues, Jazz & Gospel covers as well as a handful of originals, the band went on to play the California tour circuit that Ray had already been working as a solo act since the age of ten. After being invited to open for blues legend, BB King, fans and critics alike raved about the band’s young leader – “[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”, said music journalist Jason Debord.
Though still very young,
the talent possessed by the New York native didn’t just arrive precipitously. From the age of three, Ray was dabbling his tiny fingers along his miniature toy keyboard mimicking the nursery ditties he heard as a toddler. By the time he turned five, he was covering his beloved artists – Thelonious Monk, J.J. Johnson, Lee Morgan, Milt Jackson, Miles Davis, Jackie McLean and Oscar Peterson. A few years later, Ray welcomed the arrival of Youtube with open arms, eyes and ears. It was on the network that he stumbled upon a clip of BB King, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Albert Collins playing together. This pulled him further into the online music world where he discovered many other greats such as Albert King, Luther Alison, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Otis Rush. Excited and inspired, he talk his parents into buying him a guitar. It was at that point in time that Ray focused all of his attention into learning the guitar. Like many others before him, he started with the blues.
It wasn’t long before Ray was being invited onto the billings of several high-profile events including the Chicago Blues Festival where Times music critic 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”. From smokey LA Blues clubs to TED conferences to sharing the stage with The Doors’ own Robbie Krieger, with Buddy Guy, with Leon Russell and many others, Ray continued to turn heads wherever he plugged his guitar in. After the terribly tragic passing of Jamie Powell a heartbroken Ray took the time to reflect on everything he had gleaned from his bandmate, mentor, confidant and closest friend. The wisdom that Jamie had bestowed on Ray throughout the years would serve as an inspiring force for further musical endeavor and exploration as Ray continued to cross over into other genre territories. The songs began to reflect a modern blend of rock, pop, soul and R&B. His voice evolved and the electric guitar that never left his side, adapted to a new sound.
Intrigue and demand followed in quick pursuit. Not only was Ray now dividing his time between high school and music but also between playing sellout shows with “The Generation Blues Experience” and wowing the Hollywood nightclub scene as frontman to new pop rock outfit “Ray Goren & The Soul Fixers”. It is with the latter where one is not only able to remark on his technical ability with a six-string but also his knack for writing infectious radio-friendly anthems. A recent show at trendy Hollywood haunt saw the teenager lead a room of two hundred hipsters and showbiz glitterati into a complete frenzy. I-Phones and Fedoras were for once put aside as the crowd flocked hastily to the stage inside the small sweatbox keen to get a closer glimpse of the rising star. This event serves as a representation of a much larger interest in Ray Goren. His soulful phrasing, profound lyrical sense and pension for melody have captured the attention of music lovers around the globe. It is clearly only matter of time before we see this teenage talent be thrusted into the mainstream’s consciousness.