Southern Soul Rockers, Don Ray Band, have been turning on crowds at music festivals, rallies and the hottest venues in the country since the release of their first album in 2009. They perform originals from their albums that Don Ray has written and co-written with songwriters Curt Ryle ( Billy Ray Cyrus, George Jones ), Will McFarlane ( Bonnie Raitt ), Tony Paoletta ( Luke Bryan, Patty Loveless ), Jonathan Armstrong ( Earl Thomas Conley ) and Donnie Lee Clark ( Pure Prairie League ).
The band members are: singer/songwriter Don Ray along with Gary Dales, guitar - formerly of the Leon Russell band, 38 Special and The Van Zant Brothers. Jonathan Armstrong, keyboards - formerly of the Earl Thomas Conley band. Josh Birkhimer, drums - formerly of the Burning Las Vegas show and Jeff Offutt, bass - formerly of the Chicago Charlie Blues band.
About Don Ray:
Don Ray was born into a musical family in Sioux City, IA. He left the Midwest for Austin, TX. at age 18. Don played drums and sang for several regionally successful Texas bands including Frenchie Burke. Don's first break as a solo artist came when a project he was working on was produced by keyboardist Reese Wynans ( Stevie Ray Vaughan ). The first version of Don Ray Band came in Austin as well and included former Asleep At The Wheel musicians Danny Levin and Bill Mabry.
Don Ray moved to Nashville at age 26 to pursue a songwriting career and was soon a staff writer for Square One Publishing on Music Row. He started the second version of Don Ray Band with hit songwriters, Monty Holmes, Don Sampson and Curt Ryle. A few of the co-songwriter credits Don has are with hit songwriters Randy Travis, Monty Holmes, Curt Ryle, Buck Moore and Kent Blazey. Don has songs in the publishing catalogs of Square One, Universal Music, Sony/ATV, Warner Tamerlane, PeerMusic III, Minnetonka Music and Malaco.
Today, the musical collaborations of the current group of musicians and songwriters that make up Don Ray Band, are unique and have proven hard to put a single label on the results... which have been called everything from "Rockin' Blues" to "Southern Rock" to "Blue Eyed Soul" to "Rock N Southern Country Roll" by some of the nations most notable music writers. One thing all of these writers have agreed upon, however, is that the music is refreshingly original and a pleasure to listen to over and over again.