About Bill Ray
Bill Ray has been playing drums since the beginning. Finding his father's drums at 15 months old and discovering the power of 2 & 4, his purpose on this plane of existence was set in motion at the age of four, having seen the local drum guru perform a drum solo at his parents' photography studio in Jackson, MS.
In 1989 a move to California was inevitable, and taking gigs of any musical style turned out to be a fertile training ground. In 2001 Ike Turner offered BR the gig and as he said many times "Billy Ray is the drummer of my soul". Bill played with Ike on up to the end of his life and played on his 2007 Grammy Award winning album "Risin' With The Blues". Bill also holds over 150 other album credits to his career in all styles of music from Rock to Jazz, Country, R&B, Funk, and Eclectic "experimental" styles.
Bill has been playing with guitar virtuoso legend Paul Gilbert and has appeared on his last three releases "PG30", "Behold Electric Guitar" "Werewolves of Portland" (appears on Japanese release "bonus track"), and the new "DIO" album.
George Lawrence is the first drummer other than my father that I consciously remember watching. That being said, I must say that I have always been aware of the beat. Even when I could barely walk, the driving smack of 2 & 4 carrying and propelling the music was enough to let me know I've found something!
The first time I heard the Aquarium Rescue Unit was when I lived in Taipei, Taiwan. I had read a review of the album in Modern Drummer Magazine about these guys and just happened to see their cassette in Tower Records. I bought it and gave it a listen. I heard it once and it did nothing for me. So I threw it in my bag and eventually headed back home.
Once I got home I threw in ARU once more for a quick going-over and THIS TIME I was completely floored! TO this day I have to give Sipe credit for shaping the way I play. His fluidity and ideas never cease to amaze me.
W have only met a few times; He let me sit in with Leftover Salmon and we did a drum solo together. It was EPIC.
These are artists who have had a tremendous impact upon my drumming and overall "concept" of music.
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