I'm late to the party with Ray but better that I did, at least, get there. I'd seen him one other time, a couple of years ago with Mike Meadows (percussionist for PorterDavis). At that time, maybe because it was more of a party atmosphere, at an unofficial SXSW show, I remember liking him but not being knocked out, you know?
Well, not after this night at the Cactus. Man, is he ever good! What a groove his music has! He's Cajun bluesy and very melodic, heckuva writer, great guitarist, the whole enchilada, as they say. I can't recommend him enough. All I know is, I will see him live every chance I get from here on out.
Besides guitar he plays harmonica and solo, he has what I call a piece of plywood on the floor mic'd up, that he uses to tap out a beat. That's probably not what it is but it's what it sounds like. Really sounds cool on his songs. I also love his phrasing and the way some words, at the end of a line, just kind of fade away. You'd have to hear him, such a soulful guy. Speaking of which, you should buy straight away his most recent release called "Goin by feel." I haven't stopped playing it since I bought it. There is one song on it called "I am The Big Easy" which is the best song I've heard written about the aftermath of Katrina.
One other thing, I was familiar with a song he wrote many years ago called "Two Bend In The Road." I have it on a Louise Taylor cd and I love her version. Anyway, there is a verse in it, goes like this:
That is one heckuva verse, by anybody, period. What an image that conjures up.
At any rate, check Ray out as quickly as you can.
Details - the show was free, room was packed and I hope he made good tips because he is terrific and put on a fantastic show.