Early Show R&R Sunday: Jeff Ray & Mike Dowling
Sunday May 12 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
When the late, great Vassar Clements heard Mike Dowling play guitar back in 1975 he did the sensible thing. He hired him. Mike was the guitarist in Vasssar’s first touring band and can be heard on Clements’ Grammy-nominated Nashville Jam. Clements called him simply, “One of the finest guitarists there is, anywhere.” Before embarking on a solo performance and teaching career, the Wisconsin native also worked and recorded with music legends Jethro Burns and Joe Venuti in Chicago, and studied briefly with session great George Barnes in San Francisco. In1995, after years in various ensembles and a successful stint as a Nashville songwriter he launched a solo performance career and with the release of Swamp Dog Blues began to headline at concerts and festivals throughout the world. Soon after, Mike packed up his guitars and his fishing gear and moved from Nashville, Tennessee to a little mountain town in northwest Wyoming where he and his wife opened Wind River Guitar, a unique residency school for private master instruction. He’s released eight critically acclaimed albums on his Wind River Guitar label and two more for Solid Air Records. David Chamberlain, host of “Sagebrush Boogie”, WRFG FM, Atlantic called his most recent CD, Tracks, “One of the best recordings I have ever heard.” Mike shares a Grammy for his contribution to Pink Guitar, a collaborative compilation of Henry Mancini tunes arranged and performed by twelve of the country’s top acoustic guitarists. Pink Guitar, produced by Solid Air Records, was voted Pop Instrumental Album of the Year in 2005.
Mike Dowling will be joined by Minnesota resonator slide-guitarist and songwriter Jeff Ray. Ray‘s music is rooted in the traditions of acoustic blues and American primitive fingerstyle guitar while also integrating Indian classical and world music styles under the cryptic guise of alternate guitar tunings. His music recalls early blues and rock, fingerstyle-folk, and Indian Carnatic music – sounding equal parts Ry Cooder, Grateful Dead and RL Burnside. Jeff has shared the stage with Chris Smither, Justin Townes Earl, Indigenous, Spider John Koerner, Earl Greyhound, Black Diamond Heavies, Pat Donohue, Retribution Gospel Choir, Dawes, and Charlie Parr, among others. He has earned recognition as a first-place winner of the Minnesota Blues Society “Road to Memphis” competition and placed second in the Trocadero’s Spotlight Songwriter Competition.
JEFF RAY hosts the “Roots & Resophonics” concert series at the White Squirrel Bar on the 2nd Sunday of every month, 1-3pm, featuring a unique duo performance of the most talented local and regional musicians in the American roots genre.