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Moods: Solo Male Artist Country: Americana Rock: Country-Rock

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United States - Texas Sell your music everywhere

Ray O'Hara

On his 10th birthday, Ray O’Hara got his first guitar - a Sears Silvertone acoustic. Six months later he was playing Neil Young songs for his older sisters and their friends. Those “performances” led to more serious gigs with rock bands during his high school and college years. And later as an acoustic solo artist in pubs around the Chicago Wrigleyville/Lincoln park area.

Ray was named after his grandfather, a piano player and orchestra leader. Mr. O’Hara was definitely Ray’s first musical influence. “He used to tell us stories about his bands back in the ‘20s and ‘30s on the west side of Chicago. Once he retrieved Louis Armstrong from an illegal dice game upstairs from the ballroom he was performing in. He also gave Benny Goodman his first break in show business.”

Following his grandfather’s tradition, Ray formed the Orange Hunters, a jam-rock band. Over a five-year span, the Orange Hunters toured the Midwest performing 200 shows per year. The Orange Hunters released three CDs and enjoyed critical success from their tours. The group performed live and received airplay on several major-market Chicago rock radio stations (they were favorite, regular guests on the Kevin Matthews show) and were featured on two Fox network television specials.

When the Orange Hunters disbanded, Ray put his guitar away and moved to Austin, Texas. The vibrant music scene inspired Ray to write and record his solo record “45 South”. What started out as a solo, acoustic project has blossomed into an electrifying mix of drums, bass, acoustic and electric guitars, dobro, lap steel, harmonica, fiddle, banjo, organ, piano and accordion. Many of Ray's songs are soulful, honest stories of love, hope and despair. Some are roguish tunes that poke fun at the foibles of life.

Drawing from the deep pool of talented Austin musicians, "45 South" features some of the best players around; Jimmy LaFave, Trish Murphy, Rachel Loy, Michael Ramos, Rick McRae, Larry Wilson, Chris Maresh, Wally Doggett, Wil Landin, Stewart Cochran, Rich White, and Louis Meyers. Ray's long time friend and former Orange Hunters guitarist/singer Pat Cordell sings harmony and shares a songwriting credit on "Still Looking".

Released in January 2005, “45 South” has been well received in Austin and Europe. Local Austin radio has supported Ray’s CD with spins on KGSR and KUT. Ray performed live on John Aielli’s Eklektikos and was the featured artist on the KUT “Austin Music Minute” segment. The video for the title track “45 South” has received regular airplay on the Austin Music Network. Garnering rave reviews and airplay throughout Europe has put Ray on the map with our cross-Atlantic brethren.

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