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Jeff Ray | Blue Mara

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Blues: Slide Guitar Blues World: World Fusion Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Blue Mara

by Jeff Ray

Upbeat, pulsing, thumb-thumping resonator slide-guitar with a marrow of darkness, mixed from equal parts Delta blues and upbeat Appalachian rhythms. The music unexpectedly twists from dark blues, to East-Indian melodies, and back again.
Genre: Blues: Slide Guitar Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Confusion
4:27 $0.99
2. Dead Rising
1:16 $0.99
3. Dead
5:10 $0.99
4. Sing To Me
3:41 $0.99
5. Sleeping Dogs
4:35 $0.99
6. Cotton Rising
1:22 $0.99
7. Cottonwood
5:17 $0.99
8. Sunshine City Tree
6:08 $0.99
9. Go On, My Blue
4:40 $0.99
10. Blue Mara Stomp
0:42 $0.99
11. Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had
4:40 $0.99
12. Until The Dust
5:10 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Happy Holidays!
For December 2012, JEFF RAY CDs ARE ON SALE FOR 9.99 EACH!


Peace Stream Records announces the Sept. 15, 2009 release of BLUE MARA, Jeff Ray’s fourth and most ambitous
recording to date. BLUE MARA takes the resonator slide-guitar to a dark new playground of early 60’s Chicago-blues
and 1920’s pre-war blues, and melds the two with the pervasive rhythms of appalachia and the intriguing nature of east-
Indian melodies. BLUE MARA’s uncanny mixture of musical styles leads some to call it International Roots Music.
Other people familiar with the sounds of the roots and blues music of the upper Midwest call the style Headwater Blues.

BLUE MARA contains 11 original tracks and one cover song “Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had”, written by the late
Muddy Waters. Ray wrote the songs for the album over the course of heavy gigging and touring since his critically
acclaimed 2007 CD release LAST GREAT WINTER. On BLUE MARA, Ray’s backbeat foot-stompin’ style, initially
inspired by a gig he shared with Chris Smither, once again becomes the rhythmic focus for the album.
BLUE MARA was recorded on an 8-track reel-to-reel in Jeff Ray’s living room and at Owl Recording in Minneapolis by
Paul Flynn. The recording method and relaxed lo-fi quality of the CD gives the music the feel of an old Chess Studios

The album boasts the handiwork of the finest crop of Minnesota musicians, including: Nick Salisbury on bass
guitar (Mick Sterling’s Irresistables / Mary Cutrufello / GB Leighton / Ashleigh Still / etc), Mikkel Beckmen on washboard
(The Brass Kings / Charlie Parr), Harold Tremblay on harmonica (Cool Disposition / Summit Stunt Pilots), Brianna Lane
on harmony vocals, Tim Zhorne on percussion, Monica Digre on ‘cello, Chris Becknell on fiddle (The Poor Nobody’s) and
Chris Hepola on percussion (The Poor Nobody’s).



to write a review

Nick Hensley

Booking Agent
Blue Mara recreates the live Jeff Ray experience perfectly. It's an incredible album from start to finish.

Norman Darwen (Blue Matters, UK)

stinging slide guitar work
Jeff has a warm singing voice and plays some stinging slide guitar work. These tracks - eleven originals and a fine version of Muddy Waters' "You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had" - are sometimes very reminiscent of [Chris] Smither himself, though Jeff occasionally incorporates different styles of Blues and even the odd Indian flavour to the mix, and the Dylan comparison is certainly justifiable on a couple of songs. The overall result is impressive, with the dozen songs bearing traces of the darker side of Americana, though far bluesier than is usually encompassed by such a definition.

Christina Killion Valdez

Post-Bulletin (Rochester, MN)
Using an 8-track reel-to-reel recorder set up in his living room, slide guitarist Jeff Ray captured just the right sound for his latest acoustic roots and blues CD.


www.rootsville.be (Belgium)
Jeff Ray's fourth album is indeed a must for anyone who has a soft spot for acoustic, semi-acoustic and resonator slide-guitar in particular... His fingerpicking and bottleneck playing style have a very high degree of perfection and precision. Leo Kottke and Bob Brozman are never far away and, without hesitation, he can get a place in the list of great sliders. This album is very blues oriented but remains open to "world" influences... "Blue Mara" is a treasure that makes it irresistible to grab your guitar.... Another great artist that we should not lose sight [of].

David Henke

Northfield News (Northfield MN)
Thousands of miles may separate Indian music from the Memphis blues, but slide guitarist Jeff Ray has found a way to blend the two.

John Ziegler

Duluth News Tribune (Duluth MN)
No mopey re-creations; Ray’s take on the genre is fresh and original... The guitar is hyper-animated and jumps out of the mix. Ray has mastered the ability to go speedily from fretted notes to glassy slide in a nanosecond. It provides the feel of two guitar players at the same time... In his still-young recording career, Ray has covered Southern rock (ala the Allman Brothers), Memphis soul, Nick Drake-inspired songs, stirring acoustic instrumental guitar, resonator slide, and now blues from the pre-Depression era as well as the ’60s... You never know what’s coming next. Here’s to lots more stops along the Jeff Ray recording highway.