"a blues maven"
-Sacramento News and Review

"cathartic...raw like an exposed nerve"
-Submerge Magazine


Submerge Magazine 4/10/17

Sacramento News & Review 4/13/17

Sacramento News & Review 2/9/17

  The name Michael Ray somehow brings to mind an era long past, when baseball and boxing ruled the sports world, New York was run by made men, and parents warned their children of the evils of Rhythm and Blues. They would have had none of Michael Ray's dark gritty vocals and devilish blues guitar work. But he's just the guy teenagers would have snuck out of their windows to watch in wide eyed mystification at his astounding skill and paralyzing energy.

  Whether he's playing for free on a Tuesday night for a dim lit bar of 5 regulars or at a sold-out 1000 seat theater sharing the stage with legends like Robert Cray, he somehow always channels the haunting spirit of a time long past, and brandishes the living soul of the blues itself. His live show is an awe-inspiring experience, that captivates listeners and leaves them thinking that they're not quite sure what they just saw, but they know they want more.

"Michael Ray has had a helluva year. The local blues musician has seen his popularity skyrocket due not only to his enjoyable sound, but because of his hard work, tireless promotion and frequent gigs around town. Whether he’s hosting an open mic at a small bar or opening for a national touring act in a 1,000-plus capacity venue, Ray always brings his A-game."
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"As clear as Ray’s blues influences are, he never sounds like a parody of someone playing Delta blues or a corny copy of Muddy Waters. The stronger pop elements and bouncy soulful grooves give it a modern flair."
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"Ray’s guitar can snarl from a whisper, and he sings with the same primal unease, both instruments quivering between soft-spoken melodies and guttural sounds that personify darkness and desperation"
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Submerge Magazine 6/29/16

"Ray’s newest EP, Live at the Old I, is a stripped-down tour de force. Take for instance the final song “I’ll Be Doing Fine.” What starts as a pacing, prowling guitar solo echoing in the silence, slows and elongates into a classical piece (by a famous composer I should be able to name as a “music journalist”), before sliding again into a gritty rock ‘n’ roll lick right into Ray’s sandpaper smooth growl."
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