Ray Goren was born an old soul and born to play the blues. He’s been coined a genius, a prodigy, a phenomenon, and a world-class musician at the tender age of 12. His story is just beginning—yet it goes way back to the hey days of his favorite artists— his mentors of sort: Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson, BB King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Otis Rush … and so many other jazz and blues legends that Ray discovered and studied through recordings and videos since he was five years old.
Within days of getting his first guitar at age eight, Ray was actually playing the blues. It was as if he had reconnected with a long-lost friend. Six months later Ray played live for the first time, sitting in with harmonica player Mason Casey who spontaneously called Ray to the stage. Since then, Ray has emerged onto the Southern California blues scene appearing on the main stages of the nationally acclaimed Doheny Blues Festival (2012), Chicago Blues Festival (2012), Monterey Blues Festival (2012), and the Detroit Jazz Festival (2011) to name just a few. Ray has also performed with world-renowned musicians including Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang and Robby Krieger.
Over recent months Ray played with 68-year-old Bobby "Hurricane" Spencer, who's been playing saxophone for more than 50 years and has played with the likes of Etta James, B.B. King and Otis Redding. Spencer calls Goren the "young Mozart of the Blues." Spencer isn't the only old-timer who feels that way. Sammy Lee, one of the leads of The Generation Blues Experience, has been playing harmonica for 30 of his 65 years, and says the kid is incredible. "Very soulful," Lee says. "Got a whole lot of soul for a young man. He plays with a feeling. I’ve been around a whole lot of blues people. Lot of people play what they hear. He plays what he feels and you can tell.” Another band member, Jamie Powell—a 78 year old blues guitarist for 53 years—invokes the name of one of the greats when asked about Goren's ability. "They think Stevie Ray Vaughan was bad? This kid is bad," he said. "They can't take nothing from him."
The mystical connection between young Ray and his old-timer musical peers who have been playing the blues for decades demonstrates the pure Power of Blues Music by defying age and time. The Generation Blues Experience delivers more than a good performance - it is a true multigenerational experience.