Ray Edge

Music


Ray was a wonderful musician and played in several bands starting in the 70's including Dollars, Dealer's Choice, Ray Edge and the Sensations, The Knott Brothers, and The Struthers Brothers before launching his award-winning solo album, Soul Connection, in 2005. 
 

Soul Connection

Ray Edge Live at Hugh's Room

Watch Ray perform Heaven in Your Eyes from his solo album, Soul Connection, at Hugh's Room in Toronto, Canada in 2005.

Ray's Musical History

Ray's Dollars Days

Dollars was a Canadian band formed in 1972.

Ray Edge: Lead vocals, rhythm guitar, congas / Mary Margaret O`Hara: Lead vocals / Gary Kendall: Bass, back up vocals / Cash Wall: Drums, back up vocals / Mike Bacon: Lead guitar, back up vocals / R.C. Peters: Piano, back up vocals

In his early 20's Ray sold a car his father had bought for him to finance his first trip to England for a music competition that the Canadian government was promoting for young musicians. The competition did not work out for Ray and so he moved back to Ontario, Canada and was living in a commune with American draft dodgers, and as it happened, one of them was playing in Gary Kendall’s band at the time, Dollars.  Gary had mentioned to the band he wanted to hire a male singer, so Cash (Charles) Wall told him about Ray’s singing voice.  As soon as Gary heard Ray sing, he said this guy is going to take us to a whole new level.  You see, not only had Ray been given the gift of his amazing voice, he had also been given the creative talent to write songs.  Up to that point, Dollars was only doing cover songs, and now they had their own material!  So all of a sudden, Ray was on the road with Dollars, playing gigs throughout Ontario, and Quebec.  In those days it was typical for a band to be booked six nights in a row in the same bar / pub / club – so that became Ray’s life for a period of time.


Dealer's Choice / The Knott Brothers / The Balfour Boys

The Struthers Brothers / Ray Edge & The Sensations

When the band, Dollars, had run it`s course, and Ray moved on to his next musical adventure, Dealers Choice he stayed in touch with Gary Kendall.  By the late 70`s (76/77) they weren`t performing together, but Ray would regularly get together with Gary at his house and the two would work on his new compositions.  It was around this time that his songwriting talent really started to blossom.  It could be described as prolific.

 The two reconnected again in 1981 to record the 45 rpm single Point It Out, the A side and Don`t Worry About Tomorrow, the B side.  By then Gary was a member of The Downchild Blues Band, and two other members of that group performed on the recording session.  

They regrouped again in 1983/84 with a new game plan for advancing Ray`s songwriting and music career.  Gary would assume the role of manager/bassist and they would pursue work in a variety of formats.  Ray would perform solo/acoustic playing mostly his own compositions, they would work as a duo (The Knott Brothers) using a drum machine and performing covers and whenever possible with a full band playing mostly Ray`s originals – Ray Edge and The Sensations.  Although he gave it a good shot, this approach wasn`t really what Ray wanted to do. Some of the gigs were acceptable but others were a grind. Hard work with no creative payoff. After losing his voice and not being able to perform at a lucrative week-long engagement in a prestigious downtown Toronto club, Ray arrived at Gary`s doorstep shortly after to tell him he was finished, in his words "I don`t want to do this anymore".  This led to their longest period with no contact.  The pair would circle back together again almost 20 years later in 2004 to begin work on Ray`s Soul Connection CD.  It would be a project that both would consider their best work together. 

In the 80’s, Ray also played with good friend, John Struthers and they called themselves The Struthers Brothers, a takeoff on the famous comedy duo at the time, The Smothers Brothers.  As well, Ray had fun horsing around with another good friend, Doug Simpson in a duo they called The Balfour Boys.  Name taken from the street where they were living in a house together.  Ray went back and forth to England several times during those years. He had dual citizenship with his father having been born there.  Those of you who knew him well in those days will remember some of his hijinks.

What People are Saying About Soul Connection:

"From the short drum beat intro, Ray Edge forms a connection with his listeners and takes them back to a time when music was truly enjoyable and a pleasure to sit down and listen to." - Blues Underground

"With a voice that some say reminds them of David Clayton-Thomas, Ray has no problem delivering the full package. Ray Edge's newest CD "Soul Connection" fuses together Soul, Jazz, R&B, and Blues with the same expertise as Susur Lee does with his famous Fusion Cooking and in doing so he makes it not only a personal masterpiece, but he also makes it a instant hit with his fans." - Amazon Review

"This CD in fantastic! It is difficult to choose a favourite song, Ray's voice is sexy, the song writing & musical arrangement is superb. A VERY enjoyable CD." - Amazon Review

"There is a difference between musicians. Most of us are players, we are accompanists and our collective effort produces a pleasing result. There are lead singers, whose ego drives them to the front of the band with nothing more than their voice and a microphone. We often refer to these folks as suffering from Lead Singer Syndrome and you can guess the effect that dynamic has upon the rest of the band. Then there are musicians like Ray who are both players and singers and thereby creators of music. Ray's creativity and leadership produced more than a pleasing result for all of us. He gave us some turning points in our lives from which to navigate better courses".     - Cliff Simon