If you’ve ever been blues dancing at The Joker in Islington on a Wednesday evening, you’ll know Ray Wallen.
If he’s not singing or playing the harmonica, he’s watching. Enjoying the music. Taking in the atmosphere.
One of the things I love about Ray’s music is that he re-works so many of the songs he sings. One of his talents is re-writing blues songs and giving them a ‘London’ spin.
My personal favourite is his Tom Waits/Ray Charles medley ‘Ice-cream Man/ Hit the Road Jack’.
Just. So. cool.
The very first time I met Ray he was playing in The Dan Nash Band at Blues Baby Blues 2013. I was still quite new at DJing and was super-nervous until Ray popped over to ask me what I was playing. (It was ‘Crawling King Snake’ by Etta James as I recall.) He told me he was really enjoying my music. (It means a lot to be complimented by a blues musician – especially someone like Ray.)