Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Producer. Currently play in a band called "The Hellecasters" and an Alt Country band called "The Buzzards". Have also played/recorded with Michael Nesmith, Carlene Carter, Steve Earle, Solomon Burke. Have my songs administered through Bug Music. Write column in Guitar Player Magazine called "Will Ray's eBay Strategies".
Will Ray Bio
Will Ray Bio
Few guitar pickers can out-slide, out-bend or out-torture a Telecaster the way Will Ray can. As a member of the pyrotechnical twang trio The Hellecasters, Will has created a place for himself among some of the world's guitar greats.
In 1983 Will moved to Los Angeles and began finding work in nightclubs and eventually in the studios. He was a member of several ground breaking 80's cow punk bands including Tin Star , Candye Kane & the Armadillo Stampede and Wylie & The Wild West Show.
In 1990 Will, Jerry Donahue and John Jorganson formed The Hellecasters.
Two years later the Hellecasters' critically acclaimed first album, The Return of the Hellecasters, became a hit with guitarists and was awarded “Best Album” and “Best Country Album” by Guitar Player Magazine in 1993.
In 1995 the Hellecasters's recorded and released their second CD, Escape From Hollywood, which again took guitar playing to a new dimension. That same year Hipshot products began marketing an invention of Will's called the Stealth Slide, allowing guitarists to switch quickly between slide and fingers on a guitar. Hipshot also began manufacturing the Will Ray Model B-Bender for guitar. In addition, Will released two guitar instructional videos, B-Bender Mania and Stealth Slide Technique for Rambo Videos.
Pretty soon Will was part of the edgy West Coast country sound and worked with artists such as Carlene Carter , Steve Earle, Tom Jones, Solomon Burke, Joe Walsh and Michael Nesmith.
In 1997 Fender Musical Instruments unveiled a limited edition signature guitar for Will, the Will Ray Jazz-A-Caster. The following year the Fender Custom Shop released the Will Ray Mojo-Tele signature guitar. Both guitars represent a major step forward in guitar design and technology, from the unique gold leaf design of the body to the breakthrough noise canceling pickups.
New Axes to Grind, the Hellecasters' third album, was released in 1998 on their own label Pharaoh Records. The following year Will released his first solo CD called Invisible Birds on Pharaoh Records to an enthusiastic audience of Hellecaster fans. On it Will sings and plays his way through an eclectic mix of songs ranging from “farm jazz” and “range rock” to “prairie metal” and “cow thrash”.
In 2000 the Hellecasters released their first live video, Live...Raw...in Germany to their anxious fans. It was recorded in Baden-Baden, Germany when they played live on the popular European TV show Ohne Filter. In early 2002 Will released his second solo album Mojo Blues for Pharaoh Records. The all blues album features guest appearances from Ted Greene, Juke Logan, John Jorgenson, Jerry Donahue and Emmet Ray Jr among others. The songs are catchy and the vibe is intense, with Will's usual sense of humor injected throughout.
2002 also saw Will returning back to G&L Musical Instruments, with the unveiling of the G&L Will Ray Signature Model Guitar. Will spent much of the year promoting his guitar, doing guitar clinics for G&L, and touring, sharing the bill with acts such as The Yardbirds, Albert Lee and Eric Johnson. Later that year Will began writing a monthly column called eBay Strategies for Guitar Player Magazine. The popular column gives readers some of Will's personal experiences on eBay as well as tips and advice.
In 2003 The Hellecasters released their fourth album, Essential Listening, on Hightone Records to an enthusiastic public.
Will currently enjoys writing and producing with blues & country artists in his studio in Burbank, California. He also is quite busy traveling the globe performing and conducting guitar clinics. In the new Millennium Will promises to keep doing what he enjoys doing best - having fun on guitar while pushing the edge of the guitar envelope!