Ray Goren • 7:30pm & 10pm • $22
Just a few years ago, after seeing Ray Goren play at the Golden State Theater in Monterey, California, reviewer Jason Debord wrote on Rocksubculture.com: "Ray is a real phenomenon, and you sit there not believing what you are seeing and hearing...It was really one of the most unbelievable moments I've experienced at any concert. Amazing." Dazzled by his raw, intense live performances, Chicago Tribune critic Howard Reich once wrote, "No one rattles the place like Ray Goren." The NYC born, SoCal raised singer, songwriter and trailblazing electric guitarist has been getting that kind of jaw-dropping attention since he first picked up the guitar at age eight. While performing all across the country and throughout Los Angeles and Southern California, the singer has been breaking through on the national charts. A purely indie release, Save My Soul was on the Roots Music Report charts for six months, peaking at #13. Showcasing its multi-genre reach, the title single off the EP also recently hit the Top 40 on the BDS (Billboard/Nielsen) Triple AAA radio chart. Goren traces his musical trajectory back to when he and his parents lived in a small apartment on New York's Upper West Side. He was noodling around on a toy keyboard at the age of three and by five the budding musician was listening to Oscar Peterson and Thelonious Monk and playing jazz. Shortly after they relocated to Southern California when he was eight, he was looking online for a trombone player he liked named J.J. Johnson. He typed "B.B." instead and discovered a video of B.B King, Albert Collins, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton playing "Sweet Little Angel." "I was moved by the energy and their charisma," Goren recalls. "It was deep and soulful - it got to my heart." "Though I've often said that the soul of my music is tied to the blues, instead of growing and evolving from blues to rock, I listened to Stevie Wonder, D'Angelo, Amy Winehouse, Donny Hathaway, Prince and others. Later I listened to rock greats like, Jimi Hendrix, Maroon 5, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead and Imagine Dragon, as well as pop like The Weeknd, J. Cole and Drake. I want to be that unique artist who bridges rock, pop and soul with a lot of other styles." "The music I make is just me, it's who I am, and I see myself as a no boundaries kind of artist, bringing elements of everything I love and enjoy into the music I naturally compose and play," says Goren.