Generation Blues Experience - Drums: Albert Trepagnier, Jr; Keys: Tadg Galleran; Bass: Lester Lands; Guitar: Jamie Powell; Harmonica: Sammy Lee; Lead Guitar: Ray Goren; Vocals: Virtually every band member sings - and sings well!

Generation Blues Experience was co-founded by dedicated 12-year old singer and guitar virtuoso Ray Goren in 2012 in South Central L.A. together with veteran blues septuagenarian, Sammy Lee, and octogenarian, Jamie Powell. A true product of his “generation,” Goren learned from YouTube videos of the legends and was playing blues guitar in gigs before the age of 10. But together with Powell and Lee the band has busted age and musical barriers, resulting in landmark recordings of blues power.

 

Jamie Bluesboy Powell is an 80 year-old guitar player with an unforgettable blues shouting vocal style, who has been playing the local blues scene in South Central LA for years. His friend, harmonicist Sammy Lee. is well known in Watts for the lonely train whistle sounds of his harp as he sways with the relentless shuffle beat of his Louisiana blues upbringing. Known to the locals at Bell’s Blues Workshop as the Odd Couple, their conversations take on a Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau quality making much ado about nothing, and having fun doing it!

 

Ray Goren is a 14-year old musician, who began as a jazz pianist but migrated to the blues guitar at about 8 years old. He’s acquired quite a reputation despite his tender age, playing on opening night at the Main Stage of the Chicago Blues Festival, at Doheny Blues Festival and walking onstage with Buddy Guy at the Greek Theatre. Playing at the NAMM conventions, he draws crowds of seasoned musicians. Recently Ray has recorded an EP of his original music which was produced by Eddie Kramer (Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Kiss) and sits in on gigs with Robbie Krieger of the Doors.

 

These three came together two years ago when a well-meaning fan asked Ray’s father if he’d like to meet some of the old men from Watts, who really knew how to play the blues – the Real Deal. And that’s how they first came to meet at Bell’s Blues Workshop – a residential juke joint in South Central LA (an old drummer’s converted garage) that hosts a blues jam every Sunday evening. Far from the festival and club scenes Ray found a bustling sub-culture where the soul food is hot off the stove, the laughter is loud and pure blues is in the air. When the three next stepped onto the stage at a blues jam in a fashionable Burbank club, magic was in the air. Electricity filled the room and everyone saw the torch being passed from one generation to another. Generation Blues Experience was born.

 

The three of them bonded and became best of friends with age, color and lifestyle boundaries all blurred. Blues became their language, They landed a gig opening at the Golden State Theatre in Monterrey, California for B.B. King in early 2013. “A band came out on stage to open for the legend, B.B. King, and this kid – 12 years old – comes out to front on lead guitar and vocals. What was more surprising is the gifts that this musician possesses. He 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.” Rock Subculture.

 

With two albums already recorded - the first within 2 weeks of the formation of the band and the second recorded live at their residency gig at Lucy’s 51 in Toluca Lake - they decided it was time to create their own music. Ray began writing songs – writing one specifically for Jamie.  Sammy wrote about his home state’s troubles with Hurricane Katrina, and other band members wrote songs that Ray modified with his own style while staying true to the blues shuffles and slow blues melodies. These collaborations have resulted in “Private Angel” released August 2014.

 

Ray Goren has musically time-travelled and returned to join a band of his elders with command of his instrument, vocals and feelings well beyond his years. His talent and commitment promise a limitless future to be eagerly awaited.

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