When music is great you want to hold it into the moment. Let it be told that L.A. has its own guitar slinger , Ray Goren. He accomplishes greatness that is emphatic but not ostentatious… He keeps it real.Prepubescent guitar greats.. Jonny Lang, John Mayer and Kenny Wayne Sheppard  who’ve wanted to duplicate the aural blues templates of Jimi Hendrix, Duane Allman, Prince and Stevie Ray Vaughn; which is not necessarily a bad thing.But, another part of growing up is moving past the overcompensation of  youth, which is the true test of a great artist.. of which the young Goren has successfully accomplished. Frequently, with young guitar prodigies it’s tough to know which part of their personality is a  front for something that may have misgivings. Goren’s music has holistically  matured  and the great thing is you can’t hold his age against him.. He grew up by”teething” a guitar and listening to the blues with all its moonshine wisdom. At a very young age he’s played along side blues greats.. B.B. King, Eric Gales and Buddy Guy. There’s no “shredding” too loud and no stage too big for Goren! You think logically how could this be? Just listen to his recent E.P., “Slaves To The Money”and you’ll be reckoning his greatness; not as a white boy stealing the blues but a young man delivering great music.

RAY GOREN CAR PIC 2Slaves to the money

So many hugely successful and talented musicians have died at age 27 that it almost seems reasonable to believe the number represents some statistical coefficient of talent and tragedy.But several decades before Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Brian Jones or Amy Winehouse left us too soon there was Robert Johnson… the man who pioneered this urban legend by selling  his soul to the devil for the blues… died in 1938 at age 27 under mysterious and likely by violent circumstances… He was already a legend and his story of meeting Satan at the crossroads to make an exchange for his extraordinary talent had already permeated popular culture and became ingrained after his death… making him the world’s first Rock Star by playing the blues! Not all of this may be true but one thing is for certain… No Robert Johnson… No Rock and Roll..This too is another legend that rock and roll progeny has no problem seeking the tantalizing story of Robert Johnson.. Urban mythology has gone as far as to extrapolate that Clapton,  Page, Richards and  Van Halen have all made their peace with Satan. Unlike these greats, Goren has the sanctity of righteousness and purity…. we are witnessing greatness.

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..  .. The Crossroads….

We had the pleasure of interviewing Goren and he gave us great insights…

Rock Bands of L.A:

“Slaves to The Money” was a huge leap in your songwriting skills.. The beginning of last year you re-released “Save My Soul” and later you launched “Slaves To The Money”… how did this metamorphosis come to be? You break your teeth doing blues songs and then you drop a perfect “pop” driven record; yet you don’t hold back on your guitar playing.. Are you a bluesman first? You play with so much swagger. To think you are only 16! Being a“bluesman” is a life style. Whether its affected by drug or alcohol how do you stay true to the blues? It’s something that you don’t read in a book.

Goren:

I’m a musician first. I listen to the music and wherever the music wants to go, that’s where I take it – regardless of the genre. I started off with Jazz and Blues music. Blues is based on great feel. It is a great musical basis. All the great rock greats and many R&B greats all started with the blues. I did not decide to pursue blues than another type of music, the music takes me, I only facilitate….

Rock Bands of L.A. com:
As a young artist where do you see yourself in 10 years? I predict that your future we’ll see an artist that other players are going to imitate. In other words you will become the template that young people will emulate. How would you like young guitarists think of you as.. a guitarist? songwriter? Singer?
Ray Goren:
I want to be known as a songwriter first, because nothing beats a good song.  All of those elements are key components to the musician that I am.  It is a hard choice for me to make – but ultimately it’s the song that matters.  I want other guitarists to listen to guitar in the framework of a song. To learn that a song is not a platform for a guitar solo, but rather that a solo is only there if it enhances the song. That is what I try to do…
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 Rock Bands of L.A.:
Here’s a more technical question.. What is your favorite guitar to play.. Fender.. Les Paul..
Gretsch?
Goren:
My favorite guitar is a Stratocaster. I rarely play any other guitar. Up until this summer I played the same Stratocaster guitar that I got as a gift when I was ten.
RBOLA:
Who taught you how to play? How many instruments are you proficient at playing?
Goren:
I’m self taught, but once I got my basics and my style down, then I started

working with some good guitar teachers. I started on the piano, then I took up guitar.  My vocals and bass came along later – so I guess that’s four, but I do like to mess around on drums.

RBOLA:
Do you still play along to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix records?
Goren:
It depends on my mood – if I’m in a certain type of feeling then yes.
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Rock Bands of L.A.:
Do you find yourself trying to “duplicate” guitarists or developing a personal style?  Do you prefer playing live or in a studio?

Goren:

In the practice room I duplicate other guitarists – I absorb those styles but then morph them into my own original style. I prefer playing live because I get to connect with my fans.

RBOLA:

What can you tell me about your friendship with the late Leon Russell?

Goren:

Leon Russell was the most humble human being I’ve ever met. A musical genius and one of the best songwriters of our time. He mentored me a lot.  If it wasn’t for Leon, I wouldn’t be a songwriter – I owe it all to Leon. 

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The incredible Ray Goren will be performing this Saturday night at the world famous Genghis Cohen in L.A.’s Fairfax district….

www.raygoren.com

A special thanks to the “maestro” of press Doug W. Deutsch and Ray Goren….