Ray Kennedy - Artist/Producer/Recording Engineer

Ray Kennedy

Artist/Producer/Recording Engineer

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Ray Kennedy is an American country music artist, whose raw musical talent and instrument expertise contributed to his wide success and popularity throughout the world of country music. In addition to writing and arranging his own songs, Ray is also well known as a producer and engineer. He has provided music for Stevie Nicks and songwriter Don Henry.

Ray was born in Buffalo, New York in 1954. As a teen, he developed the motivation to fulfill his longtime dream of playing music, and much to his parents dismay, he built his own guitar and began learning musical techniques. Midway through his college years, he found himself drawn to the Mid-western music scene and eventually dropped out of school to play in various local clubs. In 1980, Ray moved to Nashville where he built his own studio and learned how to engineer music. Wasting no time, he proceeded to record his own demos and ultimately became responsible for producing most of Tree Publishing's Pop demos. Renowned singer Stevie Nicks recorded one of his songs, "Battle of the Dragon," which was released on her "Miscellaneous" album (2007). Kennedy eventually became a staff writer at Tree where John Anderson, Charley Pride, David Allan Coe and others frequently recorded his songs. Because his songs weren't selling well enough to suit him, Kennedy decided to become a recording artist and cover them himself.

In 1990, Kennedy signed to Atlantic Records and debuted with the album, What a Way to Go. He not only produced the album in his own studio, but he also played all of the instruments, minus the dobro, steel guitar, and Wessenborn. Kennedy made his single debut with the album's title track "Scars" and "I Like The Way It Feels", which peaked on the U.S. country charts Top Ten. The album also made it to the Billboard Top 60. He released two more singles from the album, but they only became minor hits. In 1991, he produced and engineered an album for songwriter Don Henry, Wild in the Backyard. In 1992, Kennedy teamed up with producer/songwriter Monty Powell and made the album Guitar Man.

During his career, Ray has recorded three studio albums: one on Columbia Records and two on Atlantic Records. His two Atlantic albums produced a total of four singles on the Hot Country Songs charts, with 1991's "What a Way to Go", his only top 40 country hit, peaking at #10. He is also known for the song "Bad Man" From the Movie Soundtrack Uncommon Valor. In 2005, Kennedy won a Grammy Award in the Best Contemporary Folk Album category for production on Steve Earle's album, The Revolution Starts Now.

Kennedy, a musician who has a history dating back to the early days of rock 'n' roll has toured with Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, and was lead singer in bands fronted by Jeff Beck and Michael Schenker. He's also fronted his own musical groups, including the '70s-era blues-rock group KGB (with Mike Bloomfield on guitar, Rick Gretch from Traffic on bass, Carmen Appice on drums and Barry Goldberg on keyboards).

An accomplished songwriter, Kennedy co-wrote the Beach Boys' "Sail On Sailor" with Brian Wilson, a pair of late '70s smashes for the Babys ("Isn't It Time" and "Everytime I Think of You") and album cuts for Fleetwood Mac and Dave Mason. The Philadelphia native, who came out west in 1968, has been making music in California ever since.

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"[...] the bar was pretty high when I went looking for a new mic for my home rig. I'm now using a Global Pre with the VIN-67 capsule and it kicks ass."

- Steve Earle


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