Ray Montford is a guitar player who lets his instrument sing with abandon. Rich in imagery, his tunes are fuelled by a love of the wilderness that inspires sonic canvasses of wild and raw beauty, haunting and powerful as loneliness. While Montford's touch is reminiscent of masters like Gilmour and Beck, this unique Canadian talent and soulful player is making waves with a confident swagger and sound all his own, wringing emotion from every note. Ray recently released his sixth studio album, Vintage Is Now, an evocative collection of originals steeped in a seamless mix of jazz, blues and rock - a shout-out that this musician has arrived. Produced by veteran Terry Brown (Rush/Klaatu/Max Webster) and featuring ace players - drummer Ben Riley and bassist Tom Lewis - Vintage shows Ray at his best, as composer and guitarist.
Born in Ottawa, Ray began learning by ear and woodshedding with the great rock records of that era. After studying audio engineering, production, and performance in the Music Industry Arts program at Fanshawe College and doing a term in the music program at Humber, Ray started writing his own compositions and opened up his own studio. Between 1994-'97, he was the guitar player for the Rankins and from 1997-'99, Mary Jane Lamond. His moving instrumentals have been heard on National CBC radio and have been licensed for various television series. Recently, Ray and his trio played the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts, the Oakville Jazz Festival, Markham Jazz Festival, and the Canadian Guitar Festival, turning heads with their unique and powerful sound. In addition, there have been several self-produced theatre shows, clubs, corporate events and private parties over the years. Between 2007 and 2014, Ray held several loft concerts in his former studio space. In 2001 he toured The Netherlands and he also shared Toronto and Montreal dates for the Tony Levin Band (Peter Gabriel). Ray eschews bar gigs in favour of performances in theatres, festivals and listening rooms.
"The ever-tasteful musician has a gift for grand musical moments that retain their intimacy... an atmospheric, emotional road well worth travelling."
- Steve Baylin, Ottawa Xpress
"Ray Montford is a sensitive and exploratory musician who combines traditional techniques with
exciting world music influences." - Atom Egoyan
" shed your skin is a brilliant record... incredible playing... singular musical voice ... and one of the best recorded guitar records I've ever heard in my life!"
- Will Ackerman (founder of Windham Hill Records)
"As hypnotic as a highway at night, always-moving, always-changing scenery, the kind of music
you hear on an old car radio in the middle of nowhere." - Denis Armstrong, Ottawa Sun
photos by Catherine Harrison & Cam Maclennan
Ray endorses John Pearse Acoustic Guitar Strings, AEA Acoustic Amps, Thompson Guitars & Z amps