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Composer | Guitarist

Ray Montford’s powerful original tunes are characterized by a wild and raw beauty. Often inspired by the human condition, his instrumental compositions paint haunting canvasses that are rich in imagery, leaving an indelible mark on the listener. Blurring boundaries between rock, blues, jazz and folk, his electric work and phrasing are reminiscent of the great British guitarists David Gilmour and Jeff Beck, while his deft open-tuning acoustic work creates seamless chord-melodies. But regardless of context, the most striking aspect of Montford’s artistry is that he finds countless ways to convey emotion through his compositions and soulful playing, letting his instrument sing and wringing emotion from every note. In the end, it’s all about taking the listener on an unforgettable journey. 

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, he began writing and recording his own music, and by 1995 was dedicating most of his priorities in that discipline.  Between 1994-'97, he was the guitar player for The Rankins and from 1997-'99, he toured with Mary Jane Lamond.  His compositions have been heard on National CBC radio and have been licensed for various television series.  Ray has presented several self-produced concerts in theatres and has played at numerous jazz  festivals, including; Oakville, Markham, Canadian Guitar, Ottawa Jazz and Bluesfest. He has toured Holland and Western Canada with his music and shared the stage with the Tony Levin Band (alumnae of Peter Gabriel) in 2003. 

He has gratefully received support from the Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Factor and External Affairs, towards recording, marketing, concert presentations and touring.  His recordings have been recognized and sponsored by high-end Canadian speaker manufacturers; Totem Acoustic and Paradigm. He has been a juror for the Toronto Arts Council and twice for the Gemini awards. 

As a producer and engineer, Ray operates Anchor Sound, his state-of-the-art studio near Wakefield, Québec, just north of Ottawa, an inspiring space where he can assist other artists with their musical visions and aspirations.  

Discography: 'Share My Sky' (2018) 'Vintage Is Now' (2012), 'Live Sessions' (2010), 'A Fragile Balance' (2007), 'Shed Your Skin-10th Anniversary Edition' (1997 - 2007), 'Live Imagery' (2006), 'Many Roads' (2003), 'One Step Closer' (2000), 'The Early Sessions' (1991-2004).  



photo by Cam Maclennan