Giving back with music

Laura GrubisaGreat Southern Herald

Ray Ryder is in town as the headline act for the Concert in the Park, thanks to funding from the Department of Culture and the Arts.

Ray said he was excited to be on his Bringin’ it to the Country tour, and was looking forward to his workshop at Katanning Primary School tomorrow.

“Essentially part of the tour was to get out there and bring the Ray Ryder music to the locals but also we wanted to give something back to the community in terms of not only a free concert but some sort of teaching or getting music back into people’s lives,” he said.

“I’m a firm believer that music is getting lost in society now, particularly with so much sport and reality TV shows, so the idea was to put together a workshop where we can either have locals come down or go into the schools and provide the kids with some music education.

“Generally what we end up doing is writing a song with the kids and they love it.”

His regional tour will keep him busy until June, and although Ray says it can get pretty tiring, he is humbled by the response he has been getting.

“The tour is going very well and the feedback has been fantastic,” he said. “It’s been very humbling having people sit through a two-hour show not really knowing my songs because they aren’t played on the radio that often and then coming up and saying they loved it and buying CDs and merchandise and supporting me, so it’s been hard work and humbling all in one.”

The tour is in support of Ray’s self-titled debut album which took him a while to perfect. “The album took me five years to make because I wrote it all, I played every single instrument, I sung it all and did the whole thing myself, so as you can imagine that takes a long time!” he said.

“I’ve already started thinking about my next album.

“The show is roughly two hours long and half of the songs are from the album and the other half is all new material.”

You can catch Ray Ryder and his band at the Concert in the Park tonight at the Piesse Lake Amphitheatre.

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