Born in New Jersey and raised on the West Coast, Ray William Roldan is known as someone with something to say. He came up listening to Elvis, Johnny Cash, Rick Nelson, Merle Haggart, George Jones and more.
Ray picked up the guitar and harmonica in his late teens. But his heart was always in the words of the classic songs he grew up on. He writes about what he knows and he has lived in the classic Country and Blues/Rock style for a winding musical journey.
We had a chance to catch up with Ray William Roldan and get a glimpse into his long career:
What made you decide to pursue a career in music?
I’ve always been an artist, for as long as I can remember I’ve been creating and I grew up listening to some of the greatest word smiths ever. I’ve always really appreciated a well thought out story. I love writing and performing what I’ve written, and it such a charge to be able to do this.
How would you describe your sound?
I call it Americana Roots Rock/Alt-Country. I cross genres and styles depending on what the song dictates. I’ve been compared to Leon Russel, Traveling Wilburys, Neal Young etc. Story based lyrics, acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, fiddle, harmonica and harmonies.
Who are your musical influences?
Townes VanZandt, Guy Clark, Lucinda Williams, J.Cash, Willie, Neal, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty Howlin Wolf, The Beatles, The Eagles,Gram Parsons, Buddy Miller and on and on.
What is your songwriting process?
First it’s about inspiration and the desire to express something. Sometimes it starts with a riff, sometimes a lyrical phrase and some times a a good rhythm groove. I write on guitar and once in awhile Mandolin, dobro or banjo.
What is next for Ray William Roldan?
I’ve been doing solo gigs while attempting to put a new band together. I’m also working on two new CD’s with two different Producers and I’ve written about 70 tunes in the past year and a half. I moved up to Topanga, Ca. with my fiance’ and It’s a great place to write, worked for Neal Young and
a bunch of other cats!
What advice would you give to other artists on the rise?
Learn your craft ( every aspect of it). Reach out and meet as many people in your industry as you possibly can, Always be on the look out for inspiration and learn to believe in yourself.
Keep up with Ray William Roldan on his FACEBOOK