Ray Edge is a modern day renaissance man. An award-winning musician, Ray pulls double-duty as founder of one of Canada’s most respected homeopathic medical schools, the Toronto School of Homeopathic Medicine
While Ray describes both his career as a musician and his work in homeopathic medicine as equal loves, he’s spent the last decade-plus primarily focused on his medical work. Luckily, fans of well-crafted and inspirational R&B have reason to celebrate as this award-winning musician reignited his musical passion and focused on a new recording: Soul Connection.
Hailing from Toronto, the music that drew Ray in was originally Elvis, Roy Orbison and The Everly Brothers but he discovered those artists’ influences and soon was gripped by the likes of Wilson Pickett, Joe Tex, Muddy Waters, Bobby Blue Band, Ray Charles and later, Van Morrison. Ray was part of many different outfits throughout Ontario with the most well-known being Ray Edge and The Sensations. A single and national airplay didn’t catapult the group to stardom but it did manage to pay the bills and keep Ray doing what he loves: playing music.
In the mid-80’s Ray moved to England and began training as a homeopathic doctor. As much of an odd turn as this might seem it’s perfectly in line with Ray and his desire to touch and help others, whether in song or through healing. While in the UK, Ray continued performing and honing his skills as a musician. In 1994 Ray returned to Toronto and opened the Toronto School of Homeopathic Medicine where Ray shares the principles of homeopathic healing with students and other practitioners. While Ray’s focus was on his medicinal works he never lost his relationship with music knowing he’d rekindle his passion when the time was right.
Armed with a decade’s worth of ideas and inspiration, Ray began to work on Soul Connection, an upbeat album chock full of feel-good soul music. "Soul Music" is how Ray identifies his unique blend of R&B, gospel, blues and jazz, as Ray explains soul music “nourishes the soul, inspires the mind and moves the body". Recorded at Toronto’s Iridescent Music Studio, Ray enlisted his good friend and musical compatriot Gary Kendall (The Downchild Blues Band) as producer. The duo brought in the best musicians the city of Toronto had to offer and Ray’s songs flourished in the communal atmosphere.
The CD was mixed by L. Stu Young and mastered by Nick Blagona at Toronto's prestigious Metal Works studio.
Ray says his favorite song on the new album is tough to pick, but singles out “It Started With The Blues” because of its very natural flow and jazzy chord structure alongside it’s sentiment of tribute to the blues greats who influenced Ray as he began his musical career.
Since completion of Soul Connection, Ray won the “Best Male Artist” award at Toronto’s first annual Independent Music Awards and the aforementioned song “It Started With The Blues” was a finalist in both the renowned Billboard Songwriting Competition and the UK Songwriting Competition in the Jazz/Blues category.
Ray Edge's newest CD "Soul Connection" fuses
together Soul, Jazz, R&B, and Blues with the same expertise as Suser
Lee does with his famous Fusion Cooking and in doing so he makes it not
only a personal masterpiece, but he also makes it a instant hit with his
fans. With a voice that some say reminds them of David Clayton-Thomas, Ray
has no problem delivering the full package. From the short drum beat
intro, Ray Edge forms a connection with his listeners and takes them back
to a time when music was truly enjoyable and a pleasure to sit down and
John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
Ray Edge is a new voice for me but his press kit shows him in R&B bands Dollars and Dealers Choice in the '70's and leading The Sensations in the '80's. He then began a second career in homeopathic medicine at which he seems to have become quite successful, allowing him to return to singing. It seems he had some songs written and he approached Gary Kendall to produce his album. He went to the right person. The songs are classic R&B and soul and are very good indeed. You'll see some familiar names coming up but they all contribute to a mighty fine package. The basic band has Kendall on bass, Jim Casson on drums, Teddy Leonard on guitars, Michael Fonfara on keys with Pat Carey on saxes, Howie Moore on trumpet, William Carn on trombone. The vital
ingredient for this kind of music is often the background vocals and six of the songs feature and I do mean feature Amoy Levy and Ciceal Levy. The title song, "Heaven In Your Eyes" and "Look For The Love Inside" finds them in full flight behind Edge's vocal. The opener, "Time Enough For Love", is classic R&B. The second track, "Real Good Thing" has John Dickie, John Mays and Johnny Wright on backing vocals.
Edge is a fine, polished singer, reminding me of a lighter David Clayton-Thomas. "Internet Date" is the closest to bar blues here with a pretty fine band, but his voice lacks a little grit. Its followed by "Mess Around On You", a rather nice jump blues. Edge does best though on the four soul songs that conclude the album. "Save Our Soul", "Heaven In Your Eyes", "Look For The Love Inside" and "Thank You Girl". John Valentyn - Maple Blues Magazine
Supported by members of Downchild Blues Band and other fine musicians, Ray Edge delivers a set of well-sung blue-eyed R&B on Soul Connection (Solar 1111). "It Started With the Blues" is a gently swinging ballad with nice brushwork from drummer Jim Casson and Michael Fonfara's piano and organ; "Time Enough for Love" draws its inspiration from vintage Solomon Burke; "Real Good Thing" successfully mines a contemporary soul-blues vein. "Rock & Roll Real Estate" tips its hat to New Orleans, but the song that best characterizes Edge's low-key approach is the lovely midtempo piece "Look for the Love Inside", with lush backing vocals and an arrangement that shows off his own Tom Jones-tinged voice. Tom Hyslop - Blues Review Magazine
Ray Edge is a Canadian singer gifted with wide vocal qualities and very good taste in selecting songs he has decided to include on this cd. Twelve amazing, original soul-pop songs with some r&b, jazz, blues and latin music influences. There is a variety of tempos from soulful ballads to driving R&B and the vocal and horn arrangements are bright and colorful too. Ray has been honoured with '2005 Best Male Artist Award' by The Toronto Independent Music Awards. This is a high quality excellent album. GREAT! Vincente Humel - La Hora del Blues - Spain
The best male performer for 2005 in Toronto and musician that won Toronto Independent Music Awards this year is Ray Edge. Solar Records published his album "Soul Connection", which just confirms the quality of this great singer. I started listening to this album without great expectations, but just after first song, Ray Edge completely won my heart. As a matter of fact, his voice reminds me of David Clayton-Thomas, legendary singer of Blood, Sweat & Tears. No, we have to say that it is not about copying Clayton-Thomas but about the colour and sensibility of Ray's voice, Ray is a musician - singer, with his own style and it is difficult not to notice it. Therefore, the fact that he won this award is not a surprise. It is not about receiving a recognition, more importantly, the quality has been recognized and based on that, we expect from Ray to continue recording albums like "Soul Connection". Why? First of all, Ray himself is aware of what suits him the best: soul, r&b, blues and jazz music - that is certainly the field where Ray could indeed contribute a lot. On the other hand, if you look at who stands behind this album, there is no wonder that this album is a real hit. Almost all prominent Canadian blues musicians joined Ray and contributed in recording and creating of this album, success.... simply had to come.
Here are my favorites: (TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE, IT STARTED WITH THE BLUES, INTERNET DATE, MESS AROUND ON YOU, SOUL CONNECTION, SAVE OUR SOUL, HEAVEN IN YOUR EYES I LOOK FOR THE LOVE INSIDE ), it is clear that such a great selection of songs guarantees the highest quality of the album.
"Soul Connection" indeed I could listen at any time, it has absolutely everything, R&B, blues, soul and jazz; different music styles just show a wide area of interest, which Ray Edge not only performs at perfection, but he does it at each music style in a different way. Ray Edge is a singer that will achieve success, because this kind of music can not be left without being noticed and without support.
RECOMMENDATION: Ray Edge is a singer, guitar player and composer, he is a complete musician. You should listen to album "Soul Connection" and then, most likely you will want to own your own copy. I know, this will present it's challenges here in Croatia, but with a little bit of an effort, you could purchase album "Soul Connection".
One thing is for certain, Ray Edge will not disappoint you. Mike Loncar - Radio Krizevci - Croatia
Hi there, Thanks for sending me Ray Edge's Soul Connection. Already played it on air on my drive time program. I played Time Enough for Love, Mess around on you, Soul Connection, Save our Soul & finished the show with Thank You Girl. I'll introduce it to my listeners on my Blues show 'Sugar City
Blues' on Saturday. Thanks again. Very good CD - almost polished, it shines. Well done Ray & Co. Cheers Cath "Keepin' the Blues Alive in Mackay" Cath Ford - Radio Mackay - Australia
It's got everything - smooth & mellow to hot & funky. Can't get the songs out of my cd player...or my head. As well rounded and complete blues cd as I've heard in a long time. Do not leave this album out of your collection. Greg Racik