The Story Till Now
Ray Macartney - written by Lorraine Saltmarsh.
Born in the 1950’s, grew up on a family farm which is a 1,400 acre irrigation property comprising sheep, cattle and some cropping, between Berrigan, Finley and Tocumwal in the Southern Riverina, too which he continues to work, along with wife Ann and son Alexander who are a constant support to him, as he goes about his double life of farm duties and weekend entertainment bookings.
Growing up in a close and supportive family Ray remembers as an eight year old attending a Football Club Grand Final Ball.
“I remember just looking at the band all night and wanting to be up there one day. I also remember being at the Melbourne Show around 1972 the first band to be signed by Mushroom records was playing ‘Madder Lake’ from that moment I was smitten.
At school I dabbled in the art of poetry as my guitar playing progressed I moved into songwriting”.
In the late 1970’s Ray formed his first band ‘Fusion’ playing both original and covers. “We practiced in our woolshed late into the night. “Neighbours from miles away would ring Mum and Dad saying they could hear us rehearsing.”
As time progressed Ray has journeyed through many and varied styles of bands, covering Rock and Roll, Country, Pop, Oz Rock as well as his original songs.
In 1992 Ray made his way into “The School of Audio Engineering”, recording studio in Melbourne and released his debut album “Peace of Mind” having three original tracks and ten covers.
Working along with Tony Fossey (Keyboard) ex ‘Spectrum’, created a beautiful stand out track a vocal version, along with an instrumental edition of one of his first songs written ‘Peace of Mind’.
In 1997 his passion for writing found him back in the studio, this time “The Lounge Room Studio” in Cobram,Victoria, recording his second album ‘Now and Then’ this time nine original tracks. Stand out track the lovely ‘Forgive & Forget’ accompanied on vocals with Trish Hicks.
In 1998 Ray’s then band “Free Reign” played their final gig. Ray at that stage, moved into solo work and also formed a Duo with band member Alfie James (Lead Guitar, Vocal).
In 2006 saw the release of his long awaited seventeen track album “That Was Then This Is Now” It is an album of wonderful variety of songs with styles ranging from Country, Rock, Pop, Blues, Celtic and Ballads. While nine of the tracks are cover songs, Ray contributes eight of his own.
Stand out tracks the popular truckie song ‘Drivin’. ‘Dinki Di Aussie Bloke’ & ‘Settle Down Blues’
In 2008 saw the release of an all original sixteen track album “Done & Dusted” gaining a very favorable review in Capital News. Stand out tracks, ‘What this Land Is About’, ‘Cultural Overkill’ & ‘Shining Star’
2012 saw the release of a 14 track album “Something About” having seven cover songs and seven original songs.
The main feature song ‘Something About Australia’ was recorded with a Didgeridoo and a children’s choir. “When performing it live it strikes a common bond with each audience”. Other stand out tracks ‘Who’s Gonna Feed The World…’ & ‘Together As One’
In 2012 due to ill health to Alfie prompted Ray to find a new Duo partner and now is performing regularly with noted lead guitarist John Ferguson, also performing regular gigs with the band ‘G V Allstars’ 2015 will see the release of his latest offering ‘Man on a Mission’ nine original tracks featuring a tribute song to our first ANZACS ‘Lest we forget our ANZACS’ along with an instrumental version showcasing John Ferguson’s guitar tribute.
Other stand out tracks are ‘Man On a Mission’, ‘Out Of The Blue’, ‘To All Aussie Singers’ & ‘Rockin Good Country’
2016 see's the release of a twelve track all original album 'Finding Inspiration' I feel it's my finest work to date. Co Producer Paul Gibbs played most of the instruments with Pete Denahy on fiddle & Mandolin. . Stand out tracks are 'Finding Inspiration' 'Fisherman's Habitat', 'That's My Country'. It gained a lot of air play in recent times being country album of the week on 1FM Shepparton.
2019 has just released an eleven track album 'Unfinished Business' again co-produce with Paul Gibbs, playing most of the instruments, as well as vocal harmonies. Pete Denahy playing some fine fiddle. Linda Moreland & Krissy Gibbs, additional vocals. 'While The River Flows' is one track that was written about this man made drought we are going through, it covers the plight of our farmer in our region with zero allocation, stemming out of the Murray Darling Basin Plan. Other stand out tracks, Past 'Present Future', 'Unfinished Business' & Drivin.
His originality within each song is his emphasis on his lyrics. His songs can be at times personal, word wise, historical, thought provoking, expressing the lyric within a melody to what each song is saying.
Each of his tracks is of, contrasting genera’s; the main theme’s being Country, Rock & Blues.
Ray as a Solo, Duo or Band, is no slouch when it comes to entertaining, songwriting & recording pursuits.
You’ll find him performing at many & varied venues in Southern NSW and Victoria. He is constantly booked for appearances at Clubs, Pubs, Weddings, Balls, Country Music Festivals, Australia Day Celebrations and Functions.
Ray continues his busy double life running the family farm, songwriting - recording and PERFORMING LIVE.....