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In 1993, I began an acoustic duet with my college band mate, Tom Roser. We played coffee houses around Chicago for about a year as Blues Savant. In the following two years, as "Paul Ray, the Blues Savant," I recorded three solo CDs of acoustic blues.
Then, in 1995-97, I finally recorded the comedy CD that started it all. It became known as "The Life of Potbelly; Master of the Six String Guitar and the 12 Course Dinner."
Once I had all this out of my system, in 1998, I decided to reunite my old college band, The Blind Boys.
This went so well, that Tom and I formed an electric version of Blues Savant. This went through several incarnations in which Tom, at various times, played, drums, rhythm guitar, and bass. By late 1999, Jerry King, DePaul graduate and master drummer, came into the fold. Through early 2000, Blues Savant was a sort of a Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker tribute band, with a bombastic lead singer who played blues harp like John Popper on crank.
By mid-2000, we lost the singer, and became a trio for a while, until joined that summer by singer Rita McConville. Jerry and Rita play together at Sunday mass at St. Theresa's. When Rita began bringing her original songs, around the end of 2001, the band's outlook began to expand. We immediately took these tunes into the studio. The results made it obvious that the days of blues covers were over.
At that point, Tom decided to bow out, leaving myself, Jerry and Rita to carry on with the music that you will witness here. Blues Savant has evolved into a blend of my delta blues, slide guitar roots, Rita's pop sensibilities, and Jerry's solid and creative back beat.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Cry for Me
2. When the Eagle Flies
3. I'm the Director
4. Sugar Dad
5. Stop Breaking Down
6. God Is Love
7. White Iine
8. Left Behind Blues
9. Hurts So Bad
10. Stormy Monday
12. Wild Night