It doesn’t seem possible but THE RAY PETERS BAND story goes back to the year 2000. Ray had recently returned from a spell living and singing on the Costa Del Sol and - with Country Music his first love - set about forming a band for the UK circuit. He was swiftly joined by guitarist Shaun Murray and pedal steel player Tony Ryan.
The trio hit the ground running, quickly gaining a reputation for performing good country music, old and new. Tony Ryan would retire in 2004 to focus on the bluegrass scene, being replaced by Dave Hayward whose style slotted in perfectly. This period produced two albums: "Burn ‘Em Up" and "Choices".
For various reasons the trio came off the road in 2006 but re-formed three years later, Shaun and Ray being joined by virtuoso fiddler Phil Bennett. Livewire Phil proved a massive hit on the circuit - hardly any British bands boasted a designated fiddler any more, and this one was something else!
Fairly soon the band re-established themselves in the UK’s clubs and festivals with the new member, a bunch of new songs and a new fan base. The 16-track CD Singin’, Pickin’, Fiddlin’ came about in 2011, by which time Ray was developing his own reputation as a Songwriter - the album boasting four of his original compositions. "The Goodbye Song" in particular enjoyed much success in the British Country Music charts.
Although Phil Bennett retired from the circuit in early 2014, the band continues to go from strength to strength. Considered to be one of the finest steelies in Britain, Dave Hayward returned to the fold. The 2014 album "Sour Mash features both Dave and Phil, and it’s an album the band is very proud of, saying, "we think it’s our best yet." Listen out for three more Ray Peters originals on it.
The band has a strong internet presence. Their website will point you towards their gig guide, their YouTube channel, photos and information. "We hope too that you will take time to come and see the band live, giving it our all, keeping it Country."
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