Bio

Patrick Rayl

Raised in Clinton Indiana, southern Arizona based musician and composer Patrick Rayl is a talented and gifted singer and live performer of music.  He has been performing throughout southern Arizona for years and has established a local fan base. Patrick is also a retired Gunnery Sergeant serving 21 years of active duty service in the United States Marine Corps.  His musical talent blended together with his years of military service and life experiences provide him with the ability to write about overcoming life’s diversities.  One of Patrick's life time achievements was being selected as the featured community guitar player for Gretsch Guitar Company for the month of September 2021Visit Patrick Rayl | Gretsch   https://www.gretsch.com/guitarist/patrick-rayl/ 

As a self-taught artist, Patrick started playing guitar at nine years of age and his first guitar was an acoustic ordered from a  catalog. He later purchased his first electric guitar, a Tesco Del Ray with only one string from a friend for fifteen dollars. This gave birth to his passion for playing the guitar and he continues his quest to improve his knowledge skills and abilities in mastering this instrument. Patrick continued his musical passion obtaining a Bachelors of Professional Music Studies, Guitar Major from Berklee College of Music, Boston, Massachusetts.  Patrick was mentored for nine private semesters with Professor Norman Zocher.  https://college.berklee.edu/people/norman-zocher.  Patrick's mother was a classically trained pianist and is cousin to the late great jazz pianist "Johnny Bunch,"  who was Tony Bennett's music director from 1966 until 1972.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bunch

As a live performer, he delivers a powerful vocal and skillful yet soulful guitar performance that is captivating to all covering a broad spectrum of country, southern rock and rock-n-roll music style music. Patrick performs cover and original material regularly with his three-piece band. Patrick’s visionary gift allows him to take a song and convert it into a dynamic and powerful musical production that all can enjoy and appreciate. Patrick’s style is a unique blend of country, blues, rock-n-roll and was heavily influenced by Chuck Berry, The Beatles and Lynyrd Skynyrd. 

Patrick's top vocal influences are Chuck Berry, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Eddie Cochran, Brian Setzer and Ronny Van Zant.  His top guitar inspirations and influences are many but include: Chuck Berry, Jerry Reed, Grady Martin, Hank Garland, George Harrison, Gary Rossington, and Brian Setzer.  His all time favorite performers are: CHARLES EDWARD ANDERSON "CHUCK BERRY", and JERRY REED.  His equipment includes his G6196-59 Vintage Select Edition '59 Country Club Hollow Body with Bigsby Cadillac Green and a custom made "Steel String Singer" by Welagen Amps.

https://www.gretschguitars.com/gear/build/hollow-body/g6196t-59-vintage-select-edition-59-country-club-hollow-body-with-bigsby/2401106846  

http://www.welagen.com  

Curtis Ritchie

Born in Detroit Michigan (Motown) and raised in Montgomery Alabama Curtis Ritchie was exposed to all types of music at a very early age and learned to appreciate the different styles of music.  His first instrument was the trumpet that he played in the first grade in Detroit. His family then moved to Montgomery Al. Where he learned to play drum set in church.

Curtis is a very skilled and talented musician.  He joined Drum Corps International (DCI) when he was in the 11th grade and toured the country with this world class marching musical show.  He then joined the United States Army Band in 1993 and is now a retired Staff Sergeant with 23 years of Service to our nation.  He has performed all over the country at many different events such as NASCAR, Disney, NBA, NFL and professional Hockey games.  He performed with bands that opened for Lenny Kravits, Three Doors Down, little Big Town.  He even performed for President Barrack and Michelle Obama when they visited Fayetteville NC.

Curtis was raised in church and his father was a Pastor and Musician and that's where he picked up a lot of skills in music.  He got a chance of a life time accompany and perform with the World famous Tony Royster Jr. for about 18 months.  The drum set he plays now was owned by "Tony Royster" who is now playing for the world renown American rapper and businessman Shawn Corey Carter known as "JAY-Z." 

A few of Curtis's favorite drummers include Tony Royster Jr., Buddy Rich, William Kennedy and Marcus Baylor from the Yellow Jackets, Joel Smith (Drummer/ Bass Player) double threat for the Walter Hawkins Singers and Tony Taylor-the new up and coming talent.  Last but not least, Curtis is also a studio musician that can lay multi tracks on any instrument and he thanks God for his talents and ability because it's a great outlet.  When he performs for people, his mission is to send them on a journey that takes them away from everyday normal life and give them a show to remember.

Tommy Phelps

TOM PHELPS - HONOREE OF WESTERN SWING - WESTERN SWING PEDAL STEEL HALL OF FAMER 2018 INDUCTEE
Thomas Wayne Phelps, better known by friends as “Tom”, “Tommy” or “Hollywood”, grew up in the state of Washington working in the saw mill with his dad, logging and learning how to make cedar shakes for roofs. He began his love for music by playing guitar with his dad around the age of 8. He would later play guitar with his mom while harmonizing together.  

Joining the Army in 1966, Thomas continued playing music while stationed in Germany. He recalled playing for the locals, “Although they didn’t speak English they sure could sing Hank Williams songs.” It was during his time in the Army that he heard a steel guitar being played for the first time and it drew his interest. 

Upon discharge from the Army he went into driving semi-trucks for his own business as well as others and playing music wherever he could on his off times. He bought his first steel guitar in 1970 and Thomas states, “I ground many listener’s teeth off in the beginning!” as he wasted no time taking his steel to the stage. It was in very short order that Thomas’ skills showed themselves as he mastered the instrument. 

He had the pleasure of backing many stars. Some that come to mind were Tex Williams, Stone Wall Jackson, Dottie West, Shelly West, Freddy Hart, Winn Stewart, Ferlin Husky, Bobby Bare, Tommy Cash and Sammi Smith. In his travels he met up with the Diamonds and joined their vocal group for three years.  

It was while performing with the Diamonds, in Sparks, Nevada, he had the pleasure of meeting Bobby Black. Bobby invited Thomas on stage to play steel with him during his show with the California Cowboys at the Nugget Hotel and Casino. It was here that he realized his heart was set on playing country music through the pretty sounds of his steel guitar thus ending his days in doo wop music with the Diamonds. 

Thomas shared the stage with Bill McCarty who was also a member of the Diamonds. They kept in touch, sharing their musical talent whenever possible. It was during a visit with Bill that Thomas was introduced to Leon Womack, Ralph Chase, Jimmy Baughman and Jerry Johnson. The six musicians enjoyed an evening of performing at the Klondike in Lake Head. That evening led to Ralph Chase inviting Thomas to play at one of the Western Swing Society’s dances in 2016. 

Thomas has enjoyed playing with the many talented musicians and vocalists nearly every month at the Western Swing Society for the past two years. After being inducted into the Western Swing Society’s Hall of Fame in Sacramento, in October 2018, Thomas spent the winter of 2019 touring the US with Jack LeDuc, playing a George Strait tribute show.  

Tommy resides Sierra Vista and has recently joined up with Patrick Rayl & the .357 Band bringing his talent and many years of experience to the local community. 

Mark Baker