The Mill Sessions

Ray Humphries live at The Mill

Ray Humphries live at The Mill

RAY HUMPHRIES IS the man and musician behind the Mill Sessions, ably assisted by his friend and band mate Mike Evans.

Born in Widnes, Ray – who plays guitar, mandolin and keyboards – formed his first band in his teens with schoolfriends Chris Crane and his elder brother Bill Crane whose dad was the Colonel at Burtonwood Airbase. Originally called Spruce Goose after the infamous Howard Hughes plane, the band shortened their name to Spruce and toured widely around the North West of England.

When Spruce disbanded, Ray formed Tartan with keyboard player Ray Pitt, drummer Ken Mellor, bassist Chris Keeley and singer/harmonica player Mick Wheeler.

Extensive gigging followed before Ray and Ken teamed up with former Tartan bassist Chris Keeley and Keith Dutton to start the first of many line ups of Buster. After Chris left, John Sweeney from The Lewis Goodman Explosion joined on bass followed by Dave Hollington. Then, after Keith Dutton moved on, Ray, Ken and Dave continued as a three piece for a long time but disbanded shortly after changing their name to Streetkid for a ‘teeny pop’ release called Skateboard Harmony.

Ray then linked up with Dave Buckley and Jeff Hill to form the legendary Jeff Hill Band.

After many years working as a full-time musician Ray retired from music to focus on family but then, in 2003, a chance meeting with his old band mate Dave Buckley led to the formation of The Tribal Elders. Rejuvenated and with his mojo back, Ray started writing songs again and teamed up with Mike Evans to record his first solo album Is It That Time Already? at his Mill Studio in 2012. Another release, Nothing To Hide, followed in 2016.

Today Ray spends much of his time working on multiple musical projects including the Mill Sessions. Here, he talks to Andy Green not about his own career in music, but about how he wants to help others who are dedicated to the art of creating original music increase their profiles via the Mill Sessions…

Ray Humphries chats to Andy Green about the Mill Sessions and what he hopes they will achieve

But what about Ray’s music? Take a look at his own Mill Session recordings to get a taste of the great man’s music.

A Simple Man (Mill Session) by Ray Humphries

A song about heroes – cowboys, sailors, firemen and soldiers…

Home (Mill Session) by Ray Humphies

A song about how people can change their minds about things when they encounter the reality of a situation…

Get Her Out (Mill Session) by Ray Humphies

A song Ray wrote about an acquaintance of his who had it all but threw it all away after listening to the advice of the wrong woman.

A Summer’s Carol (Mill Session) by Ray Humphries

Inspired by a man Ray knew who was always happy…

Call Off The Howling Wind (Live at the Mill) by Ray Humphries & The Burley Mill Boys

Not quite a ‘Mill Session’, this is a full band recording of Ray performing a song that was featured on his Nothing To Hide album about his years living with a hearing condition called tinnitus. “The first thing I hear when I start to wake up in the morning is what sounds like a howling wind in my ears,” says Ray. “It’s often a bit of a shock as I actually dream with ‘normal hearing’ so this is my plea for the howling wind to go away…”

For more information on Ray visit his website reybridgerecords.com

If you are a new or established songwriter/performer and are interested in participating in a future Mill Session, please email your details via this link.

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