Ray Cummins
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Ray Cummins

Florence, Kentucky, United States | SELF

Florence, Kentucky, United States | SELF
Band Country Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Hands down, Ray Cummins is the most practiced and accomplished "note-for-note" Chet style guitarist in the world"

Hands down, Ray Cummins is the most practiced and accomplished "note-for-note" Chet style guitarist in the world. He has dedicated his whole life to listening to and emulating his (and, our) great hero Chet Atkins. He also was a personal friend of the late master of finger style guitar, and learned a lot of his playing techniques first hand - with Chet's blessing. And, because of this dedication, Ray has mastered the style, sound, clarity and most importantly - the feel of Chet's music. And, he is quite the song writer, as well.

In a nutshell, "Summer Daze" is a great tune - a well written one with a wonderful flowing yet simple "humm-able" melody line. However, it is Ray's performance embellishments that make this recording a candidate for a Grammy in my humble opinion. He "laces" this straightforward little melody (that even I can play) with brilliant impeccably played Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed runs, arpeggios, and licks, and some of his own including his "double-stop" creation.

On listening to it for the very first time it will have you humming along and wanting to pick up your guitar to play along - only to quickly discover that he has licks in it that only a true master of this sport can play - and, those that only Ray Cummins can play that cleanly.... And, to sound exactly like Chet... whew...

The only negative on this album is that it only has two songs on it. But, he is only asking SIX BUCKS for it... And, the other tune "End of the Road" is a beautiful single note line song, as well. Hey, still worth every penny of it...
- Ohio Fingerstyle Guitar Club

"Ray Cummins, Pure Christmas"

The Florence guitarist's Pure Christmas takes place in a kinder, gentler place and time - Nashville, circa 1963. A Chet Atkins disciple, Mr. Cummins plays with the master's effortless, elegant sense of swing and deceptive simplicity.
In fact, other than the modern production, this 16-tune disc could have come from My. Atkins in his Nashville Sound heydey. There are even sweet, wordless background choruses a la the Anita Kerr Swingers.
Pure Christmas is a delight on every level. It's an old-fashioned countrypolitan holiday CD (with some very sophisticated fretwork for six-string fans). But it's also a loving tribute to the grand old man of country guitar. - The Cincinnati Enquirer

"Various Reviews and Photos from Ray's performances"

"Ray Cummins is my good friend and one of the best finger pickers around." - Chet Atkins

"The greatest guitarist I ever heard" - Al Hirt

"Ray Cummins is one of the best!"
"Great Pickin" - Les Paul

"Ray is one of a handful of true guitar virtuosos that are playing concerts these days. Ray Cummins sounds closer to Chet Atkins then anyone I have ever heard." - Rick Foster

"A great guitarist" - John Williams, former conductor of the Boston Pops - raycummins.com


5 CD's available at http://www.raycummins.com/ProductOrder.html

Summer Daze ... End of the Road
Pure Christmas
Precious Memories
Soundtracks by Request
Guitar Varieties



Ray Cummins started playing music at the early age of 5 in northern Kentucky. By fourth grade, he had studied piano and accordion. He started playing the trumpet and was playing first chair in the elementary band a year later. His musical aptitude continued as he was the only middle schooler playing in the high school band.

In his younger years he wanted to become a virtuoso trumpeter like Al Hirt. He learned to play many of Hirt's songs by ear including one of his favorites, "Walkin'". Ray noticed that this song was produced by Chet Atkins and written by Jerry Reed but he was not familiar with them at that time. At age 15, he was already starting to study trumpet at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

When he was 16, Ray became very ill and was bedridden. Due to his illness he could no longer play the trumpet and his father bought him a used guitar and a Chet Atkins record, "The Pops Goes Country" featuring the Boston Pops Orchestra. Hearing Chet play was one of the greatest sounds he had ever heard and experienced. Ray dreamed of playing "Alabama Jubilee" like Chet with the symphony. Years later, he would meet and play with Chet and today, Ray has nearly a dozen arrangements for symphony that he plays in concert.

By the time he was 21, Ray started playing with RCA recording artist, Kenny Price who lived in Ray's home town of Florence, KY. He toured with Kenny as a featured guitarist with package tours, consisting of people such as Ernest Tubb, the Osborne Brothers, Cal Smith, Leona Williams, and many others. Kenny would feature Ray every night soloing on the guitar and Ray would even entertain the Grand Old Opry stars in the hotel room dazzling them with his guitar techniques.

Between the tours with Kenny during those 10 years, Ray played hotels and clubs performing music from top 40 to country. He also did over 500 albums as a studio musician including gospel and country stylings.

He is currently playing churches, gospel concerts, and making appearances with major symphonies as a guest artist.