R A Y H A T F I E L D
Born in Heanor, Derbyshire on 1st April 1960, Ray first picked up a guitar at the age of 11 when his elder brother brought a cheap Woolworths guitar home from school. After sharing the guitar for a couple of months and copying the likes of T Rex and Slade, Ray then swapped half his record collection for a Fender Strat copy and began to try and emulate the likes of Paul Kossoff, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mark Knopfler and Rory Gallagher, all of whom would remain his key influences for decades to come.
At the age of 14, Ray started to gig around the local WMC scene with a band called Skint, who included Wishbone Ash’s ‘Blowin’ Free’ in their set. He bought Argus to learn the song, was blown away by the sound of the band and has been a fan ever since! Various club and rock cover bands followed during which time Ray gigged constantly including tours in Germany and all over the UK.
In his early twenties Ray began to play more acoustic guitar and decided to learn classical. After completing exams, this led to a period of teaching guitar and gigs in restaurants and hotels.
From 1985 – 1987 Ray was a member of Arctic Chartre who won second place in the Melody Maker ‘Battle of the Bands’ contest and were subsequently signed up by one of the judges, Gerry Bron of Bronze Records. Although they recorded at the Roundhouse studios, the group disbanded shortly after.
Around this time, through an old bass player friend, Ray was introduced to the wonderful world of arcade games. Since then Ray has been a supplier of music, sound effects and voiceovers for various games companies.
In 1995 Ray saw Keith Buck performing in Derby, got into conversation and immediately hit it off. An opportunity to play together followed shortly and it was immediately clear that their guitar styles complimented each other. Keith and Ray have been firm friends and playing partners ever since.
When Martin and Keith were discussing players for Martin Turner's new band line-up, Keith recommended Ray as his guitar ‘twin’. Practice sessions were a blast and the rest is history! Ray is particularly pleased to be given the opportunity to play some of his favourite songs from the Wishbone Ash catalogue.
In October 2008, Ray Hatfield released his debut solo CD, King Of The West. A varied set, featuring a mix of vocal and instrumental tracks covering a wide range of musical styles. This was followed in 2013 with a second solo release At The Drop Of a Hat. Both albums have been received positively.
King Of The West and At The Drop Of a Hat can be ordered at Ray's official site.
Ray’s website: www.rayhatfield.com
photos: John Price
Guitars: Fender Stratocaster 40th Anniversary, PRS SE Custom 22, Hofner electro-acoustic. All strung with D'Addario strings.
Amp: Mesa Boogie F50 combo.
Effects: Cry Baby, Ibanez Tube Screamer, Line 6 Echo Park, Boss Chorus.