BIO – english

The love of music, dance and singing started early in Ray’s life as a child in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, through his mother’s taste for Rhythm and Blues. Ray was immediately drawn to the Soul sounds of vocal groups, notably ‘The Supremes’. “I love the groove and those big vocal sounds” confirms Lemelin. James Brown, Joe Tex and Wilson Pickett were other major influences. It was his migration to Calgary, Alberta in the late seventies that really opened up opportunities for Ray to pursue a career. Inspired by a quote from guitar legend Johnny Winter – “it should be the “older” black musicians we listen to”. Lemelin immersed himself in the recordings of Blues greats such as Muddy Waters, Slim Harpo and James Cotton.

Lemelin spent 1985 through 1987 working with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown as stage manager and personal valet. He then began working with a wide range of musicians including Queen Ida, Johnny Copeland, Larry David, and the Legendary Lowell Fulson with appearances on stage with numerous performers. Among them Luther Johnson, Junior Wells, Amos Garrett, the Late Valerie Wellington, Micheal Coleman, Matt “Guitar” Murphy and Albert Collins who enjoyed Ray’s playing so much he invited Ray to come back and sit in the next night, The Ray Lemelin Band has also completed their 3rd tour with Grammy Award winner Fenton Robinson.

In 1986 Ray joined ‘Johnny V and the House Rockers’ (Rooster Records) Calgary’s premier Blues Act. In August of 1988 he formed his own group ‘Sho-Nuff’ and performed as writer, arranger, guitarist, vocalist and band leader. John Rutrherford of ‘Calgary Tonight’ magazine is quoted as saying “’Sho-Nuff’ has developed a tight Blues sound (and) Lemelin has mastered the diner aspects of time and dynamics”.
However, the calls for his working as a sideman continued and through 1990 he was kept busy free-lancing. This led to performances with Rusty Reed (Independent) and his subsequent relocation to Edmonton. Peter North of the Edmonton Sun, while praising the new sound of Reed’s band, acknowledges that one of the main factors is the “smooth voice (of Lemelin) who favors the more soulful side of the Blues”.
Lemelin has written and performed two compositions on CFRN-TB’s Video Stew, and has a song on Crystal Plamondon’s (Independent-French) new recording. 1993 found Lemelin with a new release (Independent ) ‘Thangs’.

The Ray Lemelin Band has been kept busy working throughout Western Canada the last couple of years. In October, 1995 Ray completed a very successful tour of Eastern Canada. From the shore’s of the Gaspe peninsula, Quebec, to Cape Breton Island , Nova Scotia.
While opening up for Luther “Guital” Junior Johnson at the Fredericton Harvest Jazz Festival, Luther was so impressed with Ray’s performance he invited Ray to “sit in” for his entire second show. The night ended with just Ray and Luther playing “Real Delta Blues” guitar. Word of this performance preceded Ray to the Halifax Blues Festival where he was greeted with great respect and ethusiam.
The approach is simple. Sharp performances and professionalism. “If you put the Blues of B.B. King, the grooves of James Brown, and the Gospel vocal sounds of the Staple Singers”, states Lemelin, “and mix it all up, you have the ingredients for a Funky, ‘Soulful’ good time!”

BIO – french


L’amour de4 la musique, de la danse et du chant a debute’ tot dans la vie de Ray mais ce nest pas avant la fin des annees 70 qu’ils s’est vraiement mis a ecouter du blues comme carriere
De 1985 a 1989 Lemelin a travailler pour Clarence Gatemouth Brown comme regisseur et valet personelle
Il as ensuite travailler avec un vaste evantail de musiciens incluant Queen Ida, Johnny Copeland, Larry Davis
et le legaendaire Lowell Fulson,
Brother Ray s’est produit sur scene en compagnie de nombreux artistesw etablis, parmi lesquels Luther Johnson, Junior Wells, Amos Garret, la regrettee Valerie Wellington
Michael Coleman, Matt Guitar Murphy, et Albert Collins, qui a notamment tant aime’ la musique de Ray qu’il la inviter a revenir le lendemain pour jouer de nouveau avec lui, Le Ray Lemelin Band a egalement completer avec success trois tournee en compagnie du laureat Grammy Fenton Robinson,..

En 1986 Ray s’est joint a ‘Johnny V and The House rockers[Rooster Records’ le groupe le plus prise’ a calgary, en aout 88 il a forme’ son propre groupe ‘ShoNuff’ et a performe’ en tant qu’auteur, arrangeur, guitariste, chanteur et chef du groupe,
toutefois, sa vocation de collaborateur s’est poursuivie et il as continuer dans les annee 90 a etre musicien pigiste, cela l’a mene’ a’ jouer avec Rusty Reed; Peter North, critiquew musicale du Edmonton Sun, toute en louant le nouveau son du groupe de Reed. a identifie’ que l’un des principaux facteurs etait’ la voix suave[ de Lemelin] qui favorise le cote le plus Soul du Blues

Lemelin a ecrite et performe’ deux compositions a l’emission Video Stew de CFRN-TV, et  as deux chancon sur deux albums de Crystal Plamondon
en 93 as procurer son propre enregistrement’ Thangs’

Brother Ray est rester occupe’ a travailler a travers L’ouest canadien en plus de nombreuses tournees nationales ayant connue des success
alors qu’il ouvrait pour Luther Johnson a fredericton NB harvest Jazz and Blues Fest Luther sest montrer si impressioner par la performance de Ray qu’il la inviter a jouer le reste du deuxieme spectacle avec lui et son Band,..
Ray as enregiste’ un album Here to stay en 2001 avec Tim Williams et a realise’ deux albums pour d’autre artistes et as sortie deux autres albums depuis,..Killfloor Sampler, et Hills amd Lemelin ‘Neither Here nor There’
qui en fait a ete nomme album acoustique Blues de L’A nnee par une societe blues de louest,..et en 2013 as ete nommee guitariste blues de l’annee pour l’ouest canadien
il se prepare presantement pour lancee deux autres albums cette annee,..et en as un autre pou le printemps prochain,