RAY & GLOVER BIOGRAPHY
DAVE “SNAKER” RAY & TONY “LITTLE SUN” GLOVER
Dave “Snaker” Ray and Tony “Little Sun” Glover are the bluer two-thirds of Koerner, Ray & Glover, a folk-blues trio that recorded and toured widely during the Sixties folk music boom. They cut five influential albums for Elektra with an intriguing mix of string-band, ragtime and down-home blues styles. The group performed at the Newport and Philadelphia Folk Festivals and on the club and college circuits. Their raucous enthusiasm and musical acumen breathed new life into traditional material; people as diverse as John Lennon and The Doors listed them as influences.
When the Trio drifted apart in the late Sixties, Ray built a recording studio in the Minnesota woods. His label, Sweet Jane Ltd., was a prototype for the cottage industry studios of today and made numerous recordings, including Bonnie Raitt’s first sides for Warner Bros. Glover authored several best-selling harmonica instruction manuals, worked as an all-night underground DJ and spent time in New York as a music journalist for magazines like Rolling Stone, Crawdaddy and Circus.
During the Seventies and Eighties, the group reunited for special shows, including the Folk Festivals in Winnipeg and Vancouver and Sing Out! magazine’s thirtieth anniversary concert. A Trio show in 1984 was filmed to form the foundation for Blues Rags & Hollers: The Koerner, Ray & Glover Story, a two-hour performance/documentary video produced by Glover. The Minnesota Music Awards named KR&G “Best Folk Group” and elected them to the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, along with Prince and Bob Dylan.
Ray and Glover have maintained an active performing partnership. A Minneapolis bar gig resulted in a jukebox 45 on their own Ray-Ver label. A series of acoustic performances was captured on a 1987 release, Legends In Their Spare Time. It was named “Blues Album of the Year” at the Minnesota Music Awards–the same year Glover copped the “Best Electric Harp” title. They have appeared on dozens of albums, many of which are still in print.
Glover has continued free-lance writing with frequent record and book reviews. He has contributed notes for various albums, including Bob Dylan’s LIVE 1966 set, for which he won the ASCAP Deems Taylor award. His collaborative biography of Little Walter will soon be published.
Ray has led several blues and rock bands, including The Three Bedroom Ramblers with John Beach and Kory Badertscher. Their album, What Was The Question? accents the exciting and eclectic playlist that has characterized all of Ray’s group efforts. The Elegonzos, featuring John Beach and Paul Lagos, continue Ray’s exploration of the soul of jazz and R&B since the Thirties, especially the funky rhythms of New Orleans.
Ray and Glover play regularly at Lee’s Liquor Lounge in Minneapolis and the Duo has recently opened for The Radiators, Bob Dylan, and B. B. King. In the last few years, they have appeared on bills with artists as diverse as John Lee Hooker, J. J. Cale, Dr. John and Beck. Koerner joined them as they once again played the East Coast club circuit and the Philadelphia Folk Festival before heading West for the Seattle Bumbershoot.
Ashes In My Whiskey, a 1990 album for Rough Trade, was the first studio recording the Duo had done since their contract with Elektra expired. Tim/Kerr Records released their next effort, Picture Has Faded, which won the 1994 Minnesota Music Awards “Best Independent Record” prize. Both discs garnered critical praise, including multi-star reviews in Rolling Stone.
Red House Records reissued Blues, Rags and Hollers in 1995. The Trio’s first recording in thirty-five years, a live date entitled One Foot In The Groove, has met with widespread critical acclaim and raves from both their new fans and those of thirty years ago. Collectors of Ray’s solo twelve-string work will be delighted with his release, Snake Eyes. Fans of The Radiators will be thrilled with Dave and Tony’s work with Camile Baudoin and Reggie Scanlan on The Back Porch Rockers’ By The Water. The 1999 reissues of Lots More Blues, Rags and Hollers and The Return of Koerner, Ray and Glover by Red House Records means all three of the Trio’s original Sixties recordings are currently available.
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