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Meet the boys...

zhonray are… Billy (Ray) Abram & John (Boy) Holt.


Billy 'Ray' Abram

John Boy Holt and his Epiphone Sunburst guitar...

zhonray - the beginning...

One day, John took and old guitar into work. He fitted new strings, adjusted the action and started playing songs in his dinnertime to relieve the stresses of the working day. Bill was passing the office and soon brought his guitar into work too.

At first they played covers of the classic hits of the 60's and 70's from the golden age of the Beatles; but soon they were transcribing any modern song that had a good melody, or an interesting chord pattern.

On another day, John brought in some songs he had written. Bill liked a few of these and thought they should visit a studio to record master demo's. That's when John gave Billy his nickname "Ray… he's a ray of sunshine … always upbeat and positive."

They started saving and soon found a studio and producer to their liking.

zhonray - the studio...

The first studio visit was pretty daunting, even though the producer and his staff were excellent; singing and performing in front of professionals was scary. They had to raise their game to a higher level. More practice was needed. But they were having a good time and the master demo's they made together weren't too bad.

zhonray - the name...

John is the songwriter of the duo. He's been going for five years now and there's no sign of him drying up, though some are hoping he will ! Billy is his mentor; a good buddy to check everything out and select the studio tracks.

But now they needed a name for when they sent their CDs to the world.

John writes across most genres from hard rock to full bodied romantic ballad. So "John" and "Ray" were combined with the thought of "genre" to get zhonray.

zhonray - the mission!..

zhonray enter their songs into song contests. They get good reviews, but no wins to date. Their songs have been played at weddings and linedances and everyone just carries on dancing. Someone said to John once … "Was that you? It sounded real." Which he took as a compliment.

They want to write and perform songs that have good structure. Songs that tell a story, or evoke an emotion. Songs that are easy on the ears, catchy, and tuneful. Music to chill out by.

zhonray - John says...

"Like many songwriters, I'm quite an introverted sort of guy. I need a drink to calm my nerves before I play at any event. I'm not at ease in a crowd and think I use the songs as a means of downloading the feelings I encounter and the emotions that haunt me. I never know, on starting a song, how it will end. I have to hook the idea and fight with it like one of those blue marlin swordfish, until I wrestle it into my guitar and bring it home. It's only then that you know what size fish you've caught; some you throw back, some you cherish forever; but once they're captured, then a kind of emotional exorcism is completed and I can get on with my life for another day."

zhonray - Billy rhymes and writes …

"Born on a mountain top in Tennessee."
Dabbles in guitar, banjo and ukulele.
Tried piano lessons when I was 33 (<<< it's never to late to start)
Enjoys traditional Folk, Blues, Heavy Rock and all Country."

"Started playing with John a couple of years ago and things have just progressed from there. Really enjoy the studio visits; a great day out."

"Playing original music rather than cover versions is far more satisfying. What starts off as a raw song, recorded on an old cassette recorder, we work up to a fully mastered version. It's hard to describe the satisfaction of seeing the song develop. It has its own rewards. And at the end of the day its enjoyable ! "

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zhonray 2010-13

 

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