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Ray Vanderby Combo (VIC)

Ray Vanderby Combo (VIC)

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Ray 'goldfingers' Vanderby uses the Hammond organ as the cornerstone of his progressive blues album '5th Dimension Blues'.

On his second release Vanderby, from Melbourne, translates Robert Johnson and Big Joe Williams songs into his own style. His sound is the result of his love for classic Delta blues.

5th Dimension Blues is largely biographical; Vanderbys past can be found woven into the albums lyrics and atmosphere.

"I find a deep connection to the Delta blues artists. What they sang about 70 years ago is relevant to my own life", he says. "I relate to the lyrics because Ive been there myself. I believe Ive retained the spirit of those songs", he says. John Lee Hooker, James Brown, Jimmy Smith and Billy Preston are also very inspiring names for Vanderby.

The album opens with the title track, a meandering instrumental with ominous undertones. Ramblin On My Mind is over seven minutes of hard pumping blues set against a haunting Hammond wail and Vanderbys signature staunch vocal style, followed by his unique Chicago shuffle version of Crossroads.

The Ray Vanderby Combo (RVC) features: Ray Vanderby on organ/lead vocals, Ron Tabuteau (ex Foreday Riders) on guitar and Les Oldman on drums.

I love the purity of the Hammond sound and its versatility, says Vanderby who regards himself a blues beat poet.

The sound of the Hammond organ is instantly recognisable: smooth, bluesy, infectious. Ray Vanderby fell in love with the sound at a young age and would pound away on his Hammond every day before and after school. He slowly drove his family insane playing Burt Bacharach tunes and his own blues inventions. Weekends would take Dutch-born Ray and his Hammond M100 out to halls and shearing sheds around Orange, NSW to jam the blues with like-minded musicians. It was Jimmy Smith, Booker T and The MGs and Motown music for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Playing his first show at 12 made him the youngest semi-professional organ musician in Australia at the time. When he took up a job as an apprentice piano tuner at 16 he couldnt resist playing on the footpath to showcase the latest Hammond organ model. Crowds would gather every Saturday morning for Rays free concert.

Delving into Sydneys music scene found Ray performing and recording in bands like Blackfeather, Marcia Hines, Stevie Wright, John English, John Paul Young, Doug Parkinson and Cosmic Nomads before returning to his first love - the blues. He won the W.R.O.C./BMG National Songwriting Competition in 1991 with pop hit Suspicious.

CDs include:
5th Dimension Blues (2005)
Mockingbird Blues (2004)

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The Ray Vanderby Combo featured at the Australian Blues Music Festival in 2006.

Visit Ray Vanderby's website at:


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