I was born in 1963 in northern Illinois, in a small town called LaSalle. There I discovered a great love for music through my dad (a drummer) and older siblings whose speakers were always blasting music from the late 60's and early 70's I was influenced by those sounds, especially the guitar. So I started playing guitar at the age of 11, taking lessons on and off for about 6 yrs. In my teen years i played in a few bands , entered a few contests, won a couple trophies and also gave guitar lessons. My enthusiasm for music eventually led me to study music at UNLV in Nevada. At the University I enrolled in numerous music courses to help me in my songwriting and composing skills. While living in Las Vegas from 1981 to 1997 I became involved with a few rock bands, one of them called "The World" with my brother Kevin. We played clubs and casinos and enjoyed a growing success, becoming winners of the best new band in Vegas and doing well in songwriting contests. We owned our own recording studio and there I learned the art of recording. I also was studying classical guitar and fingerstyle and expanding my repetoire and technical abilities. In 1997 I moved back to the Illinois Valley and worked as a solo artist and also did a great deal of recording, and plus I performed in a vast array of places and occassions/events. I love playing fingerstyle guitar and creating different arrangements of some of my favorite tunes. Influences over the years have been Leo Kottke and Chet Atkins in that fingerpicking style. I was influenced by so many rock guitarists like Mark Knopfler, Ted Nugent, and Jimmy Page to name a few.
I have been busy with some form of creative project over the past two decades. If I am not creating something or composing I am a miserable man! I love art, painting, photography, railroading and model building.
I have been busy songwriting and composing through the years and in the past worked with my brother Kevin, who plays drums and records to the songs I have written. Songs that are more commercial and for the radio you could say. I enjoy it all , from finger style to rock n roll and heavy at times. I just love sitting down and performing for people, finger picking melodies that bring a smile to their faces and good vibrations to their ears. My traveling places to perform are greatly curtailed due to my vision impairment. It's hard to get to gigs without a car. But you can see me on You Tube or occasionally I do a gig when friends or family get me to the location.
A couple of my recent music highlights include performing with Muriel Anderson, a world-class finger picker, and I have some of my original compositions being used in a documentary on the Moonlight Towers which will hopefully be aired on PBS in the near future.
Ray Tutaj Jr.