There’s electricity in the air when Ray Boucher is onstage. He may be just one guy with a guitar, but the sound he makes is explosive and enveloping – like a full-tilt rock ‘n’ roll band with a charismatic lead singer and a ridiculously talented lead guitarist creating something magical, and magnetic, together.
That’s because Ray Boucher is both of those things.
The Rhode Island native was the songwriter and lead-man for one of Providence’s top bands, and he brings that aesthetic to his one-man shows: Using an arsenal of effects and floor pedals, he is an awe-inspiring acoustic guitar player – both lead and rhythm, often at the same time – who gives the material the precision and passion it deserves.
“I am a guitarist by nature,” says the former music teacher, “and a vocalist second - so most of my influence comes from pure guitar players as opposed to singer/songwriters.”
Ray’s choice of cover songs – from Cream, Hendrix and Skynyrd to Bowie and the Beatles – is as eclectic as his guitar styles. And his rough-edged singing voice brings a freshness and immediacy to everything from Pink Floyd’s “Time” to “Sara Smile” from Hall and Oates.
These he mixes with his dynamic original material to create one of the most unique, and musically satisfying, solo performances in the Tampa Bay area.
“I’ve found that I really enjoy the freedom of being up there by myself,” Ray explains. “If I want to change an arrangement on the fly, or adjust the tempo, I have the freedom to do so. I like that.”
And one more thing: He never, ever sits still. In fact, he doesn’t sit at all.
“I play my solo gigs with the same attitude as I did when I was playing a concert,” Ray says. “I can sit on the couch and relax when I’m home playing, but when I’m performing for an audience, I want to give them everything I’ve got - and I can’t do that if I’m sitting on a barstool.”