Raymond Nijenhuis (1967) has made his mark in the Dutch music scene as the front man of 'Guitar Ray & the Rhythm Dukes', a trio he performed with from 1998 - 2006.
The album 'Guitar Ray Live at the Nix' (2004) showcased the band and Ray’s phenomenal guitar playing, highlighting the complete spectrum of traditional and contemporary blues & roots music.
It received unanimous positive reviews and praise in the Dutch and International press and resulted in an invitation to the prestigious Blues Festival in Peer (Belgium).
The 'Gitaarnet' review called Ray 'The Dutch Ambassador of Blues and Roots' and in the liner notes of 'Live at the Nix' the American Guitar Player Duke Robillard wrote 'Guitar Ray has got the GOODS'.
The wide variety of styles he's mastered and his talent to support a front man / woman, has made him the 'go to' guitarist, especially for touring American Blues & Roots musicians.
In Ray's own words : 'It's my job to make the artists I'm working with sound as good as possible and make THEM shine'
From Chicago- to West Coast Blues, Western Swing, Country Blues, Boogie, Bluesy Jazz or Jazzy Blues to Soul Blues and 70s rock; You name it and he's got! Authentic and modern, aggressive and subtle, but always distinctly Ray.
Ray’s diversity within roots music be heard on the album 'Kinky at the Root' by the Texan singer Dede Priest(2011). For this magical mix of Blues, Soul, Gospel and Jazz, Ray co-wrote the title track and two other compositions.
Ray's playing on 'Purple & Satin' is intoxicating with a Hendrix-like emotion, while his love for Jazz pioneers like Charlie Christian shines through in 'The Whole Christmas Thing'. Ray toured with the Dede Priest Band and -Duo throughout Europe and has performed in countless Radio and TV Shows .The duo supported Keb Mo’ on his Holland 2011 tour.
Cuban Heels, the vilest garage Blues Rockers of The Netherlands, show Ray within a more lowdown setting.
With Status Quotes, Ray has come full circle: paying tribute to the classic 70s rock sound of Status Quo, the band that had such an impact on him when first hearing them back in 1975.
Students also speak highly of Ray, the educational analyst: his ability to spot what a student needs plus his passion for music, his knowledge of the guitar and its history ( he’s addicted to the six-string axe!) make Ray one of the go to guitar educators in the Netherlands
With 30 years of teaching, performing and recording sessions experience, Ray Nijenhuis is a well established name in the European music scene.
Truefire, the world’s leading publisher of Guitar instructional courses has released two Western Swing courses by Ray and one dedicated to playing Rockin’ Rhythm Guitar.
Muriel Anderson's All Star Guitar Night, Los Angeles, North Sea Jazz Festivals The Hague and Rotterdam, Rhythm & Blues Night Groningen, BRBF Peer(B), Fender Factory Ensenada Mexico, Vredenburg Utrecht(NL), Club Rorschach Switzerland, Blues & Jazz Rally Luxembourg, Simply Blues Festival Portugal, Trasimeno Blues Festival Italy, Reus Blues Festival Spain, Paradiso Amsterdam, Bluesrock Tegelen, Country Treff Norway, The Rhythm Room Phoenix Az., Grolsch International Jazz Festival Enschede, Marco Fiume Memorial Italy (2006, 2007 & 2011), Summertime Blues Festival Sicily, Blues Festival Kiel & Rostock, Bluesgarage Hannover(G), various Country Festivals in France, Princess Grace Theatre Monaco, Gaslight Theatre Tucson Az., Tear it Up Croatia, Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival and counting
Ray toured and performed across the globe in over 15 different countries and recorded with among others Dede Priest , Charlie McCoy, Sax Gordon, Mr. Boogie Woogie, Louisiana Red, Teddy Edwards, Sam Taylor,Henry Butler, Memo Gonzalez, Boogie & Blues Night Theater Tour,
Hod O' Brien, Herbie & Guitar Ray, Anna Warr, Nico Wayne Toussaint, James Harman, Cuban Heels, Kris Berry, Duke Robillard, Mitch Kashmar, Mike & the Mellotones,
Haystack Hi-tones, Saxotone’s Groove Mission, Status Quotes and let's not forget......
his first main influence: his father and rhythm guitar player Geert Nijenhuis.
Selected CD/DVD discography:
2018 Rockin’ Rhythm Guitar Guidebook (Guitar instructional course, Truefire)
2017 The secret to Success - Harm Van Sleen
2016 Western Swing Guitar Guidebook (Guitar instructional course, Truefire)
2014 50 Western Swing licks You Must Know (Guitar instructional course, Truefire)
2011 Dede Priest - Kinky at the Root ( Ray co-wrote 3 tracks)
2010 Mr. Boogie Woogie & the Firesweep Bluesband – Just like That
2008 JazzArt Orchestra - Let's tell you a Story
2008 Panhandle Swing and the Panhandle Playgirls - EP
2008 International Boogie Woogie Festival (dvd)
(Ray performs w/ Little Willie Littlefield & Henry Butler)
2007 International Boogie Woogie Festival (dvd)
(Ray performs w/ Don Washington
2006 The Backbones -
New Road Sessions ( Ray w/ Mitch Kashmar & Big Pete)
2004 Guitar Ray - Live at the Nix
2002 Swingmatism - Live update
1999 Rik VandenBerg - Swingmatism
1996 Twents Connection w/ Hod O'Brien