Are You Sure Hank By Waylon Jennings
Originally formed in 2007, Shades of Grey, has appeared on stages all over Kansas City in various forms. They have opened for 38 Special, played Kauffman Stadium and Hy-Vee Hot Zone at Arrowhead Stadium as well as Argosy Casino.
The current musicians in Shades of Grey are from all over The Midwest. They found their way together through their shared passions for sound, rhythm and beats. Each member brings a unique musical aesthetic to the band and over time grown comfortable jumping genres and mashing up influences.
My musical journey started at an early age listening to my dad play trumpet and guitar. By the age of 6, I had learned a few chords on guitar and was learning scales on the trumpet. Fast forward to 7th grade I was in the middle school band as a trumpet player. By the time I reached high school, I had moved from trumpet to the dark side and joined the low brass world finishing high school playing trombone, baritone and tuba. Even though I was a horn player I still snuck my dads guitar out of its case and played. I got my first real electric guitar during my sophomore year of high school and I was off and running. Somewhere along the line I learned to play drums, and bass guitar. My musical influences range from MoTown, Funk, Blues, Country, and Classic Rock. I have been fortunate in being able to play with some amazing musicians. From Afterschock, Southbound, The Highway, founding Shades of Grey(in 2007) it’s has been quite the ride that I’m excited to continue as long as I’m able too…
Ray had the chance to perform in a variety of venues, including school choirs and competitions, contemporary church bands, secular venues, and even musical theater productions. The experience of touring the Midwest with Donnie Quinn’s Elvis in Hawaii Tribute and having sessions at the KC Opry has not only helped him hone his skills but also created many fond memories.
Now, as the lead singer of a Shades of Grey, Ray is ready to bring all of his experiences to the stage. He excited to share the rich history of rock and roll through performances, bringing both classic and fresh sounds to our audience. It’s been a great journey so far, and he is confident the best is yet to come.
Like many musicians, I did not start my music journey playing my main instrument of guitar but rather playing the trumpet in the 5th/6th grade school band. That did not last long once sports caught my attention. In my younger days it was a constant mix of baseball, football and wrestling, not music that kept my attention.
I started playing guitar around twenty when I began taking lessons from Jerry Chambers, a former member of Kansas City rock group “Morningstar”. It was not long until Jerry connected me with a band in need of a bass player and told me that playing “live” would help me get better, faster, catching me up on a few of the years I missed by not starting younger. I have always appreciated his guidance from those days, because I would not be a guitar player today without it.
Fast forward all these years later…. well in between then and now there has been a marriage of 34 years, a wonderful daughter and now a son-in-law, along with a sixteen-year break from playing. Once our daughter was ready to head to college, I had to find something to do with my time so I picked the guitar back up. The invention of the internet and YouTube made the return learning curve a whole lot shorter. That was ten years ago now and the love of playing “live” has never been stronger. At my age, many players only want to jam, or record, or not even play anymore, but me, I feel like I am having a second childhood. So….Rock on Good People, Rock On!
Chris was a member of The Winnetonka High School band. After high school, Chris joined the Navy.
Chris has played drums, ran sound & lights for London Drive, Legal Limit, Anthem to name just a few, and now we’re excited to have him as part of Shades.
When he isn’t wrangling our resident pirate, Chris enjoys spending time with family, friends and riding motorcycles…
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