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Ray to perform at Fair

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Area recording artist Cari Ray will perform at the Clay County 4-H Fair Tuesday, July 19, at 7:30 p.m., in the Hospitality Barn.
The Clay County 4-H Council will provide additional free entertainment during the Clay County 4-H Fair this year.

On Tuesday, July 19, the council will welcome recording artist Cari Ray.

Council President Dianna Knox said Ray will perform in the Hospitality Barn at 7:30 p.m.

The performance will coincide with the annual 4-H Council Jonah Fish Fry.

"We expect a good crowd that night," Knox said. "This will be the highlight."

Knox said she and Ray have known each other since their days at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

"She is a friend of mine from college," Knox said. "I've kind of followed her career. I thought I'd try to set it up.

"We started talking about it at the end of May and we got confirmation at the end of last week."

Ray grew up in Parke County, but lived off New Discovery Road, just off State Road 59. While she attended Rockville High School, she spent a lot of time in Brazil and at one time, attended Brazil First Christian Church.

Ray, who also works as a graphic designer, said she started performing "professionally" approximately three years ago.

"I performed in coffee houses for several years off and on," Ray said. "I had really, for a handful of years, not performed publicly. But I had a good friend starting to do some music nights in Broad Ripple and he said, 'You should really get out and perform again.' So I did.

"I started doing that once a month and the bug bit me again really hard. It just became more evident that's where my heart was."

Ray has released one album, "Always On," which was released in 2009. Currently, she is preparing to head back into the studio to record her second album.

"I've been writing a lot," she said, adding she has spent time in Nashville, Tenn., working with songwriter Travis Howard, who has co-written songs with Miranda Lambert. "We're sort of tweaking before we go in to record."

She added she plans to record her second album in Nashville, Tenn.

"The thing I get most excited about is I'm a songwriter first," she said. "For me, I feel like I'm writing stories that people want to hear."

The July 19 performance will be her first in Clay County.

Ray said people have described her music as Americana and have compared her to Bonnie Raitt and Lucinda Williams.

"There's definitely some blues flavor in it, for sure," she said. "We're not straight up country."

At her July 19 performance, Ray will bring her bass player and guitar/mandolin player. Ray also plays guitar.

Knox said live entertainment has been offered at the Clay County 4-H Fair in the past, but not to this degree.

"We've had some local bands," Knox said. "We haven't done this regularly, but we've talked about how this is something we need to beef up at our fair."

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