Not since Quinn Sullivan released his debut album Cyclone in 2011 at the tender age of 11 have we seen a blues talent so young. On his fall 2014 EP Save My Soul, singer/guitarist Ray Goren released five tracks that back up what most critics have been saying since he began performing at blues festivals as a preteen: with his age, guitar aptitude, and evident feel for the blues, Goren is a musician the blues community should keep its eye on.
From the riff-heavy opener “Stop” through the minute-long guitar solo on “Rise Together,” Save My Soul shows Goren sampling themes of love, repentance, and unity. “Can’t Live Like This” stands out as the most unique track of the collection. With delicate drumbeats adding subtle splashes beneath gentle guitar accents, this is where Goren puts his voice through its paces, making the most of the dreamlike production to sing quietly and soulfully. The vocal depth on “Can’t Live Like This” masks Goren’s age, as does his swift tour of the fretboard on “I Need You Here to Stay” – pretty big stuff for a kid who’s too young to have spent a day in the twentieth century. By the end of Save My Soul, it’s the title track and the final solo on “Rise Together” that stand out as Goren’s proudest moments.
Experienced though he may be for his age, Goren’s best days are still in front of him. His 2014 works Save My Soul and LA Sessions (his first solo EP released last summer) offer a solid start to a promising musical career, but there is surely much more to come from this rising guitarist.
The Review: 7.5/10
The Big Hit
– Save My Soul
Review by Meghan Roos
Buy the album: Amazon