Smokin’ Ray

Locals Smokin’ Ray and the Bright Wizard of Destiny to play at Sound Fest

The local duo will be performing at the Youth Centre on Saturday as part of Soundfest's lineup.

Infinity Solstice and Smokin’ Ray are hardly new on the local music scene, but together they certainly are.

Collectively known as the Smokin’ Ray and the Bright Wizard of Destiny, the local duo are set to perform at Golden Sound Festival on Saturday and have played weekly gigs at the Rockwater on Tuesday nights since getting together late last year.

For now, they play a mixture of covers, Soltice’s originals and Ray’s originals but wouldn’t rule out some collaborative work in the near future.

Infinity is well known for his Go Organic Sports Ranch which features disc golf and a clay tennis court, but it’s quite obvious that he is just as passionate about his music. Solstice has amassed a certain following in town and while it might not quite by Lynyrd Skynyrd receiving requests for Freebird, his fans do have their favourites.

“Every (gig) they request Fully Functioning Forest,” Infinity laughed, referring to the song that highlights both his Visions of Freedom and Essence of the Cosmos albums.

Much of his music contains lyrics that feature political, constitutional and environmental issues, basically any issue that Solstice is passionate about.

“Mostly it’s a thought or concept that would really turn me on and then I’d get passionate about something, anti-war stuff or moving planets or whatever I happen to be into at the time,” he said.

His latest piece of writing is titled Collateral Damage and explores Canada’s military role in the Middle East.

Smokin’ Ray, who got his start in music with the accordion during his youth, says he stays out of the political stuff but has found a good connection playing with Infinity.

“I support just about anybody I play with, I’m versatile…it’s always a challenge to play with others and to fit with their style,” Ray said.

The two trade off with vocals with Infinity on the keyboard and Ray on the guitar.

Ray boasts an extensive guitar collection.

“I think I had 50 at one time and I bought a few more after that,” he chuckled.

“I haven’t made a display yet, they are kind of in cases and all over the place…the goal in the future is to somehow set it up and give people a tour.”

For him, his motivation comes from those he plays for.

“I’m inspired by the audience, just how many people respond and come up and compliment me…I’ve always said that I’m not that great of player but I have fans that think I am,” he laughed.

The pair are scheduled to play at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Youth Centre for a free all ages show as part of Sound Fest.