Erik ‘Fingers’ Ray and sidekick in concert

27_ray-dummy_7401On Nov. 11 at 3 p.m., Pondera Arts Council will present Erik “Fingers” Ray with Rastus and as the one-man band at the OrpheumTheatre/Wiegand Auditorium.

Farmer Rastus joined Ray a few years ago and became an instant hit with all of his followers. The stars will be joined on stage by some of the audience members.  After a lively conversation Rastus will go to check the crops or maybe take a nap.

Ray plays many instruments, which include various guitars, mandolin, accordion, harmonica, bass drum, high hat and his new electric bass fiddle.  He uses his latest instrument to jazz up his performances and vocals. Some of his and listeners favorites included in this concert are: blue, original pieces, folk ballads and songs you will recognize.

Ray, a mathematics instructor at Conrad High School for many years, has a highly visible second career as a well known musician.  Not only does Erik “Fingers” Ray play and sing all around Montana, he performs with his brother, Wylie Gustafson, going from Nashville to Los Angeles to Elko for the National Poetry Convention.  Ray plays lead guitar on Wylie’s latest CD recorded in Nashville and titled Rocketbuster. Composing original music to augment all of Ray’s huge repertoire seems to naturally evolve.

When Ray and his siblings were growing up, they sang, played instruments and danced to Western and folk ballads many nights or holidays.

Now if you wish to hire him to play for your wedding reception or some other special occasion, you may have to plan the date around his schedule – even one year in advance.

This is the first concert of Pondera Arts Council’s 2012-2013 season.  Other programs will be announced as dates become firm.  Helen Elliott, PAC President, stated the Erik “Fingers” Ray show will have wide audience appeal filled with hilarity and fun.

Oh yes, Elliott asked Ray to get out his teacher skills to tell about the instruments and pieces.

Editor’s note: This article was submitted by Helen Elliott, PAC President.