Cari Ray at Songwriter Serenade

Cari was honored to be among 15 songwriters named as semi-finalists in the Songwriter Serenade competition held annually in Schulenburg, Texas. A wonderful weekend saw new connections and friendships made, old ones revisited, a finish in the top 5, and her yet-to-be-released song, “Born To Shine,” was considered by the judges to be the top song of the event.

A Love River at Flood Stage

I woke up this morning with my heart and spirit feeling even more open and squishy than usual. Rather like a lobster having just shed its shell. On days like these, it’s as though I hover just below the surface of a good cry. Not sorrowful tears, but the sort that are born of an overflowing of what’s inside. Like there’s just not quite enough room in this little body for all that is welling up. I’m not even sure how to name it. Love, maybe, like the Agape version I learned about in Sunday School? The kind that is for everyone and everything. It hurts just a little, but with that sort of light, persistent tug that comes just to let you know it’s there.

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Cari Ray is the whole package…beautifully-crafted songs, professional musicianship, and a voice that you won’t soon forget. She’s a multi award-winning creative force. Her musical influences as a writer and performer are clear and present in her original material, drawing on a wide range of early American music…acoustic blues, folk, ragtime, country and gospel. But it’s her storytelling and ability to transport the listener into the worlds she creates that truly captivate. And to top it off, her live performances deliver those songs with quick wit, tasty guitar work, and a huge voice. With a smile and a wink, she’ll have your heart breaking one minute and your hips shaking the next. When she’s not performing, you can find her mentoring others in the creative process through public speaking and private coaching…or quite often with a fly rod in her hand.

“Strong singers figure out how to play a few chords to get by.  Great fret-masters eke out a tepid set of vocals for the same reason.  Then we sit down and watch someone [like Cari Ray] who can nail them both.” – National Road Magazine

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