Ray Fuller, of New Albany, Ohio, was given his first guitar -- a Gibson Melody Maker -- at age 8. Initially inspired by British Invasion bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds and the Animals, his passion for the blues was further fueled by his discovery of earlier blues greats such as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Elmore James and particularly John Lee Hooker, of whom Fuller was especially fond.
He formed the Ray Fuller Band in 1974. Four years later, with the release of a self-titled album, the group evolved into Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers.
While mastering his craft through the '80s and '90s, Fuller became the "go-to act" when an opener was needed in Ohio for iconic musicians such as Waters, Hooker, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and Albert Collins. After watching Fuller play slide guitar during one of those performances, Waters exclaimed, "That was some hot slide, boy. I could smell the smoke backstage!" As for Hooker, he was so impressed that he
took Fuller with him to the next day's show, 100 miles away.
Fuller is now a Saturday headliner at Chicago's world-famous Buddy Guy's Legends, and his 2014 album "Live at Buddy Guy's Legends," recorded with Guy in attendance, spent 16 months on the Roots Music Report's blues and rock charts. A successful European tour that same year found him crisscrossing Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and France, with packed venues demanding as many as five encores.
Fuller's CD release tour for "Long Black Train" kicks off in Europe on Sept. 16 and runs through Oct. 2 before returning for a series of U.S. dates. As he continues to bring his dynamic, high-energy performances to festivals and blues venues worldwide, audiences won't soon forget Fuller's unique style of "rockin' slide guitar blues."