Welcome to the site for Ray Bell and for the acoustic duo 'Bellingham' (Ray Bell & Tahnis Cunningham)

The tune Cleveland Hills goes back to the good old days of the 1990's when I was in an acoustic duo called 'Newkirk & Bell' with my good friend, great guitar player and wonderful singer Deanne Newkirk. Lots of playing in Canada from Victoria to Ottawa, Festivals in the U.S. in Washington State, Wyoming and Minnesota to name a few and four tours of the U.K. During those tours we always played several gigs in the County of Cleveland in the North-East of England. There we played at the Redcar Folk Festival, The Stockton Folk Club (run by the wonderful Ron Angel) and the Marske Country Music Club. ' The Cleveland Hills' refers to a lovely range of hills that run along the coast line in the County of Cleveland.

Rockin' With Reg 

One of the many joys of the Ginger reunion this summer was not only seeing my dear friend Reg Ballagh but to actually play a gig with him again after over forty years! I was asked to play at one of my students 60th birthday party. I didn't actually ask Reg if he wanted to do it, I said to him 'I have a gig for us'. We had a couple of rehearsals in which we had great fun working out arrangements but it was mostly Reg playing along with my repetoire. We did the gig and played for two and a half hours where we played everything from old time fiddle tunes, motown songs, Beatles and bluegrass as well as a bunch of my tunes. We even got birthday boy Bill to sing some of his favourite Jimmy Buffett songs! Reg played along with everything with consummate taste and musicianship.  Everything he played was the right thing at the right time and at the right volume. Such a joy.
There were about 70 people in Bill's backyard that night and we had a great time celebrating his birthday. Thanks for having us at the party Bill and Wendy, we had a blast!!! Here we are in action.

Ginger Reunion 

Back in 1969 when the world was watching 'The Ed Sullivan Show', 'The Beverly Hillbillies' and 'Bonanza', when the choices for cars was still Chevrolet, Ford and Chrysler, when we heard about Neil Armstrong being the first man on the moon and also about Woodstock, when we listened to Abbey Road while we were wearing bell bottom jeans and tie-dye shirts, I was in a band called Ginger! For a wonderful week starting on the 31st. of July, 2015 the stars lined up and we all congregated in Regina to play songs we had played together forty-five years ago. Myself and Ryan Arnott, lead singer in the band still live in Regina but the others came from far away to to talk about the past, the present and the future. Bassist Ian Tyler has been living in England since '75 . Drummer Reg Ballagh moved from Regina to Victoria in '73 and then a few years later moved on to Prince Edward Island. Guitarist Terry Blott lives in Oakville Ontario  and roadie Andy Stadnyk lives on Manatoulin Island in Ontario.  Not only were we all together in the same country for the first time in forty -five years, we were actually in the same room!!! We played songs from the old set list. We navigated our way through 'Born In Chicago' 'Dust My Broom' 'Tell Mama', and 'Born Under A Bad Sign' as well as a several others which included an original song with lyrics by Ryan and music by the rest of the band. Such a great week with so many good times reminiscing about those formative years laughing hysterically as we relived those times watching slides and talking enthusiastically about when we could do it again! Thanks to Ryan for suggesting the whole thing and thanks to the rest of the band to make it happen! Here's to the next reunion!!

Recordin' With Jordan 

This past January I had the pleasure of meeting up with one of my old guitar students, Jordan Ast, at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton. Jordan had already successfully completed one year of studies focusing on guitar and was part way through his second year focusing on recording. I took a cab to the music campus in a winter storm and the trip took at least three times as long as it normally would. I found my way down to the second basement and after asking a few people  arrived at one of the studios deep in the depths of the building. Jordan had booked a few hours of time and as I was already late we got straight to work. He set up a few mic's and I tuned up and we worked on some recording levels. We managed to get two tunes recorded that evening and it was a real treat for me to have someone else do the engineering so I could concentrate on playing the songs. I record at home and am usually looking after all the aspects of the session. It was great to see Jordan in that music school environment surrounded by all the musicians and recording engineering students, most of whom he seemed to know. He gave me a tour of the other main studio and played me some tracks he had recorded the day before of some students from the school. The playing on the recording and the quality of the recording were both quite impressive. Great to see someone in their element, doing what they should be doing!
Anybody seen the drummer?

Anybody seen the drummer?

Jordan at the controls.

Jordan at the controls.


Fiddly Ness Fiddle Camp

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Online, Your house, Wherever you live.

I'm so happy to let you know that I WILL be teaching at a camp this Summer!!! Fiddly Ness is going online the 4th and 5th of July 2020. The camp will include an online jam session, online classes with instructors in fiddle, banjo, piano, guitar, upright bass, and evening concerts put together by world class musicians! See you there!

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