Ray Reynaga 'Here' Calabash Avenue, in Fontana, California is a stone's throw from the smokestacks of the once world famous, late, great, Kaiser Steel mill. Before I was born, my grandparents had a café on the corner of Calabash and San Bernardino avenues called The Chatterbox Café. The many steel workers would stop in to refresh or re-charge. Fast forward 50 years, and just down the street lies the home of the Reynagas. Ray and Marsha. A humble home full of music and love. On the walls were pictures of John Lennon, Ry Cooder, and Marilyn Monroe. Shelves of vinyl LPs, Ceramic art, a stand up bass in the corner. A wood floor, and a reel to reel tape recorder and other equipment on a table. Incense, a dog on the rug, music playing, and a feeling of being welcome any time. Also on the wall was an original pencil drawing of Ray "conducting" and orchestra of guitars and amps. The picture would later become the album cover for "Here", Ray's new release on Ginormous Records. Hours upon hours of music was recorded in that house, and the recording equipment occasionally would get upgraded and soon a studio was built adjoining the kitchen. Over the years songs were written and recorded by Ray and some friends. Songs for every season, every age, and every emotion. What was going on in the lives of the Reynagas and their loved ones was translated to music, and put down on tape. There were many happy times, sad times, young times and not so young anymore times. All put to music. The songs on "Here" are a snapshot, or a glimpse of a small slice of those years. A time and place when the times were not the happiest, maybe even the lowest, but the emotions and feelings were running very deep, and had to be put to song. It is now 2006. The Calabash home is gone, to make way for business development. The music equipment is scattered to different locations, all in use from time to time. Ray and Marsha are living very happily in Shady Point, Oklahoma with relatives close by, animals all over the property, and the same smiling faces that used to greet me when showing up at the Calabash house and the studio all those years ago. For Ray, "Here" represents a time in his life. A point in time, maybe just before a turning point, that would have been too much to handle without expressing his feelings with music. To me, "Here" will always be the home on Calabash Avenue. Jim Barnes.
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