Richard “Ricky Ray/ Richie Ray” Romaniello – Vocals & Guitar
RRRR is one of the earliest practitioners of the “Hackensack Delta Blues” style. Born in The Bronx, NY on May 10, 1955.
He was introduced to music at an early age. His father Rocco, sang for Carmen Lombardo’s Orchestra in the 1940s.
He moved to Bergenfield, NJ in March of 1956 where he resided for the next 18 years. In 1970 he started playing guitar and singing.
He started his first band S.M. Duke in 1971 with Dave Shaw, they performed as a duo for about a year and then brothers Jim & Brian McManus joined the band along with Tom Sherman . The band had some local success but disbanded when Shaw moved to Florida. RRRR moved to The Bay Area in 1973 and met guitar teacher Dean Devinair.
When he returned to NJ in 1974 he continued playing locally. In 1978 he joined The Vetrones and was with them until 1981. In 1981 he attended the Institute of Audio Research in NYC and trained to become an Audio Engineer. In 1983 he met his mentor Malcolm Addey, while working at Fox Studio in NJ (Chief Engineer at the fabled Abbey Road Studios from 1958 – 1968). Addey was guest engineering an album w/ jazz organist Jimmy McGriff for Fantasy Records. He still works with Addey on select projects a few times a year.
In Sept of 1985 RRRR was hired by Caedmon Records / Harper Audio as their in house audio engineer, he worked there for 23 and a half years. During his time @ CR/HA his worked earned him 13 Grammy nominations as engineer and producer in the Spoken Word category. He has also worked on many music recording projects on location and in his modest home studio.
In 2007 he produced & engineered “The Felix Cabrera Band with Jimmy Vivino – “Live at the Turning Point” which garnered 4 star reviews n Down Beat and Big City Rhythm and Blues magazines.
In 2011 he joined Penguin Book’s Audiobook division as their in house audio engineer.
Answering an add on CL in 2015 to start a swinging Blues Band he met Michael Cohen, Rafik Cezanne, and Jason Wysocki. Together they would form The Original Famous Rays. The idea behind “The Rays” was to do material that other Blues bands don’t play. “We wanted to play the lesser known gems by everybody’s favorite artists and to introduce our audiences to material and artists they may not have heard of before. We have a gem or two of our own”!