Dave "Snaker" Ray, an influential figure of the folk-blues scene of the 1960s who won quiet renown for his virtuoso guitar work, died Thursday at his home in Minneapolis. He was 59. Ray had been diagn

Dave "Snaker" Ray, an influential figure of the folk-blues scene of the 1960s who won quiet renown for his virtuoso guitar work, died Thursday at his home in Minneapolis. He was 59. Ray had been diagnosed with lung cancer in May, according to his longtime band partner "Spider" John Koerner.

The two, plus harmonica player Tony "Little Sun" Glover, formed the acoustic trio Koerner, Ray & Glover in 1962, and the next year released the landmark album "Blues, Rags and Hollers." Recording several albums and performing at folk festivals countrywide, the trio never achieved more than cult status. But they influenced such artists as the Beatles, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, and Beck.

The trio parted ways in the late 1960s but periodically reunited over the years and also recorded individual albums. Ray also engineered Raitt's 1971 self-titled Warner Bros. debut and carved out a cultish solo career.

Beck, who had Ray and Glover open for him in the Twin Cities, said of the trio: "They seemed to be one of the only people from that folk-revival period who would just completely play their music with abandon. They were just so raucous."

As young Bobby Zimmerman, Dylan had listened to records at Ray's house and traveled in the same circles. "Every time they play, the lights shine," wrote Dylan when the three released their "One Foot in the Groove" album in 1996. In recent years, some of their earlier works, including "Blues, Rags and Hollers," have been reissued on CD by Red House Records.


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