Roger Hines began his association with Ray Charles in 1980 when he received a call to fly to L.A. This began six years of full time recording and touring the world exclusively as bassist to Ray Charles.
“Traveling with Ray taught me how to make music the most important part of my day.” says Hines. “ I remember playing 6 or 7 nights a week in a different city and many times a different country and being exhausted but always getting energized each night playing music that was honest, intense and full of emotions.”
Such musical inspiration as well as his close personal relationship with “the Genius of Soul” was the impetus for his formation of a band which celebrates the soul, spirit and genius of Ray Charles.
The first performance by the band was about four years ago at Dick’s Den, 2417 N. High in Columbus, Ohio. Since then a Ray Charles show at Dick’s Den has become an annual event. This year’s performances at Dick’s Den are set for Friday December 7 and Saturday December 8, with shows at 9 and 11pm.
Featured in the group are Hines on bass, Roger Baccus, piano and vocals; James, “Smooth” Elliot on drums, Jon Eshelman on piano, Randy Mather on saxophone, and “Raelettes” Debra James Tucker, Tia Harris Roseboro and Vicki Saunders.
The band has been featured at the Jazz and Rib Fest, and as part of the Black History Celebration sponsored by the city of Columbus at the historic Lincoln Theatre.
Upcoming performances include an appearance on December 29 at Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza in Worthington.