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"Take a Bite Out of Life"

Something about Me

Photos and More
Kevin Tutaj
Ray Tutaj Jr.
Performance Dates
About Us Two
Other Music by Ray
Guitar Journey
Meaning of the Songs
What's in the Artwork?
Lyrics Page 2
Something about Me
Utica IL tornado pics
Paper Hat Soldier
Bungled Bank Robbery
Favorite Links
Song List
Contact Me
Let's stick together!
No Smoking Please!

Both of the websites centered around the CD are filled with much info and pictures.  I believe in the music on the CD and know it is my best songwriting to date. God knows I completely emptied my whole self in this project. It is me, and my brother on drums.

I have found peace in music and that is treasure.
I have found love in music and that is God

My grandmother Ruby always said everyone should write a book about thier life, because everyone has a story to tell. Well, I don't have the space here but I will impart to you some things you may or may not find interesting and that's ok.

I have done a complete circle in my life. I was born in Lasalle IL in 1963. Our family moved to Mendota IL., in 1972. We moved again in 1981 after my high school graduation and left west to Las Vegas. I lived in Vegas from 1981 until 1997 and moved back to Mendota IL. In 2003 I moved back to LaSalle my true hometown.  So you see it is really a full circle. The first two moves were my parents decisions and the next two were mine.

Each move, especially my own decisions were very carefully planned out. I could start by saying when we moved to Mendota in 1972 it was so my Dad could be closer to his work place in Rochelle. He worked at the Swift meat packing plant. He was also a drummer and played with several bands and cut a record back in the 1960's. Mendota was good to us and for a young boy who loved trains it was heaven. It was home to the Illinois Central, Milwaukee Road and the Burlington Railroad. In 1981 I graduated from Highschool in Mendota and it was time to join the work force. But my family wanted to move to Vegas because it was an opportunity for all of us in a bigger city to find work. My Dad's meat packing plant job folded up and my brother Don who was out there already said come to vegas, there is plenty of work. To make a long story short, we all found work very quickly.

Ray taking it easy
Taking a break!

What a job!

I love life, I appreciate having it. I do the best I can with the mind, and body God gave me.
I work hard and at all my endeavors. I think I have done quite a bit of positive things to bring sunshine
into people's lives. I like giving. I hope it makes up a little bit for my shortcomings.

My favorites?
Well, for movies, I like comedy.
Marx Brothers are the best. Saturday Night Live has been awesome.
I like Rootbeer, Beatles, Donuts, Trains, Guitars, Chet Atkins, Pizza,
I'll add more later.

Musical Influences: There are truly so many for me because I like a variety of styles and genres. In the early years of my playing it was the rock groups of the 1970s. But inthe late 60's I was an avid listener of The Beatles, Three Dog Night, Carole King, Guess Who, Cat Stevens, Simon and Garfunkel, Elvis and the Beach Boys.
I have always liked the art of writing songs. In the 1970's I was listening to Led Zepplin, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, AC/DC, Dire Straits, Gerry Raferty, Bob Segar, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, and a host of others. I began playing guitar in the mid-1970s. In 1980 I was introduced to classical music and started to listen to more especially when I studied music at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. I enjoyed listening to J.S. Bach, Tchaikowsky, Barber, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Hindemith, Schoenberg, Debussy, Ravel, and the list goes on and on. At this time I was heavily steeped in Classical Guitar compositions too. So I learned masterpieces from many of the great guitar masters. Composers such as, Tarrega, Coste, Barrios, Sor, Moreno Torroba, Guiliani, Scarlatti,  and more. It was not until the late 1990's that I discovered the guitar wizardry of Chet Atkins. His style along with Jerry Reed have been a major influence on my guitar playing.  As a result, this music project called, "Take a Bite Out of Life". has many tunes in which you can hear the finger-picking influence.  Such songs as "Pretty Picture,  "I Thank You All", "Bungled Bank Robbery", and the title track, "Take a Bite Out of Life."  There are others too. Anyway, the influences have been like one big great melting pot. I think we as musicians take it all in and mix all those influences together and come up with something different.

1969 1st musical experience at school playing a flute-like horn.
1975 First guitar, Yamaha Acoustic, still have it. Guitar lessons begin.
1978 First electric guitar called an "Electra" semi hollow body type.
1979 First band, won 1st place in state contest for performance of "Hard Luck Woman" by Kiss. In solo category I placed second with "Alley Cat".
1979 Began teaching guitar at age sixteen.
1980 Joined a band called the Western Wranglers until 1981.
1981 Performed at Highschool Concert my Graduation year.
1984 In Vegas since 81 and played with a Band called A-Century
1985-1991 Music studies at University of Nevada Las Vegas.
1986 Studying Classical Guitar, performances through the years to present.
1989 Form a new Band with brothers Kevin and Gary, called "The World"
1990-1993 Performing gigs and some recording with The World. Benefits, Radio station interviews and clubs.
1994-1997 Form a new band called "Deja Vu", doing classic rock covers. Performing at various casinos, weddings and parties.
1997- Moved back home to Illinois. Occassional acoustic/classical guitar performances, weddings, dining, special occassions etc.
1996-2005 Teaching Guitar, recording, classical guitar performances.
2001 "Cherry Sunset" recording completed after three years.
2002 "Bungled Bank Robbery" a song i had written gets selected for a CD project called "Crossing Paths". An ensemble cast of fine local musicians.
2006 "Take a Bite Out of Life" recording completed after four years.
My goal now is to promote this recent project and get back to performing more!