“The Ray Mann Three fuse D’Angelo’s sex appeal with the grit of Tom Waits”Sydney Morning Herald

The Ray Mann Three are Australia’s troubadours of minimal Soul music. Three well-dressed cats: sitting, jamming, sketching with minimal strokes; inhabiting a world of their own, but inviting you to visit – and maybe stay awhile…

The live shows of The Ray Mann Three and of Ray Mann (solo) have earned them spots supporting international acts such as Al Green, Tori Amos, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Jamie Lidell and Roy Ayers, and local acts ranging from Ash Grunwald and The Bamboos to Kate Miller-Heidke and Holly Throsby.

After leaving his role of longtime lead guitarist in Kid Confucius, singer/songwriter Ray Wassef went on with bassist Byron Luiters (who now also plays with John Butler Trio) and drummer Bart Denaro (since replaced by Grant Gerathy) to release a debut album, “The Ray Mann Three”: recorded in three days, produced by Tony Buchen, the album blends soul, jazz and hip-hop with timeless songwriting that calls to mind D’Angelo, Al Green, The Beatles and The Roots, and perfectly captures the band’s warm, intimate sound.

Since the band’s sold-out album launch and subsequent 30-date national tour in Spring 2008, The Ray Mann Three has released a series of digital-only singles from their independent album, and completed a successful Australian tour in July 2009, culminating in more sell-out shows in more cities around the country.

In support of the singles, frontman Ray created a series of music videos for $50 each. The first, “Smile”, was featured on Japanese TV’s “Billboard Top 40” show. The second, “Hook Me Up”, was “Indie of The Week” on “Rage” on ABC TV in Australia.

Meanwhile, as the band has quietly gone about building its underground following in Australia, the sounds of The Ray Mann Three managed to reach the ears of a record label in Japan, P-Vine, who signed the band and released the debut album in Japan in May 2009.

Spring 2009 saw Ray Mann debut in yet another new territory – the art world. The Ray Mann: Art Exhibition in Sydney was the first time that various sketches, designs and videos Ray has created for the Three over the years were displayed together in a gallery.

“Urban, neo-soul, a dash of funk, lots of spunk with a truly fresh spirit… The Ray Mann Three have the ability to propel you into a higher sphere allowing your soul and intellect to waltz into the lofty clouds of the unique”Drum Media

“Classic soul music with a modern funk twist… The musical atmosphere’s right for a band like this to break into the bigtime”The Brag

Feature Album – PBS Radio (Melbourne)

Feature AlbumRRR Radio (Melbourne)

Indie Album of the WeekThe Brag (Sydney)

Review: The Ray Mann Three at The Vanguard, 21.06.08

Can I begin by saying this was just a really, really great night. The Vanguard was sold out and there was a distinct buzz surrounding soul trio Ray Mann 3’s [sic] album launch. They’ve been playing around town since 2005, most prominently their monthly residency at Tonic Lounge, so people have had a chance to catch them here and there. Tonight though, was all about them…

Continue reading “Review: The Ray Mann Three at The Vanguard, 21.06.08”

Review: Kate Miller-Heidke, The Ray Mann Three, Ashleigh Mannix @ Annandale Hotel 10.05.08 ~ Sydney

Speaking of being a little out of place, The Ray Mann 3 [sic] were certainly not a usual band to play at the Annandale with their brand of cool funk. It speaks volumes when a band that plays funk with big basslines and in three piece suits can convert such a varied crowd as the Annandale attracts – and they did just that. They were just that mix of entertaining and talented; and most importantly, they were enjoying what they do, which made them simply infectious.

By Bianca O’Neill
Source: Drum Media, Sydney, 27.05.08

Review: The Ray Mann Three @ Annandale Hotel, 24.02.08 ~ Sydney

I couldn’t have conceived neo-soul outfit [The] Ray Mann Three working in a rock room. I was wrong. They rocked. The extraordinary tightness of this trio created a sound that was bigger than anything played yet. Stripped back and simple lines coupled with Mann’s rhythmic falsetto had a pulsing rawness that made the young Annandale crowd seriously jump around. It just goes to show that this group has what it takes to transcend the barriers defined by genre.

By Donne Restom
Source: Drum Media, Sydney, 03.03.08

Review: Hawksley Workman, Ray Mann @ The Vanguard 09.01.08 ~ Sydney

Pre-show entertainment at The Vanguard is usually a non-event. Dinner is being served and the rattling and clinking of culinary implements create cymbal-like accents within the cacophonic rabble. Ray Mann begins his solo show with “How Long Has This been Going On”, an exceptionally quiet piece that grabs an unusual bout of attention from his chattering audience. Looking visibly surprised with the response Ray continues on his softly spoken, unassuming tack singing “Just Another Night With You” and the original “Gettin’ Through” with a lyrical clarity that can often be obscured within his usual trio. As the audience buzz rises and falls in accord to the dynamic level of each song, Ray pulls off a difficult spot with simplicity and warmth.

By Donne Restom
Source: Drum Media, Sydney, 09.01.08