Ray Kaiser

Vocals and Guitar

Founding member Ray Kaiser’s finger picking and smooth rhythm guitar style were the pulse and heart of Moonshine until March of 2016 when he packed up and headed for warmer climes. We miss him!

Born in Amsterdam, Holland and raised in the NW suburbs Ray received his first instrument, a ukulele, in 1962 at age 13. Soon after came The Makeshifts, comprised of Ray, his brother on washtub bass and a friend on banjo. They performed at Boy Scout functions, church groups and at other venues for anyone else who’d have them. Folk songs, mostly Kingston Trio material, were hot back then.

Soon came the Beatles and Ray bought his first guitar, a Sears Silvertone. Later he would discover Pete Seeger and the awesome sounds he achieved with a 12-string on the song “Bells of Rhymney”. That was it. He got his first of several 12-strings. High school brought hootenannies and the awareness that girls liked guitar players who sang.

His musical tastes grew when he attended Colorado State where he was influenced by Leo Kottke, Cat Stevens, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell and many more acoustic guitar musicians, both folk and rock.

After some years of very little playing, retirement provided a catalyst to get back into playing more guitar once again. He found a local acoustic guitar circle, where he met Margie and Alfredo. Soon Moonshine was formed.