In the early Summer of 2016, Ray Villadonga and I spent an afternoon at his Tampa home, filming an interview session about his latest album, 10 Ear Flixs. I didn't know it at the time (and neither did Ray, for that matter) but cancer would take his life in a little less than a year.
There was no one like him. Anyone reading this probably knew Ray and agrees. Below are a dozen or so of the video segments from that afternoon and another at producer George Harris's studio. This is the Ray I knew and the Ray I'll always remember: passionate, wise, humble, Rayzilla.
Enjoy him. Always.
Ray discusses how growing up in Tampa has influenced his music.
5 years in the making
The long and winding road 10 Ear Flixs took from concept to completion.
10 Ear Flixs
The album gets a name
A song about growing up in Ybor City
"WesTampa" (part 1)
An ode to the sights and sounds of the place Ray's father called home
"WesTampa" (part 2)
The nicknames of Ybor City denizens
On Ray as a musical historian
On Ray's friendship
10 Ear Flixs's producer talks about the quality of musicianship on the album
On the saga of recording 10 Ear Flixs
Pride in the album
On making a personal album
On Ray being an influence and so much more
Ray and Gumbi
An impromptu jam