Each month in 2021, we will be featuring a member of the worldwide Gretsch community as our spotlight “featured player” of the month!
Our featured guitar player for September is . . . Patrick Rayl!
Raised in Clinton, Indiana, southern Arizona-based musician and composer Patrick Rayl is a talented and gifted singer and live performer of music. He has been performing throughout southern Arizona for years and has established a local fan base. Patrick is also a retired Gunnery Sergeant who served 21 years of active duty service in the United States Marine Corps. His musical talent blended together with his years of military service and life experiences provide him with the ability to write about overcoming life’s diversities.
Patrick discovered the unique sound of Gretsch Guitars in 2016 when he purchased a Gretsch Brian Setzer 6120 Signature Model. Since receiving the guitar he has developed his unique style and sound captivating audiences wherever he performs. As a live performer, he delivers a powerful vocal and skillful yet soulful guitar performance covering a broad spectrum of country, southern rock, and rock-n-roll music style music. Patrick performs cover and original material regularly with his three-piece band, Patrick Rayl & the .357 Band.
Patrick’s guitar inspirations and influences are Chuck Berry, Gary Rossington, and Brian Setzer. His main guitars are: Gretsch Country Club Vintage Select Edition G6196T-59 Cadillac Green, Gretsch Brian Setzer 6120 Signature Model Flamed Orange, and a Gretsch White Falcon 6136DS.
Patrick said, “It would be an honor and a privilege to become selected as a ‘Gretsch Spotlight’ artist. I’m confident Fred Gretsch Sr. would be happy to see that his guitars are still at the forefront of the music industry and with working musicians.”
We asked Patrick . . .
How old were you when you knew you were interested in becoming a musician?
I was about 10 years old when I knew I wanted to become a musician and performing artist. This gave birth to my passion for playing the guitar and I obtained a Bachelor of Professional Music Studies, Guitar Major, from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
Why did you choose Gretsch?
I chose Gretsch because I fell in love with the unique and high-fidelity sound. “That Great Gretsch Sound!” I read a Brian Setzer interview article and was intrigued by his description of the Gretsch sound. I immediately started doing research and purchased my first Gretsch Brian Setzer signature model 6120 Flamed. When I received the guitar not only was I completely take by surprise, but my wife also acknowledged that this is the best sounding guitar that I own!
What Gretsch gear do you currently use?
I currently have and perform with a Gretsch Country Club Vintage Select Edition G6196T-59, Gretsch Brian Setzer 6120, and a Gretsch White Falcon 6136DS.
Which musicians were the biggest influence on you and why?
The musicians who were the biggest influence on me were Charles Edward Anderson Berry “Chuck Berry,” Gary Rossignton, Brian Setzer, and George Harrison. I was overwhelmed by the sounds of Chuck Berry in my younger years. I absolutely love his guitar riffs and songs and believe that I would not be playing guitar if it weren’t for Chuck Berry. I have always loved Gary Rossington’s approach to guitar playing. All you have to do is listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd songs to hear his masterful guitar licks. Brian Setzer without a doubt is another big influence. I have always loved his sound; however, I didn’t discover “That Great Gretsch Sound” until later in life. What’s to say about George Harrison, one of the greatest guitarists of all time! Since owning and performing with Gretsch, I am totally convinced that Gretsch Guitars are the best sounding and playing guitars in the world. Furthermore, since discovering Gretsch guitars I have really been influenced by Eddie Cochron, Cliff Gallup, Dwayne Eddie, and Reverend Horton Heat.
How did you adjust and stay musical during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I adjusted and stayed musical during COVID-19 by recording original material and playing my Gretsch guitars. Each one of my Gretsch guitars inspires me when writing original material. I was about to create four complete songs which are in the final production and engineering phase.
You could be featured just like Patrick. Find out how!