Raymond W. McLain’s future resonated in his ears as he ran his fingers across his daddy’s guitar strings when he was 4 years old. His talent grew up as he did, rooted in a deep love of family and home. Raymond’s music has both roots and wings, because it echoes the spirit of the hills he came from and carries sophistication gathered along the way. Well-traveled and always well-received, Raymond’s musicianship was honed in a life on stage and on the road. He has entertained thousands in a remarkable career that spans 40+ years with performances in more than 70 countries and every U.S. State. Raymond’s music has an inexplicable natural flow and connectivity, as it runs through his veins.
Ingrained in him is an innate sensitivity that allows him to tune-in to exactly what a song or an audience needs. He carries his father’s collaborative spirit. Embodying this he delivers a powerful stage presence as part of a band or as a soloist. Raymond’s musicality manifests itself in many ways. He translates this musical spirit as an entertainer using instruments, (fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin and bass), his voice, and as a songwriter.
Raymond’s sterling reputation is widely recognized. He performed with his family, The McLain Family Band as a musical ambassador for the U.S. Department of State and played music from the stage of the world famous Grand Ole Opry more than a thousand times with Opry members Jim and Jesse. He entertains with contagious enthusiasm and original style playing bluegrass, old-time, folk and country music.
An advocate for the preservation of Appalachian music culture, Raymond has touched the lives of countless students in his career in musical education. He has devoted much of his life to elevating the beauty of traditional music in scores of students. In turn, they grace the world with the sounds of the music he holds dear. After helping create the first Bachelor of Arts degree in Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music at East Tennessee State University, Raymond has returned home bringing that same expertise back to the hills of Kentucky. He serves as the Director at the Kentucky Center For Traditional Music at Morehead State University. Raymond regularly tours and performs with Canadian harmonica virtuoso Mike Stevens and with the McLain Family Band while continuing to record and produce.
“His fiddling is simply incredible, a whirlwind of spirit and motion that can fill any hall.”
– Richmond News Leader
“Talented and musically imaginative…A joyous celebration of Americana.”