Thursday night at DunnEnzies in the mission saw the public debut of Bray & Co., a father/daughter duo of singer/songwriters and guitarists Sean and Michaela Bray. It's a venue Sean has played at before, and at which Michaela has guested
for a song or two alongside her father and Gary Smyth a couple summers ago under the pergola in the backyard. This was another kind of show.
Sean Bray is recognized as one of the best guitarists in all of Canada, let alone Kelowna. He is schooled and experienced across a number of styles and able to play tastfully and authentically seemingly without conscious effort, and much of that
was on display last night. In keeping with the old "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" adage, Michaela has clearly been surrounded by music her whole life. Stories were even shared of her and her father's musical escapades as she was growing up back east.
Of the 20 or so songs the duo offered up at the lower mission eatery/music venue, 7 of them were written by one or the other Bray. Each of the originals was well crafted and well delivered with the kind of ease that often only families can pull off.
Any hesitation the less experienced Michaela may have felt at the beginning of the first set quickly fell away as the gathered patrons joyously expressed their approval following each and every song. Quickly moving from strength to strength, they
sang beautifully and with conviction each song as it came up in the set. Vocally, this duo was superb. Instrumentally they were even better.
The elder Bray kept it to a single guitar on this night, but that guitar happened to be his trusty "Old Yeller" Telecaster that we have described as "sounding freakin' awesome.... like it was soaked in a tub of tone for a decade before they put all the electric bits in"
and that he has described as "being an extension" of himself. With seemingly bottomless wells of licks to draw from, he was afforded the luxury and the confidence to just pick the tasty notes and licks while coaxing gorgeous tones out of his favourite axe. The younger Bray
switched between acoustic and electric guitars on the night, choosing the appropriate rhythm instrument for each tune. Great songs, played very well and very musically, with great feel and groove and time, made for a sumptuous evening that will undoubtedly linger for
days to come.
If companies celebrate an incorporation date, as indeed many do, Bray & Co. was officially established Friday, October 28th, 2021 in the city of Kelowna.