Heather has had deep set roots in the blues world for the last 16 years, picking up the bass at at the end of 2016. She released her first album in 2017 "Burn Me Alive" which won two 2018 Blues Blast Music Awards and nominated for a 2019 Blues Music Award. Shortly after the release, the band began writing a second album and after the amazing response that her 2019 album "Rise From the Flames" received for their journey into the world of folk/R&B, Heather has decided to remove barriers and break out of the box to expand her sound, technique and style to represent her current evolution of being.
Her bandmate Ryan Matthew is just as excited to delve into a new wave of creativity to bring a wide variety of well crafted material with a feeling similar to artists such as Lake Street Dive, the Black Pumas, Allen Stone, Alabama Shakes, Vulfpeck, and The Dip, though with their own spin on those styles. This duo has played together since July of 2017 and has found an amazing rhythm between them that gives each performance a unique life and a magical experience for the audience.
Starting out in Omaha, NE, Heather has been performing professionally for the last 16 years beginning in the blues genre. With her powerful vocals she excelled in that niche, first playing rhythm guitar to accompany her vocals when performing. In 2015 she relocated to Kansas City, MO where she toured and performed full time with Nick Schnebelen of Trampled Under Foot. In 2017 she formed the Heather Newman band with Ryan Matthew, Keith Ladd, and Cole Dillingham who helped her to release her first Vizztone Label Group album. Burn Me Alive received a phenomenal welcome publicly, winning two 2018 Blues Blast Music awards, and receiving a 2019 Blues Music Award nomination. During that time and despite changes to the groups active members, her second album Rise From the Flames was written and released through Vizztone Label Group in 2019, showcasing a more modern take on Heather's style. Rise From the Flames was nominated for three separate Independent Blues Awards in the all encompassing Roots genre. In August of 2019, Go-Go Ray joined the group and their sound was set in stone but after everything came to a standstill when Covid-19 struck, the trio made some decisions to re-evaluate their blues style so as to come out of the gates swinging with a brand new groove and a more truthful sound.
Ryan Matthew Flemmer, exposed to music at an early age, gained appreciation for a wide variety of styles and genres, and began taking piano lessons at the age of 9. Being heavily involved in music throughout his childhood into high school, while starting lessons in drums, percussion, and voice, he attended Valparaiso University in Indiana and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor's of Arts in Music. Since then Ryan has been involved in a wide array of musical projects, working as a collaborative pianist, jazz musician, and accompanist in Valparaiso, teaching lessons, playing with artists in the Greater Chicago area, and winning both awards and nominations as Music Director and performer in various musical theater productions. Soon after moving to Kansas City in 2016, Ryan joined an already-active Heather Newman Band before recording their first album in 2017, Burn Me Alive. Since then, Ryan has performed with Heather in venues and events across the country and abroad, participating in the 2019 International Blues Challenge in Memphis and recording the HNB follow-up album Rise From the Flames. Ryan enjoys collaborating with other musicians in the KC area, joining in on local jams, and working to improve his skills in new ways.
Go-Go Ray began his incredible journey with percussion at the age of 9, studying the art until he was 23 years old. With 40 years of drumming experience, 32 of which included touring professionally, Go-Go has built an impressive resume performing with many well-known artists both in the Kansas City R&B/Funk/Soul scene as well as nationally. He toured with artists such as Bill Goat (1994-2006), Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle (2006-2011), and Samantha Fish (2011-2016). He has also worked with Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big/Racer X), George Lynch (Dokken/Lynch Mob), Cameo, Sister Hazel, Anthony Gomes, Casi Joy (The Voice Season 12), Lakeshore Records recording artist John Velghe & the Prodigal Sons, and the Paul Nelson Band. Go-Go began performing with Heather Newman in August of 2019 becoming a staple member of the group’s sound and style. Not only a phenomenal musician, Go-Go has also been teaching in the Kansas City area for the last 20 years and has mentored many of the local musicians you see performing around the scene today.
The following discography showcases Go-Go Ray’s best work:
Tech N9ne – Strangeulation (Strange Music Records) 2014
John Velghe & the Prodigal Sons – Don’t Let Me Stay (Lakeshore Records) 2012
Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle – Rock Star Bench Press (Hyena Records) 2009
Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle – Battery Milk (Hyena Records) 2007
Billy Goat – Black and White (Mercy Records) 1994