It's the kind of musical craftsmanship that only comes from playing for more than 60 years.
Add to that a partnership that fits hand-in-glove and you have the musical duo of Camp Verde's Ray and Marilyn Sealing. Ray and Marilyn will make their Bent River Books & Music debut Dec. 10, 6 p.m.
Bent River Books & Music is located at 1010 N. Main St., Old Town Cottonwood.
Noted for their smooth vocal harmonies, Ray & Marilyn Sealing -- aka Special Blend -- deliver a show that features bluegrass, cowboy, classic country, blues and old pop music. One local singer-songwriter even has paid tribute to the Sealings in song: "He's smooth as silk, Ray Sealing, and Marilyn's keeping time ..."
As the senior statesmen of the Verde Valley music fraternity, everything about Ray Sealing is punctuated with professionalism. Ray Sealing has performed for more than 60 years throughout the United States. He is as skilled a guitarist as you'll see and has a repertoire of classic country and cross-over songs that is a mile long. His guitar work will draw comparisons to Chet Atkins. He is deliberate, but patient, with his songs. As a lyricist, Sealing is deft, clever and a down-to-earth storyteller. Over the years, he has shared a stage with the likes of Tommy Duncan, Little Jimmie Dickens, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Ralph Stanley. He even hung out playing pinball with Roger Miller.
Marilyn plays bass for the duo and is also a skilled vocalist. Together, the Sealings have released several CDs, including "Bluegrass Season in Arizona," "Classic Country," "Ridin' Double" and "Lookin' Back," which showcases their most-requested classic country songs. Ray also has released two solo CDs: "Just a Little Lovin'" and his most recent, "Ray Sealing Presents."
Local bluegrass musician Ken Ralston describes Sealing as a musician's musician: "Jamming with Ray is about the most fun you can have. There are a lot of us around the Valley who think the world of him," said Ralston.
-- Dan Engler