Arnaldo Richard Valladares II was born at Baptist Hospital, in New Orleans. His parents moved him to Harvey, Louisiana at the age of 2. This Harvey Boy’s first instrument was the clarinet which he learned under the direction of Director Mr. Alton Williams in the Louisiana Archdiocese Band of New Orleans from the age of 9 – 13 while attending St. Rosalie School. Rick then attended Archbishop Shaw High School and joined the marching band. He would broaden his musical talents from clarinet, to trumpet, to baritone, to finally playing the tuba. One day during practice he watched the jazz band and heard a deep specific sound that caught his attention. It was a fellow bandmate playing the bass guitar, and that’s when it hit him that this was the instrument he wanted to play and he then decided to join the jazz band. Toward the end of his high school days, Rick would join up with some high school buddies to form his first rock band called “Exodus”. From 1986 to 1991, Ricky was known as “Rikki Vall” performing both originals and covers in bands that traveled and played festivals, fairs, and clubs throughout Southeast Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Rick would also play with another great band of brothers in the bands “Titanium” and “Nitrous” during the following years. In 2005, a lady by the name of Katrina decided to rearrange Rick’s family house. This would inspire Rick to write some original songs on acoustic guitar. He would also rebuild his home and continue enjoying his family life, coaching, and also head to the studio. During these years, Rick would run into high school friend Mike Bouvier at local fairs and festivals where they would briefly talk about playing together one day. Rick joined "The Strays" in January of 2011 and the rest is history. Rick dusted off his bass guitar affectionately named “Charvey” and learned 14 songs in two weeks. Since then, it has been great jamming with his new band of brothers and he hopes to see you all at our next show.
Native of Destrehan, Louisiana. Although as a child he could play just about any instrument he got his hands on, Jeramie began his music career a little later in life than most. Any Wedding he would attend, he was up there with the band either on the Drums or Keys. He knew deep down in his heart that someday he would eventually play in a band. In High School, he focused on sports and was a standout Baseball player at the High School and Collegiate level. Although he never took formal piano or drum lessons, Jeramie’s natural musical ability enabled him to learn songs by ear, allowing him to learn from some of the great piano players of our time. He remembers being a little kid getting his first Saxophone. From there he got his first Drum Set, then his first Guitar. He attended one piano lesson as a kid and his piano teacher told his mother that she was wasting her money. Little did she know, that he could play just about anything that he listened to. Some of his influences include Billy Joel, Elton John, John Bonham, and Neil Peart. Jeramie feels honored and grateful to play with such talented people and is extremely thankful to be part of the Strays.
Began playing the guitar at the age of 12 inspired by bands like Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd , Queen and Van Halen. He started playing in garage bands by the age of 15 and by the age of 17 started playing night clubs. Performed on the electric guitar in the high school jazz band, played Trumpet and F Horn in the high school marching band and concert band. Studied classical guitar at the University of New Orleans. Performed with various all original and cover bands at clubs, fairs and festivals throughout Southeast Louisiana during the 1980’s including Datus Core, Valkyrie, Flint Revels, Love Groovy and Dearly Departed. Perfomed in these groups both as a headliner and opening for several local, national and international recording artists such as Black Oak Arkansas, Flock of Seagulls, Lillian Axe, Jason & The Scorchers, Gene Loves Jezebel, The Fleshtones, Celtic Frost and Voivod. Mike is one of the founding members of The Strays along with lead singer Michael Aaron and has been in the group since it’s formation in 2010.
Ash Hendley is a native of Destrehan, LA. He started playing the drums in 4th grade and never looked back. In high school, Ash received various honors in both marching and concert bands including being selected for parish, district, and state honor bands. In his senior year, Ash received the honor of Drum Major Elite, the nations highest award for drum majors. It was also during high school that Ash began playing the drum kit and playing in his first garage bands Pure Aggression and Loon. After high school, Ash decided to commit to playing music full time playing in various rock bands through the years including Cereal Postmen, Self Titled, Overtone and Each Sold Separately. Ash's bands throughout the years have played almost every premier music venue in the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas including 3 Voodoo Music Experience performances and opening for various national touring acts. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina forced Ash to move to Houston, Texas. It was there that he began playing in original southern rock / metal band World's Most Dangerous and cover band Spin Cycle bringing his unique New Orleans drumming influence to both bands. In 2010, Ash was voted Best Drummer by the Houston Press. During his tenure in Houston, Worlds Most Dangerous toured regionally, played festivals, opened for national acts, and gained notoriety as one of Houston's most original and rowdiest bands. Ash's cover band Spin Cycle was one of the busiest cover bands in the Houston area consistently playing 2-3 times a week. In 2009, Spin Cycle was the backing band for American Idol contestant Kady Malloy from Houston, TX. In 2012, Ash returned home to New Orleans. He quickly got back to the New Orleans rock scene which he missed so dearly. Ash currently plays in original alternative rock band FinFox and in January 2014 he joined The Strays. Ash also plays in the Saints Drumline/ Fat City Drum Corps (FC/DC) and teaches beginner drum lessons. Ash is glad to be back home and playing in two great bands. He is excited to continue his musical journey in his home state that is rich in music culture.
Native of Hahnville, Louisiana. Spent several years as a singer/songwriter performing as a solo acoustic artist prior to joining The Strays. Michael is one of the founding members when the band was formed as “Michael Aaron & The Strays” in September of 2010.