Doug Raney is the son of the famed jazz guitarist Jimmy Raney. His first interest in the guitar began at the age of fourteen, not with jazz, but with rock guitarists Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. He eventually began to listen to some of his fathers recordings and then took informal lessons with Barry Galbraith. Raney attributes his development into a serious jazz performer after he had the opportunity to sit in with pianist Al Haig at Gregory's club in New York.
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