Saturday, December 22, 2018

#367 : Sugaray Rayford - Somebody Save Me



2018 – Forty Below Records
Release Date : Mar. 1, 2019

By Phillip Smith; Dec. 22, 2018

My first exposure to Caron “Sugaray” Rayford was through listening to the Double Dynamite record from the Mannish Boys.  Rayford sang lead on nine of the twenty-six track on that double album.  Take a listen to any of his music, and it will become so very evident why he was nominated for four Blues Music Awards in 2018.  Written and produced by Forty Below Records founder Eric Corne, Somebody Save Me, the latest from Sugaray Rayford is bathed in the goodness of Sixties soul.  Rayford’s suave and powerful voice is accented quite nicely on this new recording with interesting hooks and a tight-knit band.  It’s much akin to the music of Charles Bradley, which I simply adore. The backbone of the band on this album consists of Rick Holmstrom on guitar, Matt Tecu on drums, Taras Prodaniuk on bass, and Sasha Smith on keys/organ.

The album begins with “The Revelator”, a hypnotic track with an Isaac Hayes delivery that magically beckons me like a porch light to a moth.  The bassline from Prodaniuk was quick to embed itself deep within my subconscious.  “Time to Get Moving” is a blues-soaked adrenalin jolt.  Its heightened pace is fortified with a groovy guitar twang from Holmstrom and topped with a juicy harp performance from Corne.  One listen to “You and I” and the music of Memphis’ Stax Records immediately comes to mind.  There’s certainly a call-back to the Memphis Horns with the sweet sounds of brass from Mark Pender on trumpet, Ron Dziubla on sax, and Richard A Rosenberg on trombone.  Swampy and dangerous, there’s an obvious Howlin’ Wolf vibe radiating off “I’d Kill For You, Honey”.  “Angels and Devils” keeps the atmosphere ominous, and unpredictable.  If ever there was a need for a blues-centric James Bond theme, this song would be on the top of the list.  Sugaray takes it nice and slow like Teddy Pendergrass on title track, “Somebody Save Me”.  His smooth, buttery vocals delicately dance atop a backing of violin and cello.  This definitely sets the mood for a slow dance.  

Sugaray is the real deal and Somebody Save Me is an amazing listen. 

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For more information about the artist, visit this website :  https://sugarayblues.com


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