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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Somebody Save me. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Somebody Save me. Show all posts

Monday, February 11, 2019

Forty Below Records artist: Sugaray Rayford - Somebody Save Me - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Somebody Save Me, from Sugaray Rayford and it's cool, dark and funky. Opening with The Revelator, Rayford is trudging into dark country. With an ominous bass line by Taras Prodaniuk, punctual guitar work by Rick Holmstrom, and cool trumpet by Mark Pender, with additional work by Sasha Smith on keys, Ron Dziubla on sax and Richard Rosenberg on trombone as well as a voodoo sounding choir made up of Eric Corne, Brittany Gael Vaughn, Brittney S. Wheeler, Gabriel M. Newman, J-Blake White, &Terika Jefferson. R&B track, You and I has an excellent melody with full horn section compliments of Pender, Dziubla and Rosenberg making is a solid radio track. One of my favorites on the release is I'd Kill For You, Honey, with a super moving blues bottom featuring a super bass line by Prodaniuk, Eamon Ryland on slide and Eric Corne on harp complimenting Rayford's excellent vocals. Soul ballad, Somebody Save Me, is another excellent showcase for Rayford's vocal sensitivity with backing vocals by Carol Hatchett and Roberta Freeman. Smith lays in an interesting keyboard solo and smooth backing by Eric Gorfain on violin and Richard Dodd on cello add warmth. Wrapping the release is Dark Night Of The Soul with not only power vocals but with a heavy bottom and dynamic harp work by Corne. Hot closer for a strong release.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sugaray Rayford Delivers Vintage Soul & Blues on New Release

Sugaray Rayford Brings Vintage Soul Vibe to New Album

Somebody Save Me out on Forty Below Records, March 1st

On March 1st, Forty Below Records will release Somebody Save Me, the new studio album from soul blues singer, Sugaray Rayford. On the album’s opening track, “The Revelator”, Rayford forcefully sings, “I’m a freak of nature / I ain’t no honey bee / I’m an unknown creature / The like you’ve never seen” At 6’5” and 300 pounds, this cigar chompin’ ex-Marine with a voice like a force of nature holds court in any room he enters. Possessing a magnetic personality, and an old school vocal style that echoes Muddy Waters, Otis Redding and Teddy Pendergrass, Rayford is also a stellar dancer with moves reminiscent of the Legendary James Brown.
Somebody Save Me is an ambitious album that slides gracefully between the new blues of Gary Clarke Jr. and Fantastic Negrito, the rock & soul stylings of The War & Treaty, and the vintage Daptone vibe of the late Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones, bringing a fresh take to classic sounds.
The album was written and produced by Forty Below Records founder Eric Corne. Best known for his work with blues legends John Mayall and Walter Trout, Corne and Forty Below have also launched the careers of several talented new artists, such as Sam Morrow, Jaime Wyatt and KaiL Baxley. A number of mainstays from Corne productions feature strongly here including guitarist Rick Holmstrom (Mavis Staples), bassist Taras Prodaniuk (Dwight Yoakam), drummer Matt Tecu (Jakob Dylan), keyboardist Sasha Smith (Sam Beam), guitarist Eamon Ryland (The Happy Mondays) and the horn section from Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Corne recorded the bulk of the record live and the chemistry of the performances infuses the songs with a spontaneity and raw emotion.
The ten songs on the album explore contrasting themes of darkness and light. There is social commentary like on “Time to get Movin’” “The mansions on the hillside / Look down on homeless camps / While we’re caught in the crossfire / Lookin’ for the exit ramps.” There are several love songs, including two gorgeous soul ballads, “My Cards are on the Table” and “Somebody Save Me”, the Stax inspired “You and I” and the more Motown leaning “Is it Just Me”, “She could bring peace / To the Middle East / They'd be ready to sign / Free the worst villain / From the tightest prison / And have the warden waving goodbye.”
The album is full of inspired arrangements with several unexpected twists and turns; like the John Barry (James Bond) inspired bridge of “Angels and Devils”; the wobbly 1950’s inspired keyboard solo and lush strings of the title tracks, recorded with The Section Quartet (Ryan Adams, Father John Misty); and the gospel choir, shape-shifting keyboards and dramatic horns of “The Revelator” which seamlessly blends blues, soul and jazz with a hint of reggae. But at the center of it all is Sugaray Rayford’s commanding voice, tying it all together.
With his 8-piee crack band and personal charm, Rayford’s live shows are quickly becoming re-known for their high-energy and celebratory nature, with Rayford whipping the crowds into a frenzy, like a Gospel Preacher, in the studio and in person, Sugaray Rayford is developing a reputation as a force to be reckoned with and an artist to watch in the coming years.