Sugar Ray & The Bluetones
February 25, 2012
Singer and harp man Sugar Ray Norcia’s career kicked into high gear in 1979 when he formed the original Sugar Ray & the Bluetones with guitar giant Ronnie Earl, and it’s stayed there ever since.
Norcia has appeared on nearly 50 albums including discs with the Bluetones, Earl, Otis Grand, Ann Peebles, Michelle Willson, Sax Gordon, Duke Robillard, and his 1999 “Best Traditional Blues” Grammy nominated collaboration with fellow harmonica virtuosos James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite and Billy Branch called Superharps.
In the ’90s Norcia spent seven high-profile years with the legendary Roomful of Blues. He cut five albums with the group including 1996’s Turn It On, Turn It Up, which also received a “Best Traditional Blues” Grammy nod.
Today Norcia’s élan and robust tone makes his voice one of the most distinctive, well-defined and recognizable instruments in modern blues.
He continues to tour the world with his durable Bluetones and make acclaimed albums like his fourth Severn release 2007’s My Life, My Friends, My Music — which drew Blues Music Award nominations for “Album of the Year,” “Instrumentalist — Harmonica” and “Song of the Year” (for “Last Words of a Fool”). That disc’s sequel is in the works.