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Code Blue

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Album Review

Sugar Blue is a powerful and fluent harmonica player who is also an effective and heartfelt singer, in addition to being a superior writer of blues-oriented songs. On Code Blue he not only sings about love won, lost, and misunderstood but warns against cocaine, discusses the blues life, talks about the frustrations of the world ("I Don't Know Why"), and pays tribute to the destroyed New Orleans. His backup band is excellent with some heated guitar solos heard along the way, but Sugar Blue is the main star, having composed or co-written all 11 songs. His words are often insightful and contain some surprises, making this bluish set quite fresh and important.


Born: 16 December 1949 in New York, NY

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the foremost electric blues harpists of the modern era, Sugar Blue was born James Whiting in New York City in 1950. The son of a singer/dancer who regularly performed at the legendary Apollo Theater, he was given his first harmonica at the age of ten, and by his mid-teens had already performed in the company of Muddy Waters; in the early '70s he made his first recordings, sitting in on sessions by the likes of Johnny Shines and Louisiana Red. Sugar Blue relocated to Paris in 1976, where he...
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Code Blue, Sugar Blue
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