After winning seven Blues Music Award nominations for their 2014 ‘Living Tear to Tear’ CD release, Sugar Ray & the Bluetones follow up with a genuine and solid blues CD release that brings you back to the time before blues became blues-rock. It’s got that feel, that ambience, that emotion often devoid in many of the so called blues rock releases found elsewhere.
Of the 12 tunes on this disc, 11 are originals plus one instrumental cover of B.B. King’s “You Know I Love You” which rivals B.B.’s own original recording.
The Bluetones, led by Sugar Ray Norcia on vocals and harmonica, are really a ‘super star’ group within themselves featuring Monster Mike Welch on guitar, Anthony Geraci on piano and organ, Michael Muscat Ward doing duty on bass and Neil Gouvin solidly understated on drums.
Sugar Ray reels you back to hollars of the Mississippi Delta with his original tune, ‘Keep on Sailing’ when black workers on the levee’s, prison road gangs and cotton fields could only sing surreptitiously of escaping the denigrating social/racial system prevalent in the South.
There isn’t a song on this fine release that is not true to its roots. A mix of tempos, a mix a topics and a wailing good CD release which wouldn’t surprise me if it matched Sugar Ray & the Bluetones 2014’s 7 nominations.