Saturday, April 10, 2010
Sugar Ray & The Bluetones - Knockout 1989
This band, featuring Sugar Ray Norcia's powerful baritone vocals and harmonica, was a New England blues institution and a breeding ground for fine guitarists -- Ronnie Earl, who worked with Sugar Ray in the late '70s, and "Kid" Bangham, who left Sugar Ray to join the Fabulous Thunderbirds just after this album was recorded.
Harmonica player, lyricist, and singer Sugar Ray Norcia has been leading his band, the Blue Tones, around New England since the late 1970s. The band began to break nationally in the late '80s and early '90s with the release of their debut for the Rounder/Varrick label, Knockout. While leading his own band and touring on a regional basis around the New England states, Norcia spent many years in apprenticeship as a sideman. This fact is evident on his recordings, as Norcia's singing is deep and heartfelt, and his harmonica playing is that of a seasoned blues club veteran.
A surprisingly tasteful and solidly swinging album, Sugar Ray is a powerhouse vocalist and a more-than-respectable harp player. There are some good songs, too, especially the slow blues "I'm Tortured." By Niles J. Frantz, All Music Guide.
Kid Bangham- (Guitar),
Anthony Geraci- (Organ, Piano),
Neil Gouvin- (Drums),
Greg Mazel- (Baritone, Tenor Sax),
Sugar Ray Norcia- (Harmonica, Accordion, Vocals,(Squeezebox),
Mudcat Ward- (Bass),
Tom "La Bumba" Mahfood- (Baritone Sax),
Michael Ward- (Bass).
01. Sally Sue Brown 3:04
02. I'm Your Professor 3:16
03. Talk to Me 3:03
04. Lucy Mae Blues 2:55
05. Mouth on Fire 2:43
06. I'm Tortured 4:05
07. Hope Valley 2:59
08. Radiates That Charm 2:56
09. I'm Not Ashamed 2:49
10. He's Gone Away 4:09
11. Bite the Dust 4:19
12. I Could Have (Loved You) 3:14
13. What Can It Be? 2:58
14. Country Boy 3:13