Rockin’ Sugar Daddy finds Sugar Ray & the Bluetones in superb form giving fans exactly what they want – hard driving harmonica blues fronted by master harp technician and vocalist Sugar Ray Norcia.
The Bluetones aim to please as the opening lyrics of the title track find Sugar Ray promising to “rock all night long.” And Ray makes good on that promise in original offerings like “Call Me Lonesome” and “Low Down Lady,” in addition to covers like “You Can’t Be the One for Me” and Little Walter’s “Off the Wall.”
If there is any doubt about Sugar Ray’s abilities on harmonica, check out his scorching rendition of the song made famous by Junior Wells “It’s My Life, Baby” backed by the driving rhythm section of bassist Michael “Mudcat” Ward (Eric Clapton, J. Geils) and Neil Gouvin on drums.
The Bluetones explore the darker side of the blues in “Room 531,” a song penned by long time Fabulous Thunderbird and original Bluetone, Kid Bangham. Haunting lyrics, Ray’s effective use of the chromatic harp and Bangham’s tasteful fretwork paint an unmistakable picture of loneliness and loss. Further highlights include “She’s Blued and Broken,” Mudcat Ward’s account of a calculating woman who handily disposes of a string of husbands, and Ray’s tribute to Sonny Boy Williamson “Lonesome Cabin,” a stripped-down country blues number where Norcia’s vocals take front and center.
Check out Sugar Ray & the Bluetones’ other Severn titles: Sugar Ray & the Bluetones Featuring Monster Mike Welch; Hands Across the Table; My Life, My Friends, My Music; Evening; and Living Tear To Tear.
Special thanks to: Patty, Jesse, Bonnie, Clay, Ken Graczyk, Elizabeth, Anthony Geraci, Ronnie Earl, Ted Harvey, Ola Dixon, Jimmy “C” Callinane, Donald McIntyre, David Saucier, Tom Connor, Jimmy Rowan, John Haggin, Ken and Joaneen, Richard and Lucy Bangham, Michael Lynch, Joseph Duke, Jocko Wimpheimer, all past, present, and future Bluetones, David Earl and all the great folks at Severn, Day & Night Productions, family, friends, and loyal fans.
Sugar Ray Norcia: Vocals/harmonica
Michael “Mudcat” Ward: Bass
Neil Gouvin: Drums
Kid Bangham: Guitar
Produced by David Earl and Ray Norcia
Executive Producer: David Earl
Recorded and Mixed by Chris Rival at My Generation Studios, Sommerville, MA
Mastered by Charlie Pilser at Airshow Mastering, Springfield, VA
Photography and Digital Enhancement: Randy Santos
CD Design: Steve Potter