Sugar Blue

Official Website: sugar-blue.com

TOUR DATES

Sugar Blue is known as the Jimi Hendrix and Charlie Parker of the harmonica for his astonishing technical mastery. His style is melodically fluid, instantly recognizable for its soaring trills, flamboyant flourishes and swooping glissandos that bring the tiny dynamo’s remarkable sonic and emotional range to life.

Born in Harlem, New York he spent his childhood listening to performances by some of the finest show people of the day, including Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Dexter Gordon and James Brown, at the famous Apollo Theatre where his mother was a singer and dancer.

His fate was sealed when an aunt gave him a harmonica for his tenth birthday: it was instant love and he began playing along with Bob Dylan (with whom he would later record…) and Stevie Wonder songs on the radio as well as Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson. It was this diverse background that gave birth to his own unique sound.

A Greenwich Village street entertainer, Blue found his distinctive nick name amongst some 78s in a box thrown out of a window on hot summer night… . “The box almost hit me…I picked a record up,” he remembers, “and it said ‘Sugar Blues’ by Sidney Bechet. And I went -That’s it! ” He made his first recordings in the mid 1970s with pioneering blues figures Brownie McGhee, Roosevelt Sykes, Victoria Spivey and Johnny Shines.

…the man who took Little Walter’s innovations on that same instrument clear into the stratosphere

-Time Out Chicago

On the advice of pianist Memphis Slim, he moved to Paris, France where he met the Rolling Stones who used his unmistakable sound to good advantage on three of their albums: that’s Sugar Blue’s harmonica blasting on their ’78 platinum disco hit “Miss You”.

He waxed a pair of albums, Crossroads and From Paris to Chicago, in Europe before moving to Chicago to learn more from the giants of the blues harmonica. He toured with Willie Dixon’s Chicago Blues All Stars, formed his own band and won a Grammy in 1985 for his contribution to the album Blues Explosion recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival. He also played on Willie Dixon’s Grammy winning album Hidden Charms in 1989.

“…one of the foremost harmonica players of our times …”

-Rolling Stone

Blue has made a few appearances on the big screen too: he performed in the Cinemax special, Fats Domino and Friends, (with Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis and others) in the 1987 thriller, Angel Heart starring Robert DeNiro and in the recent years in “The Perfect Age of Rock’n’Roll” along with Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Ruby Dee and Peter Fonda.

After a brace of albums, Blue Blazes (1994) and In Your Eyes (1995), on the prestigious Alligator label, Blue took a 12-year hiatus from the studio, returning in 2008 with the highly acclaimed Code Blue., followed by Threshold and his latest work, a powerful live double album “Raw Sugar Live”.

Sugar Blue is currently working meticulously on a studio album always mindful of the advice of his mentor Willie Dixon to write about subjects you are passionate about. “That’s the key,” Blue says. “We all feel deeply; it’s part of the human experience. I just put music to it.”

Jason Ricci

Official Website: mooncat.org

TOUR DATES

Jason Ricci is one of the most popular harmonica players on the planet today.  His music is listed in almost every top ten play-lists on college, blues and Internet radio. Jason is a ‘players player.’  His biggest fans are other musicians, from all genres. Jason Ricci is the spot light and on the lips of critics, artists and fans everywhere.  Through two plus decades of endless touring, TV appearances, recording and social media, Jason’s style of playing is so revolutionary and influential that there exists an entire new generation of players imitating his music, clothes, gear and even stage presence.  Jason has been an almost constant force for decades in the studio, festivals, club dates and press.  Through performing, song writing, teaching, harmonica prowess and activist in the fields of mental health and addiction, it is not an overstatement that this young man is currently changing the world his music and education.  His over blowing harmonica technics are second to none and his song writing, while based in deep blues, is contemporary, relevant and boundless.
With his personal demons well in check and a killer new band, The Bad Kind, Jason is back with a vengeance and taking no prisoners, from low down in the alley to out of this world!  The new recording, well that’s Jason, the moon cat.
RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
*Featured TV performer at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band induction in 2015
*Featured performer on Johnny Winter’s Grammy winning Cd ‘Step Back’ (2014)
*Multiple Blues Music Award Nominations: 2009-2017.
*Blues Blast Award Winner, 2010.
ARTIST COLLABORATIONS:
Jason has worked and/or recorded with Little Charlie Baty, Anson Funderburgh, Junior KimbroghRL Burnside, Nick Curran, Walter Trout, Ana Popovic, Cedric Burnside, Joe Louis Walker, Sue Foley and many others.

 

James “Blood” Ulmer

Website

TOUR DATES

James Blood Ulmer is among the most distinctive and influential electric guitarists to emerge in the past four decades. Over time, Blood’s reputation has morphed from that of an avant–garde jazz visionary out of the Ornette Coleman school to elder statesman of the African–American musical vernacular encom – passing jazz, blues, funk, and whatever lies beyond.

Forging an unyielding synthesis of musical styles, vision and virtuosity, Ulmer has left an indelible mark on those keen ears who’ve dared to follow him to that intangible place where the fiercest, most holy music occurs.

Whether it’s art imitating life or life imitating art, the trials of James Blood Ulmer’s career have only made his art that much more potent. It appears he’s capable of channeling life’s experiences through his soul in order to lay it bare in the music. If he were never to record again, his reputation as an American music pioneer is already cemented in stone. One would think, however, that there’s a great deal more to come, because Blood lives the music, is the music and he’ll grow old bringing the music. And as always, that devout audience with big ears and keen instincts will be taking it all in.