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BluEyesJan 19, 2010 3:06 PM GMT
I bought one of his cd at a local book/music store, I found his music to be both inspirational and additive.
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I like to dip into Sugar Blue every now and then but find I can only handle small doses. Great energy but it often wears me out. He does do some cool slow stuff. Great voice as well.
Sugar Blue is one of the baddest harp players on the planet. He's an innovator that is rarely credited as one of the originators in the whole style known as "Modern Blues Harmonica". He was doing stuff 25 years ago that people consider ground breaking and innovative by other players today. He's also a fantastic singer and songwriter.
Sugar is one brilliant harpist. Try this on for size:
I do love his sound, i found him by accident just like I found Jason. I don't understand how such good players you ( More like me ) don't know who they are. Its even sadder as time goes on if not for groups like this one I would have never heard of the great harp players.
My wife is very good at reading and retaining information, and this helps me so much. Muddy Waters, Jr Wells, James Cotton, Led zep and the Stones. I just asked my wife to name a few of the top of her head and she can just throw them out. I wish I had her talents.
Also if it were not for connie,. I would not have the amount of songs on my Ipod. We both do love the sound of Sugar Blue and I know we all have different taste in sounds.
abner ( BluEyes, loving that sugar )
Sugar Blue has great amplified tone although he uses mesa boogie amps with 12 inch speaker and wireless system. Anyway he sounds great! He is incredible fast, but he don't use overbending, he has a lot of energy.
So I dislike that his fast solos are mostly prewritten and he rare improvise.
Oh you sir are all over it. Sugar Blue is freakin awesome! He has this one little riff that on the surface seems relatively simple and yet you could practice for years before you pull off his grace and smootheness. That's his gift.
I didn't realize he doesn't improvise much. But I'll be gosh darned if he's not a sublimely talented player doing a great service to modern harp playing. He's an inspiration. Is he from like England or Canada?
Sugar is from New York. He did some really good more traditional stuff with Johnny Shines and Louisiana Red on "Too Wet to Plow". Worth digging around for.
im also from NY, in fact not far from were Sugar Blue spent a lot of his time. And like always never seen him perform. He played in the streets of manhattan and I walked the streets of Manhattan. Im sure at one time or another we bumped into each other. I know this is slim but I told Sugar Blue once that I heard him playing in the streets and thats how I feel in-love with the blues and the harp.
I know this is not true at all but its nice to think about. In fact I first heard of Sugar Blue from an email buddy of mine. And like jason we keep in touch.. ok, Jason likes my wife better.
abner ( BluEyes, my wife always comes first )
'Another Man Done Gone' recorded by Sugar Blue atMonteraux some time in the80's? has been a huge influence on me. I lost my copy late80's but It stayed in my head and heart ever since. I heard it again couple of years ago and It was every bit as good as I remember. Perhaps even better as I can now appreciate just how good his chops are. It is a must listen! I believe he is using a 14 Hole SBS.
The BEST Sugar Blue stuff can be found on an MP3 album called "Another Man Done Gone" which is available on Amazon, but only as an MP3 album. It is a compilation of all the cuts from his first 2 albums made in France called "Crossrroads" and "From Paris to Chicago" both of which were released in the early '80s and are out-of print. Very sophisticated harp playing. Better than his releases on Alligator.
A good early SB performance is on a Brownie McGhee album called "Blues is Truth." But this recording was made before SB fully developed the style for which he is now recognised. Great harp playing, though.
This is a great post, love all this disscusion on an artist like this. Gives me another name to add to my list for checking out & potential purchase to my listening collection.
John P thank you for this insight I came by Sugar Blue by some great coincidence, and I don't beliave in coincidence. im tring to build my music collection and when I drive down the road I want people to hear great music and bang, bang recreated stuff. and im toning down my words.
abner ( BluEyes, me and them )
I've seen Sugar Blue more times than I can remember. He's fantastic at improvising. He's got some licks that he uses as a foundation, before he takes off. I've seen him do some amazing stuff with blues guitarist Melvin Taylor. Matching him note for note on some classic jazz tunes. If you've seen Melvin Taylor, you know that's a feat. It was a feat in speed, taste and tone. I've also seen him play some incredibly fabulous duets with Billy Branch. It was stuff, you would have to see to believe.
I seem to remember something, Did hewin a Grammy for 'Another Man Done Gone'?
I glad if he really can improvise and play jazz. I've just listend to albums and youtube vids. And noted that most solos were played note to note (like Carlos del Junco too). My opinion that solo can be prepared but should be improvised, especially live.
BTW, Sugar Blue's last album includes some pretty bossa-novas played on chromatic, I like it.
I have only one cd from Sugar Blue ( Blue Blazes ) as i had stated before I did not know who he was. I heard his name before and found Sugar Blue to be a very nice guy. After buying the cd and just listening to his music it just blow me away.
"Sugar Blue played with the Rolling Stones back in 1978 on the album Some Girls, Emotional Rescue, Tatto You.and the smash miss you" In 1985 Sugar Blue Won a Grammy for his contribution to the Montreux Festival album Blues Explosion.
I gave connie the gift certificate to Victoria Secreats last night, now I can make a list of cd's i want.
This is the first time I gave her a gift and she told me I finally got it right after 30 plus years.
abner ( BluEyes, if I were not in pain I would have a smile on my face )
You just can buy mp3s from amazon or cdbaby.com, it's cheaper and faster and if you don't have hi-end PA at home you'll not find much differences. I don't buy CDs at all as delievery costs too much and CDs take a lot of place, much more than one hard drive with tons of music. It's not good and aginst laws, but it's easy in Russia to download a lot of great music for free, it's bad bat it can help to find a lot of great music, not spending moneys.
Boris, I will take that into considirateion. not the free part. Im a strong Uinion steward and belive in doing the right thing... I also belive in peoples rights to do what they have to do in thier way. Im not here to fallow any ones rules and I wont expect any one to follow mine.
Boy do I get lost in thought.
Ik, im back, I agree with you in saving money and if getting songs straight to my computer saves me money then I can buy more music.
as for buying cd's like jason Ricci or any one at the venue I would get it signed. In fact both cd;s I have from Jason are both signed.
Right now going out to the movies, still celebrating my wife's birthday.
He`s on Facebook and all over youtube.com too.
SB is probably best known for playing the harmonica on the Rolling Stones' hit "Miss You." I've heard him peform live several times. Incredible technical mastery of the instrument.
Yes he is on FaceBook and I was lucky and was abel to get in. I do ask him a few question now and then and he is very kind to an-wear them. I still have not seen him and I think Sugar Blue are on the same Blue's crew ship tour.
abner (BluEyes, leaning the theme song to Bonanza.)
Just relistened to the last SB album "Treshold". Really cool thing, much better and much musical than his previous albums (They're good too). It's not only straight blues rock as earlier. It includes a lot of pretty uncommon tunes like latin "Averace Guy" with percussion and beatiful slow clean chromatic playing, not common to SB's style, and funky "Stop The War" with great slap bass.
You know what, he's also a very approachable fellow. Some years ago Irecorded allitle ditty in hommage to SB called 'I wanna blow my thing like Sugar Blue'. It is very rough and alittle over cooked but he took the time to listen and comment. Very gracious man. I hesitate to give a link to it but what the hell. It seems another world away now. it was self recorded in a WWII ammo bunker in Darwin and the amazing reverb is all natural. Here it is. No laughing.
Chris, I can't open your link. It goes to myspace music webpage, even when I logged in. Just interesting in how Sugar Blue commenting everyones playing. I have some really good comments from Jason Ricci, Chris Michalek and Richard Hunter and I was really pleased.
Chris did you play with Sugar Blue, you lucky dog you. Than must have been one great memory.
Sugar Blue, know of this site and he is aware that there are guys that really enjoy his music. Im trying to get some time to be able to buy is down loadable songs. I am trying so hard to listen to his riff and try to imitate it. no luck. So I went and down loaded tabs for the theme song to Bonanza, I think I got the hang of this.
abner (BluEyes IS my name Blue is my soul )
You can buy book "Sugar Blue In Your Eyes by Sugar Blue (James Whiting) transcribed by David Barret" and work with any particular lick.
I wish it were that easy for me. IM still just learning and having a hard time of it. It was Sugar Blue him self that told me to listen and imitate then go off on your own. I just got back from open mic and with my bad leg and my lack of skill I decided to go back to my roots and just sit and play at my table.
I did have fun and was asked to go on stage and play, and as always the guys left me open for a solo. Bastards, what choice do I have. But I have no problem playing at my table and the players have no problem with me. its all happy.
abner (BluEyes, having the blues and being happy I don't know about this.)
No Abner I did not play with Sugar Blue. Only in my dreams.
Chris last night i had a dream that i was sitting in a park by a nice peaceful lake. I started playing my C harp, Do not know how I knew that. But anyway at first I sucked, people passing by had a horrible look any their face as I was playing. Then I notice I was not asleep and that I did stink like hell.
abner (BluEyes, I may stink but my friends love my music )
What are you about and how it relates to Sugar Blue????
I was commenting on Chris's remark.. I had miss read his comment.
Some years ago Irecorded allitle ditty in hommage to SB called 'I wanna blow my thing like Sugar Blue'
I thought that Chris had recorded with Sugar Blue. I had mention that English was a third language for me and I tend to get miss understood.
abner ( BluEyes, always misunderstood )