KRCC and Downtown Colorado Springs Presents
Blues Under the Bridge
Sugaray Rayford, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Kara Grainger, Moreland and Arbuckle, Austin Young Band, Just Us League
218 W. Colorado Ave
Colorado Springs, CO, 80903
Doors 1:00 PM / Show 2:00 PM (event ends at 12:00 AM)
Blues Under the Bridge 2014
When Sugaray belts out a song, you not only hear it, you feel it. The excitement in the room is palpable when he takes the stage; he is a superb vocalist and entertainer. His dynamic voice is large just like the man. With his old school vocal style, echoes of Muddy Waters, Otis Redding and Teddy Pendergrass can be heard. At 6'5" he is a big man, but he moves with grace and energy. His fluid dance steps will remind you of the Legendary James Brown.
Texas born Caron "Sugaray" Rayford began his musical career at the age of 7 singing & playing drums in church, and his gospel influence can be heard and felt in his music. Rayford's phrasing is intimate and conversational and the soulful gravel in his voice hints at his firsthand experience with hardship. He grew up in Texas, his childhood marked by poverty and loss. He remembered a sad game he played with his brothers, a competition that determined who was skinniest by counting the number of belt holes left unused. His mother struggled to raise three boys alone while battling cancer. When she died, it was a kind of relief. "She suffered and we suffered," Rayford said. "Then, we moved in with my grandmother and our lives were a lot better. We ate every day and we were in church every day, which I loved. I grew up in gospel and soul."
His switch to contemporary music began about 12 years ago in the San Diego area, where he sang lead vocals with a R&B/Funk band called Urban Gypsys. With this band he had the privilege of sharing the stage with many notable artists such as The Average White Band, Dennis Quaid, Joe Luis Walker, Kal David, Super Diamond & Venice, to name a few. After dabbling in blues, Suga realized that the blues was where his heart and soul belonged. So after some soul searching he left the Urban Gypsys and became lead vocalist for Aunt Kizzy'z Boyz, a Temecula area blues band. Shortly after joining the band in 2004, they released their first CD "Trunk Full of Bluez". This band was hungry and did over 200 gigs a year over the next few years and their popularity rose exponentially. Aunt Kizzy'z Boyz represented San Diego (Blues Lovers United San Diego) in Memphis Tennessee January 26th- 28th, 2006 at the International Blues Challenge (IBC), and brought home the 2nd place prize. The band began playing higher profile gigs and in 2007 released their 2nd CD "It's Tight Like That". In September 2008, the Boyz won the LAMN Jam Grand Slam Urban Artist of the Year title by a landslide; they beat out hundreds of competitors. The band was offered a distribution deal on the spot by RBC Records. Tabitha Berg wrote, "The band's most valuable ingredient is that of the band's dynamic front man Sugaray, he knows how to read and work a room. While most artists simply perform, exceptional artists are responsive to the mood of the crowd. The energy shifted when AKB took the stage, and they had the crowd on its feet within seconds."
After moving to Los Angeles 2 years ago, Sugaray was asked to host a blues jam at Cozy's in Sherman Oaks. It is through this venue that Sugaray has met and played with innumerable world-class musicians. Suga's desire to explore and expand his musical vision has been nourished by these musicians. His solo career has flourished in LA.
As of May 2011, Sugaray is new lead vocalist for the Mannish Boys, who are under Delta Groove management. This international act performs 6-8 times a year and Suga joined them in Spain on July 9th at Hondarriba Blues Festival where 25,000 people were in attendance. He will be recording with The Mannish Boys in very soon and is working on his second solo CD for release 2012.
He has done studio vocals on several projects, such as the theme for Judge Joe Brown, the movie trailer City Lights and back up vocals for the band The Heavy Pets. He partnered with Chuck Kavooras, a long time LA guitarist and owner of Slide Away Studios. Chuck became the musical director of the Monday night jams. He began booking the artists for the band around Suga's vocals and Sugaray and the CK All Stars were born. The first set of every Monday is performed by this house band, which is made up of rotating members of which are all cream of the crop musicians.
Alvin Youngblood Hart
The cosmic American love child of Howlin Wolf and Link Wray! Known as a "musician's musician," Alvin Youngblood Hart's praises have been sung by everyone from Bob Dylan to Brit guitar gods Eric Clapton & Mick Taylor.
Since the release of his 1996 debut recording, the all-acoustic BIG MAMA'S DOOR, Hart has relayed his eclectic musical message around the world.
A devout follower of the "no barriers" approach carved out by veteran performers like Gatemouth Brown and the late/great Doug Sahm, Hart aims to delight the masses and points to challenge the so-called blues purists.
BIG MAMA'S DOOR was reviewed with blessings by Playboy with the prospect that Hart "had the power to bring the blues to Generation X" also stating that "Charley Patton would approve of Hart's version of Pony Blues, and the cover of Gallows Pole is the coolest since Led Zeppelin's".
Based on the strength of his record debut and the allure of his live shows, Hart received five nominations at the 1997 W.C. Handy Blues Awards. He was nominated for Best New Artist, Best Acoustic Artist, and Best Traditional Blues Artist and his album (BIG MAMA'S DOOR) was nominated for both Acoustic Album of the Year and Traditional Album of the Year. He received the award for Best New Artist. Hart also received two Living Blues Awards that same year. The anticipated sophomore release of TERRITORY in 1998 gave a rousing tribute to all forms of American music and received the Downbeat Magazine Critics' Poll Award for Best Blues Album (though TERRITORY is not a Blues album).
The summer of 1999 found Hart teaming up with celebrated producer Jim Dickinson to begin recording START WITH THE SOUL, a record hailed as a new-breed Southern Rock classic and one that piloted Hart's return to the "sacred garage." START WITH THE SOUL was chosen by the New York Times as one of the top 10 releases of 2000, as well as the BBC's Blues Record of the Year.
In 2001 Hart shared Living Blues Magazine's best guitarist honors with fellow road dog Big Jack Johnson.
The 2003 release of DOWN IN THE ALLEY garnered a Grammy nomination. Despite critics' recurring attempts to suggest Hart was "best enjoyed when performing solo", Hart continued to diversify his audience by extensively touring as a member of Job Cain, a hard-rocking side project he assembled with guitarist Audley Freed (Cry of Love/Black Crowes) and Nashville musician Robert Kearns (The Bottle Rockets/Lynyrd Skynyrd). In August of 2003, Hart was invited to fill in for Taj Mahal for five nights in Tokyo as a member of Kip Hanrahan's Conjure, the world's longest running jazz poetry ensemble. Assembled to lend musical support to the words of Bay Area poet Ishmael Reed, Conjure featured the talents of tenor sax giant David Murray and original Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli. Hart remains a member of the revolving cast and recorded with the group on BAD MOUTH.
In 2004, Hart received a Grammy for his philanthropic contribution to the compilation BEAUTIFUL DREAMER: THE SONGS OF STEPHEN FOSTER. All of the proceeds from the recording benefited American Roots Publishing, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving American regional culture through literature and art.
In the summer of 2005, fortified in the wake of much recognition and determined to defy any stereotypes attached to his artistry, Hart released the self-produced (and personal favorite) MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER a rock guitar free-for-all, paying homage to fallen and missing rockers like Phil Lynott and Sly Stone. Hart's songwriting, singing and electric guitar prowess are all championed on this project and showcase the versatility he continuously strives to offer his fans and profession.
In 2006, Hart collaborated with several Memphis area musicians in the Craig Brewer cult hit film "Black Snake Moan" by both serving as a guitar tutor to the film's leading actor, Samuel L. Jackson, and recording a duet with the film's female lead, Christina Ricci, for the film's riveting soundtrack. In the fall of 2006, Hart was invited to hit the road for two months with Rock-n-Roll legend Bo Diddley for what turned out to be Diddley's final coast to coast tour.
In April of 2007, Hart's extended and varied interests led him to influence his local educational arena by participating on a tour of Mississippi high schools as a member of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
Hart then joined fellow notable string playing colleagues Corey Harris, Don Vappie, Keb Mo and Guy Davis and contributed to the uniquely progressive 2007 OtisTaylor record RECAPTURING THE BANJO.
Later that year, Hart was called upon to contribute his doyen knowledge of blues music to the Denzel Washington-co produced and directed film THE GREAT DEBATERS. Based on a true story about the black historical Wiley College debate team, the release of the film coincided with a nationally stepped-up effort by urban debate leagues to get hundreds of inner-city and financially challenged schools to establish debate programs.
As an avid roots music performer and connoisseur, not only did Hart fit the bill to record predominately on the films dynamic soundtrack, Hart also proved a natural onscreen fit for the role of a juke joint musician. Songs for THE GREAT DEBATERS soundtrack were comprised of remakes of traditional blues and gospel songs from the 1920s and 1930s and were hand-picked by Denzel Washington from over 1000 selections.
A personal career highlight occurred in the summer of 2008 when Hart met the late Irish guitar legend Gary Moore. Moore invited Hart, a lifelong Thin Lizzy fan, onstage to jam with himself and original Thin Lizzy drummer, Brian Downey. In the Spring of 2009 Moore requested Hart's band as the opening act on a tour of Germany. Moore was seen offstage most every night with friends, cheering Hart's band along during their set.
In 2010 Hart joined forces with friends Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars, Black Crowes) and Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers, Tri-State Coalition) to form "The South Memphis String Band". The fun-loving and regaling trio was quickly dubbed by the media as an "acoustic super group". Recorded in a borrowed radio station studio while the band was on its first road trip, their debut record HOME SWEET HOME was received with rabid enthusiasm. The 2011 Blues Music Awards (The Blues Foundation) nominated the record for "Best Acoustic Album". The group plans to release a second album in the spring of 2012.
When not touring solo or plugged in with his revered rock trio "Alvin Youngblood Hart's Muscle Theory", Hart enjoys researching, collecting, repairing and modifying obscure musical equipment.
Moreland and Arbuckle
Moreland & Arbuckle dig their blues up straight from the dirt. They bring it Gritty and fuzzed out with home made cigar box guitars and a wall of sound you'd never expect from a duo.
Guitarist Aaron Moreland and Harpist/Vocalist Dustin Arbuckle met at an open mic in Wichita Kansas, and began exploring their mutual fascination with American music. They combined their taste for roots music with a penchant for harder edged rock. Bands like Black Sabbath and and Led Zeppelin informed their approach to traditional American blues music. The result is a distinctly sludgy delta sound with bits of soul and country flair thrown in the mix. They took their show on the road with legendary players like Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, and Steve Cropper. They even played for a stint in Iraq, entertaining our troops over seas in 2008. Now with the addition of drummer Kendall Newby they're taking to the road yet again.
Austin Young Band
Austin Young and NO Difference is an up and coming band from Colorado Springs, CO that has coined their style of music as "Texandrix Blues". They blend the styles of Texas, Psychedelic, and Chicago Blues providing high level,high energy entertainment