Sugaray Rayford

Sugaray Rayford

Bad Influence Band

Fri Apr 5

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$12.00 - $17.00

This event is all ages

Sugaray Rayford
Sugaray Rayford
On March 1st, Forty Below Records will release Somebody Save Me the new studio album from Texas-born soul blues singer, Sugaray Rayford. On the album’s opening track, “The Revelator”, Rayford forcefully sings, “I’m a freak of nature / I ain’t no honey bee / I’m an unknown creature / The like you’ve never seen.” At 6’5” and 300 pounds, this cigar chompin’ ex-Marine with a voice like a force of nature holds court in any room he enters. Possessing a magnetic personality, and an old school vocal style that echoes Muddy Waters, Otis Redding and Teddy Pendergrass, Rayford is also a stellar dancer with moves reminiscent of the Legendary James Brown.
Somebody Save Me is an ambitious album that slides gracefully between the new blues of Gary Clarke Jr. and Fantastic Negrito, the rock & soul stylings of The War & Treaty, the sensual grooves of Teddy Pendergrass and the vintage Daptones vibe of the late Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones, bringing a fresh take to classic sounds.
The album was written and produced by Forty Below Records founder Eric Corne. Best known for his work with blues legends John Mayall and Walter Trout, Corne and Forty Below have also launched the careers of several talented new artists, such as Sam Morrow, Jaime Wyatt and KaiL Baxley. A number of mainstays from Corne productions feature strongly here including guitarist Rick Holmstrom (Mavis Staples), bassist Taras Prodaniuk (Dwight Yoakam), drummer Matt Tecu (Jakob Dylan), keyboardist Sasha Smith (Sam Beam, Jesca Hoop), guitarist Eamon Ryland (The Happy Mondays) and the horn section from Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Corne recorded the bulk of the record live and the chemistry of the performances infuses the songs with a spontaneity and raw emotion.
The ten songs on the album explore contrasting themes of darkness and light. There is social commentary like on “Time to Get Movin’” “The mansions on the hillside / Look down on homeless camps / While we’re caught in the crossfire / Lookin’ for the exit ramps”. There are several love songs, including two gorgeous soul ballads, “My Cards are on the Table” and “Somebody Save Me”, the Stax inspired “You and I” and the more Motown leaning “Is It Just Me”, “She could free the worst villain / From the tightest prison / And have the warden waving goodbye”.
The album is full of inspired arrangements with several unexpected twists and turns; like the John Barry (James Bond) inspired bridge of “Angels and Devils”; the wobbly 1950s inspired keyboard solo and lush strings of the title track, recorded with The Section Quartet (Ryan Adams, Father John Misty); and the gospel choir, shape-shifting keyboards and dramatic horns of “The Revelator” which seamlessly blends blues, soul and jazz with a hint of reggae. But at the center if it all is Sugaray Rayford’s commanding voice, tying it all together.
Rayford began his musical career at the tender age of seven, singing and playing drums in church, and his gospel influences definitely shine through in his music. The soulful rasp and emotive vocal style hint at his first-hand experience with hardship, and a childhood marked by poverty and loss.
“I remember a sad game I used to play with my brothers, a competition that determined who was skinniest by counting the number of belt holes left unused,” recalls Rayford. His mother struggled to raise three boys alone while battling cancer. "She suffered and we suffered," Rayford says. "Then, we moved in with my grandmother and our lives improved. We ate every day and we were in church every day, which I loved. I grew up in gospel and soul.”
As front-man of The Mannish Boys, Rayford and the band won the Blues Music Award for Best Traditional Blues Album in 2013 and Rayford himself has been nominated for over a dozen BMA’s, including Vocalist of the Year multiple nominations for B.B. King Entertainer of the Year.
Bad Influence Band
Bad Influence Band
Staying at the apex of the mid-Atlantic region's competitive blues and roots music scene for a career that spans three decades isn't easy. But that's what Bad Influence has done.. even while extending their reputation across the country thanks to wildly entertaining, high-energy performances, extensive airplay and three well-received albums.

Whether performing at a festival, on a stage at Kennedy Center or on Memphis' hallowed Beale Street, the four-piece group featuring guitarist Michael Tash, harmonica ace and singer Roger Edsall, bassist-vocalist Bob Mallardi and drummer David Thaler are unabashed crowd pleasers thanks to their expert ensemble playing, strong melodies, addictive grooves, sly original songwriting and sheer intensity.
"The most important thing is that everybody has fun, the audience and us," explains bandleader Tash. "Whether we're playing an original song or a classic, we're going to put our hearts and souls into it in a way that people can hear, see and practically touch."

Check out why this band is a finalist for the 2018 Maryland Music Awards as Best Blues Band!
Venue Information:
The Soundry
10221 Wincopin Circle
Columbia, MD, 21044