Sugaray Rayford has been the featured vocalist of the Award-winning Mannish Boys for several years now, and they have again been nominated for three Blues Music Awards in 2015. However Sugaray is the frontman for his own band, and he has also been nominated as Best Traditional Male Artist and as BB King Entertainer of the Year. With a voice that can sound as sweet as Junior Wells and a frame that looks like Howlin’ Wolf, Sugaray is a young man who is taking the Blues forward into the future from a viewpoint of knowing how deep its roots are buried in the past.
In 2011, The Mannish Boys came calling, and this showcase band for the best in West-coast Blues has become a Festival favourite, maybe because they don’t play vast numbers of gigs. Sugaray fitted right in and their first album together, ‘Double Dynamite’ had 26 tracks, and a huge roster of guest artists and it won the Traditional Blues Album Award for 2013. Balancing his rôle as The Mannish Boys featured vocalist with leading his own band, alongside the outstanding guitarist Gino Matteo, Sugaray also found time for other projects like appearing in the Tony Award-winning play ‘Ain’t Nuthin’ but the Blues’, touring as a guest of several other artists and working on film and TV themes. His 2013 album, ‘Dangerous’ on Delta Groove Records shows Sugaray’s talents in many different genres, from Soul-Blues, Chicago Classic, laid-back ‘T-Bone style’ and up-tempo shuffles, and most are self-written, showing his growing confidence as an artist. Without a guitar or piano to hide behind, Sugaray is a performer who knows he has to impress you with his song, and the story of the Blues he carries with him in his heart gives him the voice to do it.