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…

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Don Covay wrote dozens of R&B hits from the 50s to the 70s, with a range that incorporated Blues, Soul and Gospel roots. From the early days on the road with Little Richard to a long career as an executive, Don kept performing his own songs, with his fine voice taking many solo singles into…

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Piedmont Blues is not as dark and brooding as its Delta cousin, often featuring delightful ragtime melodies and delicate fingerpicking and tricksy embelishments. There was an upsurge in interest in this style during the Folk/Blues revival of the 60s, with players like Rev. Gary Davis and Josh White filling clubs in New York, but back…

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Sometimes a great blues talent slips through the net, producing their best work when our music is going through a slow time, and having their best songs made famous by other people. Fenton Robinson was called a “mellow guitar genius” by Japanese fans, and his sparkling, Jazz-flavoured guitar and smooth baritone voice made him a…

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With a laid-back, ‘worldly-wise’ vocal style and a talent for clever lyrics, Johnny ‘Geechie’ Temple recorded dozens of his good-selling Blues songs in the 30s and 40s. Although he was never a big star, Johnny had a long career that stretched from his origins in the Delta to the early days of Chess records in…

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Little is known of Robert Petway’s life beyond the sessions he recorded for Bluebird Records in 1941 and ’42. Those records include ‘Catfish Blues’, which Muddy Waters adapted as ‘Rollin’ Stone’ a few years later, and the high quality of those pressings give us the authentic sound of Delta Blues just before it came to…

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Blues music sometimes reveals strange characters with extraordinary skills, but few were more talented than ‘Harmonica Frank’ Floyd. When Rice ‘Sonny Boy II’ Miller amazed world audiences in the 60s by playing a Blues tune on a harp stuck in his mouth like a cigar, he was pulling one third of a trick regularly performed…

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Joe Callicott was one of the original Delta Blues singers who played his guitar and sang at dances, parties and juke-joints back in the early 20s, but unlike some of his better known peers, Joe made only one record at the time. He was ‘rediscovered’ in the 60s to enjoy a short revival of his…

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Lonnie Pitchford is one of a very few Bluesman who have mastered the diddley bow, a one-stringed instrument of African origin that was the starting point for the ‘bottleneck’ and slide-guitar techniques that are fundamental to the origins of Blues in the Delta. Despite his unique talents, he is not well known outside his region…

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Cousin Leroy was a singer, harp player and guitarist from rural Georgia whose R&B records in the late 50s put the emphasis squarely on the Blues half of the equation. He was part of the Post-WWII club scene in New York, and his regular associates included Champion Jack Dupree and Larry Dale, who graced all…

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