|Sugar Ray Norcia|
|Raymond Alan Norcia|
June 6, 1954 |
Stonington, Connecticut, United States
|Genres||Electric blues, soul blues|
|Singer, harmonicist, songwriter|
|Website||Sugar Ray & the Bluetones website|
Sugar Ray Norcia (born Raymond Alan Norcia, June 6, 1954, Stonington, Connecticut, United States) is an American electric and soul blues singer and harmonica player. He is best known for his work with his backing band, The Bluetones, with whom he has released seven albums since 1980.
Norcia started to play his harmonica based blues at high school. Once Norcia had relocated to Providence, Rhode Island, he formed the Bluetones which secured a residence as the house band at a local nightclub. They backed touring acts, such as Big Walter Horton, Big Mama Thornton, Big Joe Turner and Roosevelt Sykes in nearby clubs. During the latter part of the 1970s, the band backed Ronnie Earl before he departed to join Roomful of Blues.
Norcia's solo recordings included the EPs Sugar Ray and the Bluetones (1979); Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters featuring the Sensational Sugar Ray (1982), plus a couple of releases on Rounder Records, Knockout (1989) and Don't Stand In My Way (1991). Don't Stand In My Way was the first release by the Bullseye Blues label. The Bluetones also backed Miki Honeycutt on her initial album, Soul Deep.
In 1991 Norcia himself joined Roomful of Blues as their lead vocalist. They issued three albums with Norcia and undertook extensive touring duties. Norcia also undertook work away from the group. He appeared on a Bullseye Blues album from trombonist Porky Cohen, Rhythm and Bones, (1996) and on the LP Little Anthony and Sugar Ray: Take It From Me, (1994). Also in 1994 Norcia appeared on Otis Grand's Nothing Else Matters album.
In 1998 Norcia exited from Roomful of Blues, and issued Sweet & Swingin', which featured songs written by Hank Williams, Arthur Alexander and Big Walter Horton; plus a guest appearance from The Jordanaires. In 1999 Norcia participated with James Cotton, Billy Branch and Charlie Musselwhite, on the Grammy Award nominated album, Superharps.
in April 2016, Sugar Ray & the Bluetones were among the inductees who were brought into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame (RIMHOF). To date, Monster Mike Welch has played on five album releases by Sugar Ray & the Bluetones.