BRINGING THE BEST BLUES TO YOU FOR 40 YEARS
2016 brings Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, and individual Artist's a total of 26 BMA nominations as well as seven Grammy nominations!
This year the band is nominated by the Blues Foundation/Blues Music Awards in Memphis, Tennessee for "Blues Band of the Year", and band members Monster Mike Welch, Anthony Geraci, and Michael "Mudcat" Ward have each received a nomination on their respective instruments.
★ Sugar Ray & the Bluetones follow-up their Five 2012 Blues Music Awards from the Blues Foundation in 2014 “Evening” with “Living Tear To Tear”, received 7 BMA nominations and Ray also received a 2014 Grammy Nomination for "Remembering Little Walter" on Blind Pig Records. Most recently are 2016 Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame inductees. 2016 BMA band nominations include: Monster Mike Welch-guitar player of the Year, Anthony Geraci-Pinetop Perkins Pinetop Perkins Piano Award, Michael Mudcat Ward-Bass player of the Year. Fifty Shades of Blue by Anthony Geraci and the Boston Blues All-Stars nominated for Album of the Year, Traditional Album of the Year, Song of the Year for the title track.
Sugar Ray Norcia- vocals, harmonica,
'Monster' Mike Welch -guitar, vocals,
Anthony Geraci -piano,
Michael 'Mudcat' Ward -bass,
Neil Gouvin -drums
Sugar Ray and the Bluetones
SUGAR RAY HAS BEEN ON OVER FIFTY RECORDINGS WITH THE LIKES OF J. GEILS, MICHELLE WILLSON, OTIS GRAND, PINETOP PERKINS, AND IS A FEATURED VOCALIST ON BOTH KNICKERBOCKER ALL-STARS RECORDINGS.
The original line-up of Sugar Ray Norcia, Anthony Geraci, Michael "Mudcat" Ward, Neil Gouvin and then guitarist Ronnie Horvath (who subsequently changed his name to Ronnie Earl) was dominant in the late 1970's/early 1980's in the New England area, (where they were the House Band at the legendary Speakeasy Café in Cambridge, MA) New York City, Washington, D.C., throughout Virginia and a long road trip to Chicago where they played at Theresa’s Lounge on the South Side with Junior Wells. The band recorded two records with Chicago harmonica giant Big Walter Horton and toured as the backing band for blues legends Otis Rush, Big Joe Turner, J.B. Hutto, Sunnyland Slim, Hubert Sumlin, Roosevelt Sykes and many more. After Mr. Earl left to join Roomful of Blues, a relatively unknown guitarist joined the Bluetones--Doug "Kid" Bangham~"Kid" coming from the band members as they didn't even know his name at the time! The Bluetones traveled to California and back, and were one of this generation’s first blues bands to tour Europe, as early as 1980. Bangham left to take the place of Jimmy Vaughan in the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Sugar Ray also joined Roomful of Blues in the 1990's for seven strong years of touring and recording.
Guitarist “Monster” Mike Welch, one of Boston’s most beloved musicians has been a friend of the Bluetones since he burst onto the Boston blues scene at the age of 13. He was given the name “Monster” by Dan Aykroyd at the original House of Blues in Cambridge, MA, where all members of the Bluetones were recruited as part of the club’s Blue Monday band. Welch has released several albums under his own name and has been on recordings with Johnny Winter, Duke Robillard, The Mannish Boys, and Sugaray Rayford, to name a few. He has been the Bluetones guitarist since the early 2000’s and continues to amaze audiences worldwide with his passionate and powerful guitar playing.
Bassist "Mudcat" Ward toured and recorded with J. Geils, Jimmy Rogers, Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, and Rockabilly Legend Sleepy LaBeef. His recording with Hubert Sumlin also included Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Levon Helm, part of Ward’s over fifty recordings.
Pianist Anthony Geraci has toured with Jimmy Rogers, John Little John, Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters and has backed up artists such as Chuck Berry, Big Mama Thorton, and Bo Diddley. He has recorded with Kenny Neal, Sugaray Rayford, Debbie Davies, Big Jack Johnson, Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, John Brim, and Odetta, to name just a few of his more than fifty recordings on which he plays piano and Hammond Organ on. Mr. Geraci formed his own touring band and made a host of recordings as leader. His latest solo recording Fifty Shades Of Blue (Delta Groove) has received multiple nominations from the BMA’s including Song of the Year that features Sugar Ray singing as well as all of the Bluetones performing on the title track.
Drummer Neil Gouvin has been with Sugar Ray since they were in Jr. High School together, and graces the drum kit on every Bluetones recording. He has also been featured on a cd with John Hammond, Jr. Found True Love (Virgin) that was nominated for a Grammy, and has made multiple recordings with Otis Grand, Joe Houston, and others.