Sugaray Rayford

Sugaray’s album, In Too Deep, will be released on March 4th via Forty Below Records

A chance meeting in Memphis laid the groundwork for a unique musical partnership between soul blues powerhouse Sugaray Rayford and producer, songwriter Eric Corne. Combining classic soul melodies with funky R & B grooves, raw blues power and mashed up with modern sensibilities, the pair’s first collaboration, Somebody Save Me, earned Rayford a 2020 Grammy nomination while later that year also taking home Blues Music Awards for Soul Blues Male Artist and B.B. King Entertainer of the Year. 

They took things further with last summer’s single “Homemade Disaster”, landing on multiple retro soul playlists on Spotify, with PopMatters declaring the track “will appeal to fans of Gary Clark Jr. and Chicano Batman.” Now they are back with the first new track from Rayford’s forthcoming new album expected early 2022.

Miss Information explodes out of the blocks with African flavored horns and percussion on top of a Farfisa organ, wah wah guitar and layered harmonies. Rayford delivers a tour de force performance like only he can, making some heavy points while keeping it fun. 

After finding some early success with the award winning The Mannish Boys, Rayford struck out on his own with Blind Alley. In 2017 The World That We Live In helped Rayford break through to the upper echelon of the blues world while also putting the soul community on notice that he had arrived. Since joining Forty Below Records, Rayford’s sound has continued to evolve in compelling ways. “Eric and I talk about all styles of music from Bobby Womack and Curtis Mayfield to Anderson .Paak and The Roots to Black Pumas and Alabama Shakes. We both love classic soul and blues, but we also dig old school hip hop.” 

Born in Tyler Texas, Sugaray Rayford’s early years were full of turmoil. 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.” 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.

As an African American youth growing up in poverty, Rayford saw the military as a path out serving 10 years in the Marines. Today he is as comfortable using his voice to deliver songs with a message as he is singing about love. “I believe in social justice and want that to be a focus in the music, but I also like to have fun. The light and the shade, baby!” says Rayford.

"Think back to, say, the Golden days of Chess and people like Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters; then factor in the sound of classic soul men like Solomon Burke and add a sprinkle of the big voiced icons like Teddy P and you're getting near to the sound of Sugaray Rayford. Float that over an authentic soul backing in the manner of Daptone and Stax and you're getting near to the sound of 'Somebody Save Me'." (Soul and Jazz and Funk)

In the studio and in person, Sugaray Rayford has developed a reputation as a force to be reckoned with and an artist to watch in the coming years. So, “Sit back and listen to one of today’s best blues-soul singers. Even better, attend one of his live performances where his energy can totally galvanize an audience” (Elmore Magazine)