Curtis Salgado & Alan Hager
Redwood Coast Music Festival 2019 Performing Artists
Award-winning soul, blues and R&B vocalist Curtis Salgado’s earth-shaking vocals and forceful harmonica playing have been devastating audiences around the world for over 30 years. Guitarist Alan Hager has been wowing fellow musicians from his hometown of Portland, Oregon and beyond for decades. Hager has been jamming with Salgado since 2003, and joined his band full-time in 2015.
Born in Portland, Oregon, Alan Hager has taken a long and fascinating journey to his current spot as lead guitarist in Salgado’s band. He first picked up a guitar at age ten and became a blues and jazz prodigy. He was playing local clubs as a teenager before heading to Boston’s Berklee School Of Music, where he studied under the tutelage of jazz guitar legend Pat Metheny. A year later he was studying classical music at the famed New England Conservatory of Music, where he graduated in 1979. During the 1980s he toured as part of a classical guitar duo and took up teaching, which he still does. But he never fell out of love with the blues, especially the old Delta sounds of Charlie Patton, Tommy Johnson and Skip James. He moved back to Portland in 1988 and soon met fellow blues aficionado Curtis Salgado. They have been making music together since 2003, with Curtis’ voice and harmonica and Alan’s hypnotic guitar work perfectly complementing each other.
Born in Everett, Washington, Curtis Salgado grew up in Eugene, Oregon. By his early 20s, he was already making a name for himself on Eugene’s bar scene with his band The Nighthawks, and later as co-leader of The Robert Cray Band. Salgado quickly developed into a player and singer of remarkable depth, with vocal and musical influences including Otis Redding, O.V. Wright, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson I and II, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf and Magic Sam. NPR calls him “a blues icon” with a “huge voice.”
In 1977, Salgado met actor John Belushi while the comedian was filming Animal House. Salgado and Belushi spent hours playing old records, with Belushi soaking up the music like a sponge. He used his new blues knowledge to create the The Blues Brothers. Once Salgado joined forces with The Robert Cray Band, he shared stages with many of his heroes, including Muddy Waters, Bobby Bland, Albert Collins and Bonnie Raitt. He fronted Roomful Of Blues, singing and touring with them from 1984 through 1986. Forming his own band, he released the first of his ten solo albums in 1991.
Salgado joined Alligator Records in 2012, debuting with the award-winning, critically acclaimed Soul Shot in 2012 followed by The Beautiful Lowdown in 2016. Salgado won three 2013 Blues Music Awards including the coveted B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year. He also won for Soul Blues Male Artist Of The Year, and for Soul Blues Album Of The Year. In 2017 Salgado won three more Blues Music Awards: Soul Blues Album Of The Year for The Beautiful Lowdown, Song Of The Year for Walk A Mile In My Blues and Soul Blues Male Artist Of The Year.
Salgado and Hager have performed at Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival, The Chicago Blues Festival, The Tampa Bay Blues Festival and Canada’s Tremblant Blues Festival and on the Legendary Blues Cruise. Salgado has also performed at The San Francisco Blues Festival, Memphis’ Beale Street Music Festival, Denver’s Mile High Blues Festival, as well as in Canada, England, throughout Europe, Brazil, Chile, Panama, The Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong. Blues Revue, describing Salgado’s performances, declares, “He starts at excellent before segueing into goose bumps, ecstasy, and finally nirvana.”
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