Sugar Ray & The Bluetones

Redwood Coast Music Festival 2020 Performing Artist

Sugar Ray & the Bluetones have been a powerhouse collaboration of traditional blues for 40 years.  By 2017 the band and its members had been nominated for SEVEN Grammy awards and a jaw dropping 36 BMA nominations.  

Led by three time Grammy nominated Sugar Ray Norcia  the Bluetones are not limited to one style, but able to play Chicago Blues in the style of Muddy Waters. Little Walter and Billy Boy Arnold; Kansas City Swing in the style of "Big" Joe Turner; Texas Blues like "T" Bone Walker and Freddie King; and the swampy Louisiana sounds of "Lazy" Lester-all played with distinctive originality.


.Sugar Ray has been on over sixty recordings with the likes of Roomful of Blues, J. Geils, Michelle Willson, Otis Grand, Pinetop Perkins and he is a featured vocalist on the two critically acclaimed Knickerbocker All-Stars recordings. In 2016 Sugar Ray and his band The Bluetones released a CD on Severn Records called "Seeing Is Believing". For that CD Sugar Ray was nominated for an unprecedented seven 2017 Blues Music Awards including Traditional Blues Male Artist and B.B. King Entertainer of the year.


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.  


Newest Bluetone member.... guitarist Little Charlie Baty ! Charlie Baty was born in Alabama in 1953, moved to California at the age of 8, and began playing harmonica at the age of 12.  Charlie soon formed his own blues band and began to perform at high school and community events.  He soon also picked up guitar and eventually became intrigued with blues and jazz guitar.   By the age of 18, while attending UC Berkeley, Charlie was performing in Bay Area blues clubs and happened to meet Rick Estrin through a mutual friend —harmonica player, Gary Smith.   A few years later (in 1976), Rick Estrin telephoned Charlie and suggested forming a musical union and Little Charlie & the Nightcats’ was born.  Charlie switched from harmonica to guitar and Rick took over the singing and harmonica playing.


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.



Performance Time:

VENUE                               DAY                      START

Arkley Center For The Performing Arts

Saturday      6:30pm - 8:00pm

Sugar Ray & The Bluetones with Duke Robillard & Charlie Baty