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Sugaray Rayford’s Electric blues: a heavyweight jam with Al Kooper, Slash, Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell and others

The ex-Marine has soul gravel in his pipes and the ghost of Teddy Pendergrass running through his veins

Sugaray Rayford
Sugaray Rayford
Past Event

Sugaray Rayford

  • Saturday, March 9, 2019, 8 p.m.
  • Tio Leo's, 5302 Napa Street, San Diego
  • 21+

Sugaray Rayford is a heavyweight of the electric blues. Born in Texas, the 6’5” Rayford has said that by the age of four, he was in church seven days a week, singing in choirs. His progression to the blues was not unusual: gospel, then R&B, then blues. It fit his needs, and it fit his voice and his style, the blues. Now 50, the ex-Marine has soul gravel in his pipes and the ghost of Teddy Pendergrass running through his veins. Watching Sugaray own an audience with his jokes and his big sound, you’d never think he actually quit music once.

Now homebased in Los Angeles, Rayford’s family moved to San Diego before his 12th birthday. He sang and played the drums. Eventually, he caught a break in Temecula. That’s where Rayford joined a band called Aunt Kizzy’s Boyz. By the mid-2000s, they were gigging almost nonstop and showed promise as competitors in the International Blues Competition in Memphis. After that, things got quiet for Sugaray.

It was his wife who brought him back to singing the blues in public, Rayford says. He was bouncing at a nightclub in Carlsbad. There was a blues jam at a neighboring venue, and Rayford wandered over from time to time. After settling in Los Angeles, Rayford ran the blues jam at Cozy’s until they closed in 2010. There, he jammed with names like Al Kooper, Slash, Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell, and more. He joined the Mannish Boys band, and he released an album of his own that won Best Traditional Blues Album at the 2013 Blues Music Awards. With L.A. as the launch pad, Sugaray Rayford stepped into his own as big entertainment.

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Sugaray Rayford
Sugaray Rayford
Past Event

Sugaray Rayford

  • Saturday, March 9, 2019, 8 p.m.
  • Tio Leo's, 5302 Napa Street, San Diego
  • 21+

Sugaray Rayford is a heavyweight of the electric blues. Born in Texas, the 6’5” Rayford has said that by the age of four, he was in church seven days a week, singing in choirs. His progression to the blues was not unusual: gospel, then R&B, then blues. It fit his needs, and it fit his voice and his style, the blues. Now 50, the ex-Marine has soul gravel in his pipes and the ghost of Teddy Pendergrass running through his veins. Watching Sugaray own an audience with his jokes and his big sound, you’d never think he actually quit music once.

Now homebased in Los Angeles, Rayford’s family moved to San Diego before his 12th birthday. He sang and played the drums. Eventually, he caught a break in Temecula. That’s where Rayford joined a band called Aunt Kizzy’s Boyz. By the mid-2000s, they were gigging almost nonstop and showed promise as competitors in the International Blues Competition in Memphis. After that, things got quiet for Sugaray.

It was his wife who brought him back to singing the blues in public, Rayford says. He was bouncing at a nightclub in Carlsbad. There was a blues jam at a neighboring venue, and Rayford wandered over from time to time. After settling in Los Angeles, Rayford ran the blues jam at Cozy’s until they closed in 2010. There, he jammed with names like Al Kooper, Slash, Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell, and more. He joined the Mannish Boys band, and he released an album of his own that won Best Traditional Blues Album at the 2013 Blues Music Awards. With L.A. as the launch pad, Sugaray Rayford stepped into his own as big entertainment.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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