Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Sugaray Rayford feat. The Italian Royal Family - The World That We Live In

Sugaray Rayford feat. The Italian Royal Family
The World That We Live In
Blind Faith Records

This new release, which I came across on bandcamp.com, features one of the finest blues and soul singers to emerge in the past few years. I assume The Italian Royal Family is the backing band on this terrific new Sugaray Rayford recording that places him more in a straight deep soul vein than his previous recordings. I make this observation as a descriptive comment, not an evaluative as I doubt anyone who has enjoyed Sugaray's 'blues' recordings will be disappointed by this release that fines him singing very strongly and backed by a really excellent band.

There is the Memphis funky groove and strong brassy horns on the opening "Take Me Back," where he sings about not missing his water until his well ran dry, and can't sleep no more because his woman is gone and pleads for her to take him back. The mood shifts to the cooler topical lyrics of the title track where his dynamics, vocal and expressive range come to fore. Then there is "Don't Regret a Mile," that sounds like a vintage Curtis Mayfield (and it may be since I purchased this as a download and have no composer credits or specific personnel information including the wonderful vocal chorus heard on several selections. ). "Keep Moving" is a lovely soul ballad, while "Ain't Got No Business To Die," is another topical number about a poor man having no business to die with a driving groove and punchy horns.

Rather than praise each of the ten tracks, let me simply state that Sugaray Rayford sings fabulously and the backing band superbly provides idiomatic backing (terrific horn arrangements) on first-rate material. Kudos to Italian soul ambassador, Luca Sapio, for making this exceptional recording happen. It is available as a CD and on vinyl but postal costs from Europe would make this very expensive. Hopefully someone will import this to make it more readily accessible in North America. For more information on this visit the recordings Bandcamp page, https://sugarayrayford.bandcamp.com/album/the-world-that-we-live-in.

I purchased this. Here is a video for "Take Me Back."


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