Sugaray Rayford

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Sugaray Rayford
Sugaray Rayford.jpg
Sugaray Rayford in 2017 at the
Montreal International Jazz Festival
Background information
Birth nameCaron Nimoy Rayford
Born (1969-02-13) February 13, 1969 (age 50)
Smith County, Texas, United States
GenresElectric blues, soul blues
Occupation(s)Singer and songwriter
Years activeLate 1990s–present
WebsiteOfficial website

Caron Nimoy "Sugaray" Rayford (born February 13, 1969)[1] is an American electric blues singer and songwriter. He has released four albums to date and been granted a Blues Music Award.[2]

In 2010, Living Blues magazine noted that "Sugaray is a first-rate blues artist with a deep-running, church honed soulfulness."[3]


Rayford was born in Smith County, Texas, United States, and sang at the age of seven in the Bethel Temple Church of God In Christ in Tyler, Texas.[4] He also played the drums there, but his childhood was poverty stricken with his mother dying from cancer early in Rayford's life. “She suffered and we suffered,” Rayford said. “Then, we moved in with my grandmother and our lives were a lot better. We ate every day and we were in church every day, which I loved. I grew up in gospel and soul.”[5]

Living in San Diego, California, he moved to contemporary music at the age of 12, initially singing with the Urban Gypsys. Turning towards the blues he joined the Temecula, California-based Aunt Kizzy's Boyz as lead vocalist. They released their debut album Trunk Full of Blues (2004), and represented San Diego in January 2006 at the International Blues Challenge, where they finished as runners-up. Their second album was It's Tight Like That (2007) and the following year won the LAMN Jam Grand Slam 'Urban Artist of the Year' title. They were offered a distribution deal by RBC Records.[6]

His first solo album was Blind Alley, a self-released affair in 2010. In May 2011, Rayford joined The Mannish Boys. He sang lead vocals on nine of the songs on their album, Double Dynamite, that won the Best Traditional Blues Album title in May 2013 at the Blues Music Awards.[7][8] In May 2012, Rayford made his stage debut starring in the Tony Award nominated musical, It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues at the Portland Center Stage.[9] After relocating to Los Angeles, he undertook recording studio vocal work, including on the theme for Judge Joe Brown, the movie trailer City Lights and back up vocals for The Heavy Pets.[6]

Dangerous on Delta Groove Productions followed in 2013, and supporting Sugaray were guest performers including Kim Wilson, Kid Andersen, and Sugar Ray Norcia. Norcia wrote a duet for the album, called “Two Times Sugar”.[5] The album debuted at number 2 on Blues Debut Chart, number 6 on the Roots Music Chart and number 2 on The Living Blues Chart.[7] In October 2013, Rayford toured with Kevin Selfe and the Tornadoes.[10]

At the 36th Blues Music Awards, Rayford was nominated in two categories; B.B. King Entertainer and Traditional Blues Male Artist.[11]

In 2014, Rayford performed at the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, Oregon.[12]

On May 19, 2015, Rayford released Southside.[13] It featured a guest appearance by Bob Corritore on harmonica.[14] On September 1, 2017, Rayford released his latest album, The World That We Live In.[15]

On January 9, 2018, Rayford was nominated for four Blues Music Awards for the 39th annual Blues Music Awards.[16] These included 'Soul Blues Album', for The World That We Live In,[15] plus 'Soul Blues Male Artist', 'Instrumentalist - Vocals', and 'B.B. King Entertainer'. At the 40th Blues Music Awards in 2019, Rayford was named as 'Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year'.[2]



Album title Record label Year
Blind Alley Sugaray (self released) 2010
Dangerous Delta Groove Productions 2013
Southside NimoySue Records 2015
The World That We Live In Blind Faith Records 2017


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997. Provo, Utah, USA: Original data: Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997. Texas: Texas Department of State Health Services. Microfiche.
  2. ^ a b "2019 Blues Music Awards Winners Announced". Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Sugaray Rayford | Sugaray Rayford Blues Band | Bio". Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  4. ^ "Sugaray Rayford Band | San Diego Blues Festival". Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  5. ^ a b "Sugaray Rayford". LowToneMusic. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  6. ^ a b "Sugaray Rayford". 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  7. ^ a b "Sugaray Rayford | Biscuits & Blues". 2013-09-17. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  8. ^ "Rayford, Sugaray". Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  9. ^ "Felicia Fields, Chic Street Man & Sugaray Rayford to Star in Milwaukee Rep's LOW DOWN DIRTY BLUES". Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  10. ^ "Sugaray Rayford to join Kevin Selfe and The Tornadoes for NW Tour!". 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  11. ^ "Search | The Blues Foundation". 2014-06-20. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  12. ^ "Robo Dan's Underworld Garage | The Classic Comics Forum". Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  13. ^ "Sugaray Rayford | Sugaray Rayford Blues Band". Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  14. ^ "Southside - Sugaray Rayford | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  15. ^ a b "The World That We Live In". Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  16. ^ "2018 Blues Music Nominees Announced". 2018-01-09. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  17. ^ "Sugaray Rayford | Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-08-15.

External links[edit]