Six Must-See Bands at Blues Blast 2014

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Sugaray Rayford and the Rhythm Room All-Stars Texas-born bluesman Sugaray Rayford (pictured) has been playing heavy, classic blues for decades. He began singing and drumming in church at the age of seven, which is why gospel has played such a big influence in his music, and bounced around the western U.S. for years before recently moving to Phoenix.

Rayford's voice is commanding while his stylish dance steps onstage are akin to the moves of the legendary James Brown. His 2013 album, Dangerous, offers such upbeat and fun songs "Two Times Sugar" and "I Might Do Somethin' Crazy."

Over the years, Rayford has starred in a production of the Tony-nominated revue It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues in Portland and performed with the R&B band Urban Gypsys, as well as with the Mannish Boys. More recently, however, he's been gigging with The Rhythm Room All-Stars.

The local ensemble -- which includes Chris James, Patrick Rynn, Brian Fahey, Mojo Mark, and Rhythm Room owner and noted bluesman Bob Corritore -- are veterans of the scene with talent to spare. James and Rynn have three records together, while Fahey has played with the roots band The Paladins and Mark is known for his deep Chicago blues.

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Stan Bindell