Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Blues Saraceno (born October 17, 1971 in Hartford, Connecticut) is an American rock guitarist, composer, and music producer who currently resides in Los Angeles California. Saraceno was discovered by Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazine, at the age of 16, which assisted him in releasing instrumental recordings on an independent basis (which sold well over 100,000 copies). Saraceno's high profile as a gifted guitar virtuoso and musician opened the doors to an early career as a first call guitar sideman and session musician. Saraceno is most often recognized from his time playing w/Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker (Cream) as well as his brief tenure with the band Poison. Saraceno's early success in the music industry would eventually blossom into a career in producing and composing for television and film.
As a child he was surrounded by music (both parents played instruments) and often credits this for his initial interest in becoming a professional musician. He started to play guitar at the age of nine, but didn't take it seriously until the age of thirteen, when a fall from a go cart resulted in a broken elbow. Saraceno asked the doctor to position the cast so that he could remove it from his sling and practice guitar during his recovery period. He has often commented on how his lack of musical lessons contributed to his highly stylized sound. Saraceno moved to Los Angeles when he was nineteen in order to further his career.
One week after Saraceno's 16th birthday his professional career
started when his then manager sent a demo tape to Michael Bolton who
decided to enlist Blues' guitar skills on a Cher song. That late night
session which included songwriter Desmond Child resulted in a release on
Cher's "Heart of Stone" record. Word quickly spread and other producers
soon followed suit. A demo tape that was originally intended to secure a
guitar endorsement ended up in the hands of "Guitar for the Practicing
Musician," magazine which had been searching for a full year to find the
right artist to launch their new record label. Upon hearing his tape,
Blues was offered the record deal, and his first instrumental solo
record (Never Look Back) was released to critical acclaim.
In 1994 Saraceno left Jack Bruce to fill in as lead guitarist and songwriter for the band Poison after guitarist Richie Kotzen was fired. After a short overseas tour, Saraceno's playing was recorded for the Poison album Crack a Smile. However, due to a regime change at the label, the record was temporarily shelved by Capitol Records. Saraceno left the group amicably and was replaced by the band's original guitarist, C.C. DeVille. The album was later released under the name Crack a Smile... And More, and includes fifteen tracks recorded by Saraceno and five songs taken from the band's old recordings featuring DeVille.
Upon his departure from Poison a chance encounter with the VP of advertising for Fox television (who was a fan of Blues' earlier instrumental work) introduced him to the professional world of television and Film. Working both onscreen and off, Saraceno found that the opportunity to put his own spin on the music, that would get directly distributed into households around the world, to be both challenging and rewarding.
In 2000, he founded the band Transmission OK, which served as a platform to showcase his lead vocal abilities and songwriting skills as well as demonstrate a lot of the recording techniques that he had picked up over the years of doing sessions. Transmission OK offered the opportunity for Blues to step out from under the "guitar hero' moniker and started his venture into the world of record producing. Transmission OK was signed to Beyond Records (Blondie, Mötley Crüe) and Distributed by BMG. After a brief US tour, and lackluster support from the label, the group disbanded allowing Saraceno to focus his efforts on Television and Film work as well as production and sessions.
The list of Saraceno's session work has spanned over the last twenty years and is much to long and varied for this brief bio. Recording artists have ranged from Ziggy Marley (Dragonfly) to Melissa Ethridge (Lucky) and he has earned a reputation for being a "go-to guy" for many of Los Angeles' top record producers and engineers. Saraceno has also produced for such artists as, Scott Caan (Oceans 11, Dallas 362), Eric Balfour (24, Chainsaw Massacre) of Fredalba, Lindsay Price (Beverly Hills 90210, Lipstick Jungle, Eastwick) and Anthony Michael Hall (Deadzone).
Saraceno's greatest success to date has come in the field of television and film. This proved to be the perfect platform to combine not only his musical prowess and production techniques but also apply his songwriting and composing skills. Blues' television work credits include CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, Disney, Discovery, A&E, UPN, MTV, MTV 2, VH1, USA, TLC, Comedy Central, Telemundo, SCI FI, SPIKE, E! and BRAVO (See composer section for a more detailed list). He has commented on how it is not uncommon to have multiple commercials running in multiple countries throughout the world, all at the same time and using the same piece of music.