Ray Norcia (born Stonington, Connecticut, United States) is an
American electric and soul blues singer and harmonica player. He is best
known for his work with his backing band, The Bluetones, with whom he has
released seven albums since 1980.
Norcia's solo recordings included the EPs
Sugar Ray and the Bluetones
(1979); Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters featuring the Sensational Sugar Ray
(1982), plus a couple of releases on Rounder Records, Knockout (1989) and
Don't Stand In My Way (1991). Don't Stand In My Way was the first release by
the Bullseye Blues label. The Bluetones also backed Miki Honeycutt on her
initial album, Soul Deep.
In 1991 Norcia himself joined Roomful of Blues as their lead vocalist. They
issued three albums with Norcia and undertook extensive touring duties.
Norcia also undertook work away from the group. He appeared on a Bullseye
Blues album from trombonist Porky Cohen, Rhythm and Bones, (1996) and on the
LP Little Anthony and Sugar Ray: Take It From Me, (1994). Also in 1994
Norcia appeared on Otis Grand's Nothing Else Matters album.
In 1998 Norcia exited from Roomful of Blues, and issued Sweet & Swingin',
which featured songs written by Hank Williams, Arthur Alexander and
Big Walter Horton; plus a guest
appearance from The Jordanaires. In 1999 Norcia participated with
Billy Branch and Charlie Musselwhite,
on the Grammy Award nominated album, Superharps.
More recently, Norcia contributed his harmonica playing on records by
Pinetop Perkins and Doug James, in
addition to touring along with the 'Sugar Ray Norcia Big Band'.
In June 2007, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones released their seventh studio
album, My Life, My Friends, My Music on Severn Records.