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Sonny Gullage: Next Gen Bayou Blues

Sonny Gullage is from Louisiana
INGRID NACOLE WILLIAMS
Sonny Gullage is from Louisiana

The Blues are alive and well. It’s artists like Sonny Gullage that are carrying the torch. The 25-year-old Louisianan will release his debut album Go Be Free on August 23 on Blind Pig Records and the title track single is available now.

The record is a fresh take on the blues, featuring Gullage’s soulful vocals and piano playing and the producing/songwriting/drumming of four-time Grammy Award winner Tom Hambridge.

“It’s a blast, it’s a pleasure, it’s an honor,” Gullage said regarding the working relationship with the legendary producer. “I remember the first writing session we had, I walked into his writing space and the first thing you see are Grammys and every blues award you could find…and then you look on the wall and you see guitars signed by B.B. King and Buddy Guy. This person is just that level…and I get the chance to work with him.”

Sonny Gullage's new album is titled Go Be Fee
C/O of the artist/Blind Pig Records
Sonny Gullage's new album is titled Go Be Fee

The 12 original songs veer from funky N’awlins style blues and boogie woogie piano playing to sincere Luther Vandross style-ballads to modern sounding numbers. One of the high points is “Worried About The Young”, featuring one of the brightest stars in the blues galaxy, guitar ace “Kingfish” Ingram. “It’s very much a young person’s perspective of looking at what is tomorrow going to be like. When you have a message that powerful where you’re asking questions where want to know what’s going on, every piece of it has to be intentional,” Gullage said, “Who can further the point? One of the people who has so much to say in the tone of his playing and his attack is Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. Thanks to “Kingfish” because it’s a huge honor to have somebody who’s that great and that intentional in his music to come on this album and help me put something into the world.”

Sonny Gullage
INGRID NACOLE WILLIAMS
Sonny Gullage

Gullage comes from a very musical family, in both the gospel and blues traditions. His grandmother Alberta Gullage released several gospel albums in the 1960’s. His father Tony Gullage (who played with Dr. John and Henry Butler among others) has been a major influence on his life and career, serving as his bass player, booking agent, and sounding board. There’s even family history that details a relation to the folk blues legend Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter.

“Blues isn’t just feeling down. Blues is all the feelings that say that you’re still alive, that you’re here, you’re still going every day,” Gullage said. It’s hard not to be hopeful about the survival of the genre when you hear the authentic singing and playing of an up-and-coming artist like Sonny Gullage.

You can watch Dave Popkin’s full interview with Sonny Gullage here.
 
Sonny Gullage “Go Be Free”:

Kevin Gullage and the Blues Groovers – The On Beat Sessions:

Kevin Gullage American Idol audition “That’s How Strong My Love Is”:

<b>Dave Popkin</b> is a WBGO News/Music contributor, veteran sportscaster, educator and musician <br/>