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Sugar Blue: The Harmonica Genius Who Rocked with The Rolling Stones

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Sugar Blue and The Rolling Stones

American blues harpist (born born James Joshua “Jimmie” Whitin) Following advice from bluesman Memphis Slim, Blue traveled in the late to Paris, France where, according to Ronnie Wood, he was found by Mick Jagger busking on the metro (subway). “He told me, ‘Well, son, if I were you, and you were my age, I’d sit on my laurels and just stay here (in Paris), make little gigs and do sessions, but since you are a young man and still have a lot to learn, I would suggest that you go and hang out with people like Big Walter and Junior Wells and James Cotton. They’re not going to be around forever, and you will learn more from listening to them than you will ever understand from a record.’.

Sugar Blue performed on both the SOME GIRLS sessions (Miss You, Some Girls and Everything Is Turning To Gold) as well as on EMOTIONAL RESCUE (Send It to Me, Down in the Hole) He later recorded his own version of Miss You in his BLUE BLAZES album, released in 1994.

From the Sugar Blue site:
Born and raised in New York, harmonica genius Sugar Blue began his career as a street musician, he grew up listening to  the jazz greats and then honed his chops by wailing along with Bob Dylan (with whom he would later record…) and Stevie Wonder songs on the radio. 

Like many american musicians before him Sugar Blue left these  shores and relocated to Paris, where he became a first-call studio musician and performing artist.  That’s his harmonica blasting on the Rolling Stones’ platinum  disco hit “Miss You”. 

Considered to be one of the first harp pyrotechnicians,  he uses awe-inspiring high-register runs, circular breathing and electronic effects on his harmonicas blending them into  his  unique, visionary and singular style, technically dazzling yet wholly soulful. 

Grammy winner Sugar Blue has been called the Jimi Hendrix of harmonica: he has played and recorded with Willie Dixon, Prince, Rolling Stones, Stan Getz, Bob Dylan, only to name a few…