SONIC BLUE is the band project of writer/singer/musician Stephen Brayne.
Created in 2009 as a live unit performing an exciting brand of old-school R&B & funky blues, Sonic Blue built up a track record of festivals, gigs at every level, sessions, TV and recording.
Stephen’s blues philosophy was honed during the British blues boom of the ‘60s catching many of the visiting US artists first hand, as well as performing with his own cult psych-rock outfit The Fox.
“For me the blues has always been about songs of yearning, loss and hope. Mourn the hard times, sing about injustice and your lost lover, then bring on the party…lose your blues in dance and good times! So it can be Chicago, New Orleans, funk, jazz or soul, and even some folk music carries the same vibe. It’s all folk music essentially and a form which is always evolving!”
On vocals, guitar and blues-harp Stephen paid further dues during twenty years of gigging round clubs, pubs and colleges, with blues-rock band Big Road, playing harp with The Barker Band and appearing with the Brighton Blues Corporation.
With a love of songs by Howling Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson, Freddie King, Bo Diddley and Jimi Hendrix, Stephen then set out to reinterpret these classics to sound fresh and funky in the hands of his own band SONIC BLUE as they played the live circuit.
SONIC BLUE boasts the core rhythm section of Steve Shone on bass (Tina Turner, Robert Plant, Graham Bond, Trevor Horn, Vangelis) and Richard Marcangelo on drums (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, AfroCelt Sound System, Robert Plant, Desmond Dekker). Importantly Steve brought a rock-solid, funky foundation to compliment the imaginative, rhythmic drive and energy delivered by Richard. Add to this the keyboard magic of Damon Butcher (Morrissey Mullen, The Beautiful South) and Matt Percival, Les Davidson and Paul Cuddeford on guitars (with East of Eden, Laura Mvula, Sniff ’n’ the Tears, Tom Jones, Tony Visconti & Paul Young between them) lending fiery solos
Together they laid down the nine tracks on Last Train, produced by Steve Shone & Richard Marcangelo. Interpretations of songs by Sleepy John Estes, Tampa Red, Bo Diddley, Sonny Boy Williamson, Willie Dixon, Howlin Wolf, Jimi Hendrix, Bobby Womack surround the title track, a real harp playing tour de force from Stephen and an original collaboration between Stephen and Richard.
As Sonic Blue pick up on the live circuit once more, Last Train has been digitally remastered bringing out the arrangements and instrumentation like never before, and is officially released for the first time in July 2021. Brayne meanwhile has written the songs for the follow up album which will be recorded in the autumn.