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Blues, R&B vocalist Curtis Salgado to perform in Sutter Creek

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Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2018 10:30 am

With a career spanning more than three decades, singer-songwriter Curtis Salgado is a one-of-a-kind talent.

From co-fronting the Robert Cray Band, to leading his own band and recording nine solo albums, to helping transform John Belushi into “Joliet” Jake Blues, to touring the country with Steve Miller and Santana, he is a true musical giant.

Salgado’s newest release, “Rough Cut,” is a stripped down acoustic album with his band guitarist Alan Hager.

“We did it for the love of the music,” Salgado said. “This is where our hearts are. These are deep songs that we love to play.”

As a special part of this full band concert, Salgado and Hager will perform a set of songs from “Rough Cut” as a duo.

Born in Eugene, Ore., Salgado found his calling early on. By his 20s, he was already making a name for himself in Eugene’s bar scene with his band The Nighthawks, and later as co-leader of The Robert Cray Band. Salgado counts Otis Redding, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf and Magic Sam among his vocal and musical influences.

Salgado released his first album in 1991. He joined Alligator Records in 2012, debuting with the award-winning “Soul Shot” followed by “The Beautiful Lowdown” in 2016. The albums earned Salgado multiple Blues Music Awards including B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year, Soul Blues Male Artist Of The Year, Soul Blues Album Of The Year and Song Of The Year.

A long-time friend of comedian John Belushi — they met when Belushi was filming “Animal House” in Eugene — Salgado spent hours sharing his knowledge of blues and R&B. Belushi used his new awareness to portray “Joliet” Jake Blues in “The Blues Brothers,” first as a skit on Saturday Night Live and then a best-selling record album (which was dedicated to Salgado) and finally as a major motion picture.

Salgado has shared stages with many of his heroes as part of the Robert Cray Band, including Muddy Waters, Bobby Bland, Albert Collins and Bonnie Raitt.

After Salgado and Cray parted ways in 1982, Curtis went on to front Roomful Of Blues, then Curtis Salgado & The Stilettos before embarking on his solo career.

Salgado is no stranger to adversity. During his career, he has overcome liver cancer and lung cancer. In March 2017 he underwent quadruple bypass surgery.

Now he is back on the road. His resilience can be heard — and felt — on “I Will Not Surrender,” the lead track of “Rough Cut.”

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