MIKE SUGAR



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BIO

“Who is this guy?”
—  Mike Keneally

“He's a monster.”
—  Ted Templeman

“Who is this guy?”
—  Bob Daspit

“Extraordinary and unpredictable....”
—  Nicole Daspit

Mike Sugar's 3rd solo album (Grand Gesture's Of This Malcontent Melodica - 2017)
is his second acoustic-based collection but more song oriented with forays into ambient and instrumental textures.
Stemming from live audience response to his solo sets, the inclusion of electric bass-cello and some percussion
add to the guitar-and-vocal rooted songs.
This follows up on the prevoius album (Realizing That Stage Of The Evening - 2014)
which demonstrates a limitation to fewer instruments but more improvisation on instrumental pieces.

Sugar's 1st solo release (Again With The Microphone - 2011) sounds like a road-tested rock band captured in a modern recording studio by a producer bent on layered restraint. If you dig deeper you will find that Sugar penned the songs, played and sang all the parts and handled all aspects of the recording production at his Sugar Music Studio as with all his solo efforts.
This is perhaps a logical step in the career of a road-dog, touring musician and composer turned studio hound.
Sugar has been bassist, guitarist, drummer, vocalist, keyboardist and digital effects provider/programmer for a wide variety of artists on stage and in the studio. He has recorded and produced genres from vocal jazz to screaming punk, Brazilian percussion to blues, hard rock to strumming singer/songwriters, ambient groove to aggressive electronica.
The DIY approach on the recent albums is well-balanced by countless sideman gigs and sessions, collaborations and of course, all out jamming.

“...Mike Sugar is a veteran of the road and psychedelic scene. His band Jambay cut a swath through the outposts of America before landing beside author Ken Kesey. Opening the show and providing the soundtrack to Kesey’s musical play “Twister,” Jambay’s legendary status was set. Since then, Sugar has accompanied all the Bay Area mega-hitters—Bob Weir, Melvin Seals, Steve Kimock, Mark Karan.... ”
—  DNA, Good Times - Santa Cruz

Born in New Orleans, an obsessive curiosity for music and instruments led Sugar to absorb many stlyes and genres as well as music production and composition.
After moving to California, Sugar co-founded the band Jambay and hit the road. They played venues all over the states, giving rise to numerous bootleg tapes still circulating today. Jambay released albums, composed for film, and were the subject of a documentary DVD chronicling their tireless output. They also toured as Ken Kesey's house band/opening act for his stage play "Twister".

Following Jambay, Sugar worked as sideman, bandmember, collaborator, engineer and producer while continuing to perform his own material in a variety of formats. A new direction emerged from several gigs with some new musical technology like loopers and the 5-string electric bass-cello combined with acoustic guitar. These gigs are intimate and dynamic. Improvisations build in layers then move right into genre jumping original songs as well as classic and obscure covers.

Between his own gigs and recording Sugar continues producing, playing on sessions and performing with a wide variety of artists. Currently Sugar is excited to add to his repertoire for solo shows, honored to be performing with some of his favorite musicians and always looking forward to more music with more folks on into the future.