Saiichi Sugiyama (Unplugged) is a British-based rock guitarist and singer-songwriter, who has led his own band on the London scene since the release of his first album in 1994. His songwriting, which earned him collaborations with Andy Fraser, the bassist and composer of Free who composed “My Brother Jake” and “All Right Now”, and with Pete Brown, the Cream lyricist who wrote words to “White Room” and “Sunshine Your Love”, is an epitome of cross pollination of pre-1976 music genres. His melodies evoke the music of 60s and 70s when rock music led the world and all you needed was love. Whilst best known for his emotional electric blues lead style, Sugiyama’s unplugged playing, having been first inspired to take up the guitar by the acoustic rock of the Woodstock era, echoes the spirit of Crosby Still Nash & Young and their Martin guitars
Saiichi Sugiyama Band is a group of musicians hailing from Surrey/London that harks back to the halcyon days of rock and soul, 1965-1974, brought together in 2010 by the guitarist/composer Saiichi Sugiyama, who has a career spanning 25 years as a solo artist in the British blues scene.
The core of the group is Rietta Austin (lead vocals), Saiichi Sugiyama (guitar/vocals/composer), Ben Reed (bass guitar) and Mune Sugiyama (drums/arranger/producer).
The former members Lizzie Hibbert (lead vocals) and Dave Munch Moore (keys) record with the group in studio.
When playing live, the group are augumented by touring musicians including Stuart Dixon (rhythm guitar), Katrin Yr (lead vocals) and Wez Johnson (drums).
Having released the studio live album ‘The Smokehouse Sessions’ in January 2014, the group has been spending the past months working on their new studio album, lovingly crafting tracks drawing from a wide range of influences of Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Ann Peebles, Aretha Franklin, Motown Funk Brothers, Dave Mason, Carole King, Debussy, Chuck Berry, Herbie Hancock, George Harrison and more, with the passion and flair of British Blues groups such as Blues Breakers, Cream and Free.
Having already met with critical acclaim from greats such as Free’s Andy Fraser and the Cream lyricist Pete Brown, both of whom were involved in production of the forthcoming album, it seems that things can only get better for Saiichi Sugiyama Band with the new release. In August 2016, the first single from the album, Melting Away, offered a taste of what is to come in 2017 and prompted Classic Rock to describe the song as ‘reminiscent of Free at their most powerful’. See www.youtube.com/watch?v=POHYZ0-SIR0.