Photos by Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Jordan Lee sat down and talked with “Sugaray” Rayford of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s current show Low Down Dirty Blues to discuss the blues, speakeasies, and traveling the world. Sugaray has been singing the blues, touring with his band, Sugaray Rayford Band for the last 15 years. He’s taking a break from tour to perform at the Rep in a play about what happens after performance hours.
Rayford describes how after performances, musicians often get together and stay up all night playing the music that they actually want to play. This is a tradition that goes back to Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, across multiple music genres and happens all over the world.
Low Down Dirty Blues brings this story to an audience as a group of musicians gather after hours to tell stories and discuss music at these under the radar speakeasies. Although speakeasies are elusive, old fashioned, and secret, Rayford says he’s been to them in Germany, Paris, London, Italy, Brazil, and even in the States. He describes how the trick to getting in is to know someone. Low Down Dirty Blues is telling these intriguing tales to Milwaukee and will be going on now until May 24, 2015.