“Inspired, powerful R&B showcases Salgado’s exceptional range and muscular, soulful vocals” –Billboard

Curtis Salgado, damage control, blues artist,

Award-winning vocalist, instrumentalist and songwriter Curtis Salgado, the man NPR calls “an icon” with “a huge voice,” is revered worldwide for his ability to wring every ounce of soul out of every song he performs. Salgado is famed not only for his powerhouse live shows and eleven previous albums, but also for his passionate and insightful original songs. He has been nominated three times for the Blues Music Award for Song Of The Year, winning in 2018 for Walk A Mile In My Blues from The Beautiful Lowdown. In total, he has won eleven Blues Music Awards, including the B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year. DownBeat calls his songwriting skills “an impressive gift.” Billboard says Salgado’s music is “inspired and powerful.”

Now, Salgado is back with Fine By Me, the latest evidence of Salgado wielding his impressive songwriting and vocal skills to a wide variety of styles. His music has dashes of blues, gospel, R&B, jazz, funk, rock ’n’ roll and soul at any given moment.

Salgado understands the power of clever turns of phrase and how that burrows into the hearts of his audience. On Fine By Me, he imaginatively paints Technicolor images with songs such as “Better Things To Lie About,” “My Girl’s A Nut,” and “You Give The Blues A Bad Name.” There are 10 songs that Salgado wrote or co-wrote and two cover versions, but the recording shines in unexpected moments.“ Hear The Lonely Hearts” is a deep gospel song featuring Salgado’s vocals backed by the harmonies of The Sons of the Soul Revivers (brothers James, Walter and Dwayne Morgan) and the gentle guitar of Rome Yamilov with Kid Andersen on acoustic bass. A cover version of soul man O.V. Wright’s “I’m Gonna Forget About You,” harkens back to 1980 when Robert Cray recorded the song for his first album, with Salgado on supporting vocals. This time, Salgado takes the lead vocals with Cray harmonizing and singing the higher notes as well as adding sizzling guitar to the track.

Whatever songs Curtis Salgado brings to the table are going to have his personal soul stamp on them. It’s the singer’s magic bullet, the key element that stirs listeners and sets Salgado apart as one of the most riveting performers on stage today.

Born in 1954, Salgado grew up in Eugene, Oregon with music all around him. His parents’ vast music collection included everything from Fats Waller to Ray Charles, and his older brother and sister turned him on to the soul and blues of Wilson Pickett and Muddy Waters at an early age. He attended a Count Basie performance when he was 13 and decided then and there that music was his calling. After getting his hands on a harmonica, Curtis began devouring the blues of Little Walter and Paul Butterfield, and taught himself to play.

By his early 20s he was already making a name for himself in Eugene’s bar scene, first as the vocalist/harmonica player of The Nighthawks, and later as co-leader of The Robert Cray Band. Salgado quickly developed into a player and singer of remarkable depth, with vocal and musical influences including Otis Redding, O.V. Wright, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson I and II, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Howlin’ Wolf.

In 1977, comedian/actor John Belushi was in Eugene filming Animal House. During downtime from production, Belushi caught a typically ferocious Salgado performance and introduced himself during a break. Once Salgado started sharing some of his blues knowledge, a fast friendship grew. Salgado spent hours playing old records for Belushi, teaching him about blues and R&B. Belushi soaked up the music like a sponge and used his new awareness to portray “Joliet” Jake Blues in The Blues Brothers, first as a skit on Saturday Night Live, then a best-selling record album (which was dedicated to Curtis) and finally as a major motion picture (Cab Calloway’s character in the film was named Curtis as an homage).

Once Salgado joined forces with his friend Robert Cray and began playing together as The Robert Cray Band, he found himself sharing stages with many of his heroes, 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, singing and touring with them from 1984 through 1986. Back home in Oregon, he formed a new band, Curtis Salgado & The Stilettos, and was once again tearing it up on the club scene. He honed his band to a razor’s edge before releasing his debut in 1991 on the JRS label. After recordings for Rhythm Safari and Lucky Records, Salgado signed with
Shanachie Records in 1999, releasing four critically acclaimed albums. Salgado’s Alligator Records debut, Soul Shot, came out in 2012 to widespread critical acclaim. Blues Revue said Salgado’s music is “triumphant, joyful, blues-soaked R&B” and declared him to be “one of the most soulful, honest singers ever.” He followed up with The Beautiful Lowdown in 2016 and Rough Cut, the potent, stripped-down acoustic album (with guitarist Alan Hager) in 2018. The albums collectively earned Salgado multiple Blues Music Awards—for B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year, Soul Blues Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Soul Blues Male Artist Of The Year.

Salgado has performed at Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival, The Chicago Blues Festival and The Tampa Bay Blues Festival. He has also played The San Francisco Blues Festival, Memphis’ Beale Street Music Festival, Denver’s Mile High Blues Festival as well as on The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. Internationally he’s toured in Saipan, Guam, Canada, England, throughout Europe, Brazil, Chile, Panama, The Philippines, Thailand, and Hong Kong. According to Blues Revue, Salgado’s performances “start at excellent before segueing into goose bumps, ecstasy, and finally nirvana.”

For all of his successes, Salgado is no stranger to adversity. During his career, he has overcome multiple health challenges, battling back from liver cancer in 2006 and lung cancer in 2008 and 2012. In March 2017 he underwent quadruple bypass surgery. He’s not only come back stronger, he’s become one of the genre’s most prolific songwriters, going from writing a few songs per album to writing full albums of original songs. In 2016, many critics declared The Beautiful Lowdown—featuring 11 original songs—as the best of his career. According to Salgado, Damage Control is even better. He’s excited to bring his songs to the stage, where the crowd fires him up even more. “I want people to relate to the songs,” he says. “You can dance to it but the words have to carry the weight. I know if a song hits me, it’ll hit others just as hard.”

“Glorious and memorable… Salgado’s voice is center stage just as it should be. Highly recommended” –Blues & Rhythm UK

“Salgado’s vocals are soulful beauty. Fresh, unexpected, authentic, percolating…perfectly executed… simply delicious” –Living Blues

“Salgado inspires chills. Upbeat and original…poignant and wise with a great sense of humor” –Blues Music Magazine