Deacon Blues was born in the fifth year of the 21st century. Eleven stellar musicians, composers, and educators based in Chicago, they share a unique passion for the Becker/Fagen repository, better known to the world as Steely Dan.
This stunning collective is essentially the personification of what The Dan did on record – gathering top studio musicians for their albums – The Deacons are doing this in a live format. With support from legendary Chicago FM radio station personalities such as Bob Stroud (The Drive) and Scott Mackay (The River), The Deacons will be debuting their first album of original music, in a similar musical landscape as ‘The Dan,’ in 2016.
Grammy Award-winning harmonica virtuoso Sugar Blue is not your typical bluesman…Born James Whiting, he was raised in Harlem, New York, where his mother was a singer and dancer at the fabled Apollo Theatre. He spent his childhood among the musicians and show people who knew his mother, including the great Billie Holiday, and decided that he wanted to be a performer.
Blue has played and recorded with musicians ranging from Willie Dixon to Stan Getz to Frank Zappa to Johnny Shines to Bob Dylan, he is perhaps best known for his signature riff and solo on the Rolling Stones’ hit “Miss You” from their Some Girls album. Blue performs his own version of the song on his 1993 Alligator debut BLUE BLAZES. With his second release IN YOUR EYES — Sugar Blue emerges as a singular, profound songwriter as well as a harmonica wizard.
Wally Hustin has the distinction of being a first call bassist in the city of Chicago. He has performed and/or recorded with Dave Mason, David Benoit, Mike Stern (Miles Davis/Brecker Bros.), Vinnie Colaiuta (Jeff Beck/Sting/Zappa), Mecca, Kenny Aronoff (Melancamp/Smashing Pumpkins/sessions), Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson/Mister Mister), Dave Uhrich, Todd Sucherman (Styx/Spinal Tap), Darryl Thompson, Jim Krieger (Dave Mason), Rob Mullins (Jazz Crusaders/TV & movie sound tracks), Tony Guerrero, Phoebe Snow, Carvin Winan (The Winans), Chuchito Valdez, Joanna Rosario (Fred Hammond), St Sabina Levites, Will Kennedy (Yellowjackets), and Paul Wertico (Pat Metheny). Wally is also a member of the original jazz/rock/funk collective known as The Deacons.