Anthony Geraci (pronounced Jur-Ah-See) it seems has always known he was going to be a piano player. Out of the blue as a four year old, he told his parents he needed a piano. Although he describes his folks as not being into music or being particularly musical, they always supported his passion. The New England native admits, “Music is just something that I was born with. It is something that is just inside me.”
Geraci started out on an old upright and soon thereafter a baby grand piano was introduced into the household. So were lessons and some serious musical training. Even at a young age his teachers recognized his sense of improvisational instincts. Geraci attended the Neighborhood School of Music in his hometown of New Haven, Connecticut, which was affiliated with nearby Yale University. That education continued at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Outside of these prestigious institutions in this Ivy League environment, another type of musical education was happening after school. At a young age Geraci befriended a like-minded school mate, Ed Cherry, who would go on to become an accomplished jazz guitarist. Day after day, year after year, the two youngsters would go home after school and listen to blues records. Muddy Waters, early Buddy Guy and perhaps most notably Jimmy Rogers, and others, were listened to over and over again. “I remember the album ‘Chicago Bound’ by Jimmy Rogers. That record turned my mind around. Here was music that was so simple yet, so complex at the same time. That record took me by storm. It had everything I was looking for in music. I heard that record when I was sixteen years old. Five years later Jimmy Rogers was my roommate on the road.”
That’s pretty much the way it has been for Anthony Geraci. He has played and recorded with a laundry list of the greatest blues musicians in the most prestigious blues nightclubs and at major festivals around the world. The names read like a who’s who of the blues. They include Muddy Waters, Big Joe Turner, J.B. Hutto, Big Walter Horton, Otis Rush, Big Mama Thornton, Hubert Sumlin, as well as Jimmy Rogers and that’s the short list. He was also a founding member of Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters. However, Geraci is probably best known as a founding member of Sugar Ray and the Bluetones and after 35 years he remains an essential component of that band, which is still going strong.
Anthony Geraci and the Boston Blues All-Stars make their Delta Groove Music debut with their album, “Fifty Shades of Blue.” The Boston Blues All-Stars are the same musicians Geraci has been playing with for parts of the last five decades. They include vocalists Toni Lynn Washington, Darrell Nulisch, Michelle “Evil Gal” Willson and of course Sugar Ray Norcia. As Geraci points out, “I don’t sing, so why not get the best.” The “best” are backed by guitarist Monster Mike Welch, bassist Michael “Mudcat” Ward and drummers Marty Richards and Neil Gouvin. The All-Stars take on thirteen Geraci penned numbers that are full of fresh original ideas.
“Fifty Shades of Blue” has been met with acclaimed reviews and wide-spread recognition including multiple Blues Music Award nominations in 2016 for Album of the Year, Traditional Blues Album, Song (Fifty Shades of Blue), as well as an individual nomination for Pinetop Perkins Piano Player. Additionally the album also received a Blues Blast Award nomination for Traditional Blues Album.