Blues Duo Baker & Cas Channel The Spirit Of Classic Rock'n'Roll With Their Latest Single 'My Sug'
By Eric Alper.
Rock music has its roots in blues music, especially blues guitarists like Lead Belly and Memphis Minnie. Given how rock music has evolved over the years into many different sub genres, it is a surprise to see a modern song evoke the spirit of classic rock n' roll. This is the case with Brooklyn blues duo Baker and Cas' newest single "My Sug".
Featuring guitar and vocals by Emmanuel Casablanca, the song immediately hooks the listener with its harmonica and chug-a-chug rock rhythm that defined early rock and roll songs like Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven". The first and second verses of the song are as catchy as the rhythm.
"My sugar don’t like it when I walk in the door too late
My sugar don't like it when I walk in the door too late
Sug don’t got to say a word, I can tell by looking at her face."
Speaking of Chuck Berry, it is his spirit that Casablanca evokes in a fabulous guitar solo that takes place after the second verse. He keeps up this momentum for the rest of the song, as he smoothly continues the chug-a-chug rhythm.
Through classic rock n' roll, Casablanca wrote an upbeat song inspired by love. He states, "My Sug was tasked to be based on positive outlooks of our relationship, or rather just regular relationship milestones."
Emmanuel Casablanca is multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, painter, and actor and released his debut LP, Blood on My Hands, in August 2022. The album featured many notable musicians including, Grammy Nominated musician Eric Gales, world renowned guitarist Paul Gilbert, and Blues Music Award Winner Albert Castiglia.
Additionally, Casablanca has worked with an array of A-list performers over the course of his career, among them such luminaries as bassist and producer Bill Laswell, drummer Daxx Nielsen, and bassist Doug Wimbish of the Grammy-winning band Living Colour. His sophomore album, Strung Out on Thrills, with a planned release date of January 2024, is currently underway.
Signed under Sony Music with Bad Jeu Jeu Records, Kelli Baker brings a song like no other. Known in some circles as “The Phoenix”, Kelli was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona.
Her show-stopping track, “Blood on the Nile” was met with critical acclaim, landing on Spotify’s coveted editorial playlist, “Blues Roots”, receiving commercial airplay, and a headlining feature in Guitar Girl Magazine.
Now performing with The Kelli Baker Band, she appears consistently at iconic music houses such as NYC’s The Bitter End, taking the stage at The Cutting Room, Rockwood Music Hall, and some of New York’s most discerning venues. The Kelli Baker Band is booked nationwide throughout 2023.
Meeting at the “Road to Memphis” Blues Challenge in 2022, Kelli Baker and Emanuel Casablanca knew immediately they were a musical match. Both featuring powerhouse vocals, commanding stage presence, and stylistic swagger, they conspired to work together on what would eventually manifest into Baker & Cas, “Hooligans”, an album released in October 2023.
Emanuel Casablanca said. "This is an album of feelings. This record was initially twenty-eight songs that came pouring out of me while I was going through a breakup with the love of my life.
It was finally narrowed down to the eleven songs that you are listening to, but all of them
have feeling. It’s Getting Strange is the most in-depth lyrical composition of this record. It
goes into detail about how our relationship started getting strange to me. My Sug, The
Woman I Love, and I Know Her were all tasked to be positive outlooks on our relationship, or
rather just regular relationship milestones. While Give Me Peace, Signs of Love and Woman
Made of Gold were heart wrenching ballad (or at least that was what they were meant to be.)
The only cover on this record, I Told Jesus, as something that I wanted to take a stab at while I was in the midst of crooning.
Finally, Hooligans, the standout title track was how we once referred to ourselves. I went to the studio and recorded these tracks with my producer, Paul Howells and the band members that worked on this record. After the playback session, it dawned on me that half of these songs, though written well and with rich content, I personally couldn’t deliver them vocally, at least the way I wanted to. Over two years later, I had given up on this as a record. I was participating in the Long Island Blues Society’s Blues Challenge. I got my ass kicked by a phenomenal vocalist, Kelli Baker, who ended up representing the chapter down in Memphis.
I grew up playing sports, so I was never a sore loser, but more so, a team player. I always had the mentality, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” so that is exactly what I did. I reached out to Kelli and congratulated her on her win over everyone who participated that day and wished her luck in Memphis. I asked her what her plans were and if she would be interested in collaborating on a project with me, because her voice is exactly what this recording needed. She agreed, we recorded and all else is history."