Blues Saraceno (born October 17, 1971) is an American rock guitarist, composer and music producer, currently residing in Los Angeles, California. He was discovered by Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazine at the age of 16, which assisted him in releasing instrumental recordings on an independent basis. Saraceno's high profile as a gifted guitar virtuoso and musician opened the doors to an early career as a first-call guitar sideman and session musician. Saraceno is most often recognized from his time playing with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker (Cream) as well as his brief tenure with the Hard rock band Poison. Saraceno's early success in the music industry would eventually blossom into a career in producing and composing for television and film.
Early Life And Career
Blues Saraceno was born to musician parents, which exposed him from an early age to several musical instruments. He started to play guitar at the age of nine. When he was thirteen, he broke his elbow when he fell from a go-kart and asked the doctor to position the cast in a way that allowed him to remove it from his sling to practice guitar during his recovery. When he was nineteen, Saraceno moved to Los Angeles to seek a career in music.
When Saraceno was still a teenager, his then manager sent a demo tape to singer Michael Bolton, who decided to enlist him to play on a song for Cher's album, Heart of Stone. The album also featured musicians like Peter Cetera, Bonnie Tyler, Desmond Child, and others. After this, his demo tape reached the Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazine. The magazine, which were about to launch a new record label, offered Saraceno a record deal. Saraceno released his first album titled Never Look Back in 1989.
After this, Saraceno won an audition with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, former members of Cream, and started touring with them. After two successful US tours Saraceno was quickly becoming referred to as the "kid that replaced Eric Clapton". After another year of overseas touring, Baker departed and was replaced by Simon Phillips (Who, Toto) and eventually Gary Husband (Level 42). Saraceno continued to release two other solo albums (Plaid and Hairpick) as well as furthering his reputation as a top call session guitarist and landing many high profile equipment endorsements. .
In 1994, Saraceno joined the band Poison as lead guitarist and songwriter after Richie Kotzen was fired. After a South American tour which included the famous Hollywood rock festival in Brazil, Saraceno recorded the album Crack a Smile with the band. However, Capitol Records decided to shelve the album releasing the 1996 compilation album, Poison's Greatest Hits: 1986–1996, instead. Still, the album featured two of the new songs recorded with Saraceno. After some time, Saraceno left the group amicably and was replaced by the band's original guitarist, C.C. DeVille. In 2000, Capitol finally decided to release the Crack a Smile album under the name Crack a Smile... and More!. The album features fifteen tracks recorded by Saraceno.
After his departure from Poison, Saraceno met Vice-President of Advertising of Fox Television, who was a fan of Saraceno's earlier instrumental work. This resulted in Saraceno working on soundtracks and songs for several television shows and films.
In 2000, Saraceno also founded the band Transmission OK. Saraceno also worked as record producer for the band, which was signed to Beyond Records, and was distributed by BMG. After a brief US tour, and lackluster support from the label, the group disbanded and Saraceno continued to work on television and film, as well as his session work.
Saraceno's session work has ranged from Ziggy Marley (Dragonfly) to Melissa Etheridge (Lucky) and he has earned a reputation for being a "go-to guy" for many of Los Angeles' top record producers and engineers.
Saraceno has also produced for artists such as, Scott Caan (Hawaii Five-0, Oceans 11), Eric Balfour (24, Haven, Chainsaw Massacre) of Fredalba, Lindsay Price (Beverly Hills 90210, Lipstick Jungle) and Anthony Michael Hall (Dead Zone).
Saraceno's greatest success has come in the field of television and film. Blues' television work credits include WWE, CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, Disney, Discovery, UPN, MTV, MTV 2, VH1, USA, TLC, Comedy Central, Telemundo, SCI FI, SPIKE, E! and BRAVO. A more detailed list can be found on his website (www.bluessaraceno.com). He has commented on how it is not uncommon to have multiple commercials running in multiple countries throughout the world, all at the same time and using the same piece of music.
Saraceno did three tracks for Megas XLR. These tracks were Blood Shot, Berzerker and Ro-Sham-Bo.
Saraceno's "Save My Soul" is the soundtrack for the History Channel's mini-series The Men Who Built America. It was also used in a trailer for BioShock Infinite.
Saraceno's "Evil Ways" song was also used in various videogames trailers such as God of War: Ascension, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger and Call of Duty: Black Ops II zombies mode map Mob of the Dead. In addition, the song was also utilized to promote AMC's 2013 Fear Fest. And it's also used as the main theme music in the History Channel's TV series Biker Battleground Phoenix.
"Evil Ways" was used in a WWE promo featuring The Undertaker vs. CM Punk Wrestlemania XXIX match. Most recently, TNA wrestler AJ Styles began using the song at TNA's Slammiversary pay-per-view on June 2nd, 2013 as his new theme song. "Flesh It Out" was used as WWE rookie Seth Rollins' theme tune for the first year of his career on FCW and NXT. Strident Missile was used for Triple H's history of dominance promo for Wrestlemania XXX.
Blues Saraceno is endorsed by Mojave amps, Ernie Ball guitars and strings, Seymour Duncan pickups and Dirty Boy Pedals, which are pedals designed and handmade by his father, Alex Saraceno.
- The Sound of Nascar by Various Artists (2005) *he contributes 3 songs to the "Nascar Racing" arcade game
- He penned the song "Save My Soul" which is the title theme for The Men Who Built America TV series