Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils
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Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF | AFM

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Blues Soul




"Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils-Self Titled EP-Review-2012"

Shake up a batch of granizado de limón or maybe piña coladas, close your eyes and let this seven-track EP of originals transport you to Canal Street, Havana, the French Caribbean and beyond. Ms. Torres, ably backed by a core section on drums and bass -- augmented, on selected tracks, by electric piano, organ, sax, trombone and clarinet -- takes us on a melodious tour brushed by sensual breezes, romantic notions and rhythmic push-ups. Best tracks to skirmish with include "Criminal", "King of the Block", "Sticky Fingers" and the set's pièce de résistance, "Before You Go".

— David Farrell - Slaight Music Company - New Canadian Music

"Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils-Self Titled EP-Review-2012"

Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils may be a trio, but in their current EP, they are supported by a number of guests. They serve up a mix of original songs, ranging between jazz, swing, funk, roots rock and reggae.

EP's are something of an art form: How do you present yourself best in front of the competition? There is little space for a band to show that it is important and worthwhile. If you understand the EP as a musical calling card, then Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils did everything right. With only seven songs, the singer (originally from Peru) and her companions make it clear they are a band that one rarely gets to hear in the present-day. Credit goes first to Peruvian singer Torres. With a voice somewhere between jazz and soul music a la Amy Winehouse that can also rock, confidence exudes from Ms. Torres.

The seven songs of the EP were recorded in Toronto ON (Treacks 1-4) and New Orleans LA (Tracks 5-7). In Toronto, the Devils were Sugar (Drew Austin - Drums, Josh Piche - guitar), amplified by the jazz trumpeter Brownman Ali, bassist Jesse Deitschi and Rob Christian on keyboards and saxophone. The mixture of the four tracks is enormous, There's the pop-reggae "Without You," "Criminal" could be classified as jazz with a healthy dose of soul. And "Before You Go" (clearly the hit of the entire EP!) Has a groove somewhere between New Orleans and Latin jazz. While Torres languished here as a wounded soul diva, the song is also a highlight for jazz trumpeter Bowman Ali who plays within the pop context of the song whilst still reaching artistic heights. And "King of the Block" is remeniscant of a 60's era R & B song.

Part 2 of the EP continues the musical direction with a different musician lineup to continue "Sticky Fingers" (the second highlight of the CD) is a wonderfully dirty blues with Hammond organ and roaring saxophone. "Sugar Devil" (the theme song of the band) is a rock/blues, and it has dirt between the notes. Added to the mix is a 70's era Stevie Wonder-esque tune with "I'll Be Good To You" may sound like a normal rhythm & blues, which is actually a re-interpretation of Charlie Parker's "Confirmation". Driven home with a lyrical reference to Parker's original. Too obvious? Not in this case, because that is the fascination of the disk: versatile, sexy, intelligent and captivating. And never boring. A good business card that leaves the listener asking, when do we get a full album?

Geschrieben von Nathan Nörgel - Wasser Prawda Magazin (Germany)

"Sweet as Hell-2012"

Not only do Irene Torres &the Sugar Devils do a lovely job brining jazz, blues andsoul together on their self-titled EP, but they’re creating a buzz for their live show. Last month, the group won the Toronto Blues Society’s Talent Search and you can find out what the hype’s about when they play at this week-end’s 14th annual Southside Shuffle Port Credit Blues &Jazz Festival. It kicks off today and more than 80,000 are expected to soak in the vibes. - The Sun: Errol Nazareth

"Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils-Self Titled EP-Review-2012"

I have just received and had a chance to listen to the new Irene Torres and The Sugar Devils release a number of times and it's actually quite refreshing. I certainly wouldn't file it under "blues" but I would file it under "listen to this music". The release is made up of 7 original tracks which have a world flavor. I would say Latin but it is more of a fusion of Latin, Island, Soul, Swing, Blues and Jazz for a blend that is very appealing. Peruvian born Torres has a seductive voice that is well paired with this music. The Sugar Devils are drummer Drew Austin and bassist/guitarist Josh "Yoshi" Piche. Without You, my favorite track on the release has a strong Reggae beat with Torres laying vocals in like she was born in Jamaica but using her own subtle styling. Criminal lays seamlessly into the wake created by track one keeping the light jazz touch but altering the rhythm pattern and melody as the transition is made and adding a little horn by Brownman Ali on trumpet. King Of The Block is again a switch in timing and style but again a fairly seamless transition and this time the addition of Rob Christian plays some great sax to punch this song into a different stream altogether. Before You Go begins with a Latin style trumpet and the song takes on a strong Caribbean flavor. Torres maintains close relationship with the music and the band warmly carries her vocals on a tropical breeze. I'll Be Good To You takes a strong directional break toward the R&B track and would likely get the most airplay just due to it's basic construction. Sticky Fingers and Sugar Devil get in the swing blues groove to wrap up the release. Yoshi rips some sweet guitar riffs to rap up the recording. If you are up for something a little different ... this is a great cd to try. I really like it.

Link to review: - B Man's Blues Report (U.S.)

"Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils-Self Titled EP-Review-2012"

Irene Torres and the Sugar Devil make sweet, sweet music on their debut seven song EP which leaves the listener wanting
more. The horns provide and addictive sugar rush and the organ on some tracks provide a delicious aftertaste which leave the
listener wanting a second helping of dessert.
Their self titled new CD is a brief, beautiful jazz flavoured, seven track sweet slice of
happiness which comes right out of the ’40s or ’50s.
There are some tender horns on the first four tracks, though the core of the band is and
vocalist Irene Torres’ sexy, smoky jazz tinged voice, some jazzy bass from Josh “Yoshi” Piche
and softly caressed drums from Drew Austin.
Whole some of the tracks are more jazz tinged, all of them have an exotic feel to them.
There is also a lot of sexy pop influences. But the horns are what makes this CD for me,
especially on the first couple tracks.
“King of the Block” is an upbeat jazzy highlight as is “Sticky Finger, which features some beautiful organ rhythm as well as a
sultry saxophone solo from Etienne Stouffle.
The CD ends on a funk tinged note with “Sugar Devil” featuring a throbbing bassline.
—By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor - L.A. Beat

"Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils Win 2012 TBS Award"

Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils wins 2012 TBS Award

The Toronto Blues Society Talent Search: Six finalists will be chosen to perform at the finals taking place atNathan Phillips Square during City of Toronto’s Tasty Thursdays on Thursday August 16, noon-2pm. The finalists will compete for a grand prize which includes a showcase at the Blues Summit Six, a performance at the Southside Shuffle Festival, a show at The Delta Chelsea Monarchs Pub, a photo shoot with Bill King, recording/mixing time at Revolution Studios, and consultations with industry professionals! - Toronto Blues Society

"Top 8 albums for 2012-Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils-Self Titled EP-2012"

Like most of you I listen to music all day. But I listen to a lot of new stuff constantly and often don't get a huge window of time to just kick back and pick my new favorites. I've decided to make time. So I am now selecting the best and playing them in my car as I drive to select those that are the best of the best. Those which are most interesting and I'll still want in a few years. This is the first batch. If you haven't given them a listen... check them out!

Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils listed in top 8 albums for 2012

Bman's Blues Report - Bman's Blues Report

"Album Review-"In The Details" Irene Torres & The SugarDevils-2014"

Pg. 8

Irene Torres & The SugarDevils Serve Up Sweet Grooves

"What Can Your Love Do?"-When she asks this question, she really means it! Irene Torres knows how to get her point across with her vocal style. This composition is more of a statement than a question in regards to the Sugar Devils' overall sound. They're loaded with skills and soulful sounds abound throughout this opening track.

"Gonna Learn The Hard Way"- Andrew Austin's laid back groove mixed with some sweet sounding flute licks and just the right amount of organ provide a smoky canvas for this track to be laid down on.

"Communication"-"You gotta give a little love to get a little in return"-it's all here in "Communication"

"Bounce"-If the scintillating sax and swingin' samba stylings of this track don't make you want to get up and move, chances are you can't dance.

"Billy"- Another showcase tune for some stimulating sax (pardon the pun) But hey! Thanks to some sultry vocals from Torres, this Billy dude sounds like a stylish type of guy.

"Somebody To Love"-This is as close to gospel as they get but it sounds like the church would be somewhere between Memphis and New Orleans. A far stretch from Bourbon Street but closer to Beale Street.

"Lake Of Fire"-Some interesting staccato vocal stylings from Torres on this one will really have you believing that she was indeed born on a lake of fire. Dig it!

"My Momma Said"-This soulful R&B number bounces along quite nicely and features Piche sharing lead vocals with Torres. Josh takes the first verse with Torres jumping back on the mic for the second verse and so forth throughout the track. But the most expressive instrument on this track is Piche's guitar. Talk about killer phrasing! He lays down a blazing solo that will have you hitting replay and turning your speakers up!

"Memphis Calling"- This is the perfect type of cruisin' down the highway with the top down tune, fuelled by a classic guitar riff akin to something off a ZZ-top classic jam. (Think "Just Got Payed" or maybe "Waitin' For The Bus") The track builds nicely throughout. Check out the nifty time change just before the outro that showcases the band's top notch skill and paves the way for a smouldering finish. Crank this one up on your car stereo, and you're sure to get to your destination quicker.

"Set Me Free"-The intro is a bluesy, soulful section that sets such a perfect tone to showcase Torres' soaring vocals as she yearns to be set free. Another slick time change jump starts this track to the next level.

"Puff"- Such a quick and playful sounding track featuring some nice interplay between the horn section, not to mention some interesting word play to back it up. Take a puff of this and you will see what I mean.

"Coming home"- The perfect tune to close out the album. Yet another snappy number that shows the stellar skills of the band. Such cohesive musicality-this group of top notch players are as tight as a drum. - Frank McGwire-The Brandon Sun

"Album Review-"In The Details" Irene Torres & The SugarDevils-2014"

Page 10

2012's Talent Search Winners have a new disc, a follow up to the self titled EP from early last year. Since then they have been extremely busy and the new one shows it. Ms. Torres as the vocalist extroardinaire is listed separately but no one takes a back seat among the Sugar Devils. Joshua Piche plays the guitars and gets a vocal, Andrew Austin carries a big load on drums, and Rob Christian handles sax, flute keys & backing vocals. One measure of their upward mobility is indicated by the company they've attracted: from trumpeter Nick "Brownman" Ali at their Talent Search show to the current guests, legendary organist Ike Stubblefield and first call New Orleans bassist Cornell Williams. Perhaps you have guessed that their sound is a very contemporary one, they call it 'a unique blend of soul, r&b, blues, funk, rock, jamband & reggae.' Certainly a factor in making it unique is their skill at songwriting, drawing from all those sources as needed. Producer/engineer Matthew Drost has kept Torres' vocals front & centre and she delivers the goods. The opener "What Can Your Love Do?", a funky dance floor filler with a prominent role for Austin's snare. "Bounce" has an attractive rhumba rhythm and a lovely sax solo over a burbling organ. A trip to Memphis for the IBC's last January seems to be the inspiration for "Memphis Calling", another in a growing list of such songs, but whatever it's inspiration it features some fine blues guitar work from Piche and a double time organ solo. "Set Me Free" chronicles the end of a relationship in a lengthy and ambitious way, beginning with a lovely slow section and then with a fast segment with powerful guitar and organ solos. You'll like "Coming Home" as wel, a stuttering slab of r&b. "In The Details is 21st century music, dance floor ready, and made with real instruments-they've spent a lot of time on the details. - John Valentyn-The Toronto Blues Society

"Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils Denmark Review"

Translated (From Dutch):

Although diversity is the greatest asset in the music of Irene Torres and The Sugar Devils is their most special ingredient but clearly jazz. But jazz peppered with all sorts of influences, including blues, soul and even a pinch of Latin American rhythms. Understandable as this Canadian trio from Toronto, as its name indicates, a singer from South America, Lima in Peru to be exact.

Besides her work with The Sugar Devils also currently sings in several other bands, one of which Santerias hot flamenco and brings another is the Elmer Ferrer Band. There are still some groups in which she is involved, it is clearly a busy bee. She sings in three languages ??and musical differences between each group that they all trades.

Irene Torres is a singer with a "natural" voice, nothing sounds forced or contrived, she was clearly born to sing, though she was first a dancer for ten years. It is therefore particularly unfortunate that the CD is rather short, ill-eight tracks, seven of which are flirting with the three-minute limit. This taste for more, literally and figuratively, but we have no doubt that we of this lively and active lady certainly going to hear more, with these Sugar Devils or any of its other projects.

Ron - Rootstime (Denmark)

"Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils-Self Titled EP-Review-2012"

Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils - Self Titled - Independent 4.5 out of 5

The Devils make a joyful noise, a mix of jazz, blues and soul, touched by reggae- especially on the opening cut Without You. This short album (7 songs, just shy of 22 minutes long) is exhilarating.

As a singer Torres recalls a cross between Rickie Lee Jones and Sade. Musically, if Antonio Carlos Jobim were still around (he died in `94), I could imagine him being a part of a record like this. This feels like the kind of cool that Sting used to reach for but never quite grasped. Helping Torres achieve this exotic blend of rhythms and melodies are drummer Drew Austin and bassist/ guitarist Josh ‘Yoshi’ Piche. Special guests in the studio include Rob Christian on keys and sax, Brownman Ali on trumpet, Jesse Deitschi on bass, Chris Mason on organ, and Ettiene Stouffle on sax. These tracks, recorded in Toronto and New Orleans, are all original songs, combining elements that are both traditional and modern, resulting in music that, with the right breaks, could reach a huge audience.

There’s a Latin thread that ties all of these songs together, making me wish there were more here than just the 7. If you walked into a bar and these guys were on stage grooving away, you’d be thinking you were in for the night of your life before even sitting down.

TOP TRACKS: Without You, Before You Go, I’ll be Good To You - THE ROCK DOCTOR KEREIFF @ Gonzo Online - Canada Online News

"CBC Featured Article - "DIY Approach"-2013"

It’s a long and crazy road from the basement to the top, but for much of the emerging blues community, that is the road musicians need to take if they want to make any sort of real impression.

Traditionally in the music business, radio has played a key role in making an emerging act’s career. “Flip, Flop and Fly” was a radio hit for Downchild, as was, “I've Got Everything I Need.” Powder Blues Band charted with “Doin’ It Right,” “Boppin’ with the Blues” and “Hear That Guitar Ring.” Even British blues pioneer Long John Baldry, who called Vancouver home for almost 30 years, was big on the radio with “A Thrill’s a Thrill.” And then, of course, Colin James and Jeff Healey saw the richest rewards of the Canadian radio star system.

For the hard-working blues acts of today, however, commercial radio airplay is a thing of the past, and CBC or campus and community radio is probably the best that they can hope for. So what is a young band to do? Most likely, they have to go the DIY route — the approach acts like Toronto’s Irene Torres and the Sugar Devils have decided to take.

At Blues Summit 6, held in Toronto in January, I spoke with Torres, who fronts the bluesy R&B band of 20-somethings. She explains the need for a strong, self-motivated work ethic.

“There is no magic producer or management company that is going to appear one day at a gig and scoop me up from where I’ve been and begin my beautiful life as an established musician,” she says. Torres clearly sees the overall value of doing it yourself. “In this experience of being involved in every single part, every single cog and gear in this machinery, it’s been a learning experience, it’s made us better musicians,” she notes.

Torres and the Sugar Devils were in the studio in January to record their second release. For this outing, they enlisted the help of some pretty heavy hitters: Cornell Williams, who plays with Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen out of New Orleans and has appeared on the hit HBO series Treme, is sitting in on bass; Ike Stubblefield, from Atlanta, Ga., who has worked with Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, B.B. King and countless others, brings his incomparable Hammond B3 talents into the sessions. The assistance of Williams and Stubblefield means a lot to Torres.

“The notion that these great people are giving us moral support and musical support, it’s a big honour and we definitely want to earn that,” she says. However, Torres doesn’t allow herself to be carried away by the hype. “I think the do-it-yourself approach is a great way to keep real about what it is you can expect from the industry and to keep yourself grounded.”

Just how does a band, barely two years in business, convince such world-class talent to come all the way up to Toronto to record? Simple! They book some shows, jump in a van, drive to the southern states and show their heroes what a young Canadian band has to offer. That sure beats sitting on the couch dreaming about it.

It may be a long and crazy road, but for Irene Torres and the Sugar Devils, it’s well worth the drive. - CBC - Chris Martin


In The Details -Irene Torres&The Sugar Devils CD - 2014

“… 21st Century music, dance floor ready and made with real instruments – they've spent a lot of time on the details.”- John Valentyn, Toronto Blues Society
Brand NEW CD from Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils. The Sugar Devils and their leading lady, team up with two fantastic and soulful musicians to bring you the best in Blues, Soul, RnB Funk Fusion.  Twelve original tracks featuring Organ Legend, Ike Stubblefield and Beloved New Orleans Bass player, Cornell Williams. A fresh mix of Blues, Soul and RnB recorded Revolution Recording and Site Sound Studios in Toronto.

Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils - Self Titled EP -2012

“Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils transport you to Canal Street, Havana, the French Caribbean and beyond.”
David Farrell, Slaight Music Company - New Canadian Music

Winner of the 2012 Toronto Blues Society Talent Search Award, this seven track EP was the first release by The Sugar Devils. Recorded in Toronto, Ontario and in New Orleans, Louisiana; this album shows you the journey to NoLa and back is an essential part of the band's musical foundation. Multi-genre and original, there is a blend of Blues, Soul, Funk, RnB and Reggae.




Irene Torres & The SugarDevils came onto the Toronto music scene in 2011 and made a name for themselves interpreting the music of New Orleans.  They wowed audiences with their versatility in playing blues, funk, r&b, jazz, latin & soul to name a few.

In 2012 they recorded their first self-titled CD in the cities of Toronto and New Orleans and received rave reviews and international radio airplay.  With their first CD, Irene Torres & The SugarDevils were nominated for a 2012 Sigy Born Award  and were the winners of the 2012 Toronto Blues Society Talent Search.  In 2013 they won the "Road To Memphis" competition and as a result, had the honor of representing Canada at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN.

In January of 2013, Irene Torres & The SugarDevils had the privilege of collaborating with Hammond Organ legend Ike Stubblefield (The Motown Review, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Al Green), New Orleans bassist Cornell Williams (Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen, HBO's Treme, The Gospel Soul Children, The Soul Apostles), and producer/engineer Matthew Drost on their new album "In The Details". 

2013 also saw Irene Torres & The SugarDevils Touring internationally in both Canada and the United States as well as opening for Ike Stubblefield and New Orleans piano giant, Jon Cleary

Irene Torres & The SugarDevils have played such high profile events as The 2012 Scotiabank Marathon, The 2013 Toronto Tedx Talks and The 2013 Canadian International Auto Show. They were also featured on the 2013 CBC Sounds Of the Seasons.  Their music can be heard regularly on college radio stations, 99.1 Toronto Jazz FM, CBC National Radio, SiriusXm Radio, and have been featured on CTVs Kevin Newman Live.

The band has played some of Ontario`s biggest festivals including The Orillia Blues Festival, The Kingston Limestone Blues Festival, The Orangeville Blues Festival, The Kitchener Blues Festival, The Beaches International Jazz Festival, The Mississauga Rotary Ribfest, The Kincardine Blues Festival,  Jazz On The Mountain At Blue Festival, The Wasaga Beach Blues Festival. 

The band has also played some of the most iconic venues in Toronto including The Orbit Room, The Reservoir Lounge, The Silver Dollar Room, & The Dominion On Queen. 

What People Are Saying About Irene Torres & The SugarDevils 

-The Devils make a joyful noise, a mix of jazz, blues and soul, touched by reggae 4.5/5 -John The Rock Doctor Kereiff 

- Just how does a band, barely two years in business, convince such world-class talent to come all the way up to Toronto to record? Simple! They book some shows, jump in a van, drive to the southern states and show their heroes what a young Canadian band has to offer.-Chris Martin (CBC Music) 

- 21st Century music, dance floor ready and made with real instruments theyve spent a lot of time on the details.-John Valentyn (Toronto Blues Society)

 -A swinging outfit that has the best of retro with a contemporary hold.  Irene has the pipes to impress and deals the cards like her life is at stake, and the band holds the winning hand.  Last show I was at rocked all night.-Johnny Sansone (New Orleans Harmonica Legend)

 -If you appreciate top-notch musical mastery, youll want to check this band out. -Frank McGwire, The Brandon Sun

Band Members