The Sugar Prophets
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The Sugar Prophets

Champaign, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Champaign, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Blues Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Sugar Prophets back by popular demand"

"Local blues fans are still talking about The Sugar Prophets crowd-pleasing performance back in May at the Bradley-Bourbonnais Sportsmen's Club. D'Arcy Ballinger, a Kankakee Valley Boat Club member, said the club is bringing the band back to the area by popular demand." - The Daily Journal

"Featured Blues Review 1 of 4 - The Sugar Prophets - The Sugar Prophets"

Spring reminds us of the joy that comes with new birth. Likewise, there can be joy when a new band is formed. Fresh blood full of new ideas, unique sounds, and a fire in the belly can make for a most entertaining musical experience. That is the case with new band The Sugar Prophets and their eponymous debut release. - Blues Blast Magazine

"04/11/11 The Band The Sugar Prophets Sat On The Couch"

The Sugar Prophets hail from Illinois and this line-up has only been together for 18 months or so, but that did not stop them from causing a buzz at this years International Blues Challenge.

The band caused such a stir, they ended up in the finals!

I got to sit with Josh and A.J. from the band and talked about their youth, how they got into the blues and how the band came together.

We discussed their music and plans moving forward and you will hear the confidence in their statements regarding being B-I-G real soon.

We also listened to tracks from their debut album The Sugar Prophets. -

"Blues Music Review: The Sugar Prophets - The Sugar Prophets - Just One Teaspoon Records 2011"

"It speaks to the importance of chemistry in a band, Blues or otherwise, when you look at how fast some acts can rise to prominance. The Sugar Prophets formed in March of 2009 and went through a couple tweaks in their lineup before settling on the right mixture of performers that has thrust them into the discussion of next level talent. To go from their beginnings just two years ago, to competing in the band competition finals of the 2011 International Blues Challenge this past February, means that The Sugar Prophets have crafted their perfect formula of talent, content and experience that is steadily increasing their demand." -

"2011 Blues Blast Music Award Nominees Announced: Buddy Guy, Nick Moss, Eden Brent, Karen Lovely, Sugar Prophets, & More"

"Buddy Guy is once again nominated multiple times and with the October awards ceremony being held at his club, Legends, it's hard to imagine he's not going to win more hardware. Beyond Guy, we have names like Nick Moss, Eden Brent, Karen Lovely, Charlie Musselwhite, Magic Slim, Robin Rogers, Bob Corritore and more from the BMA nominees. We've also got names like Damon Fowler, The Sugar Prophets, Reverend Raven And The Chain Smoking Altar Boys, and Trampled Under Foot who weren't part of that list, mostly because of eligibility date differences between Blues Blast and the Blues Foundation." - Blinded By Sound

"The Sugar Prophets: A recipe for a rich sound with substance"

"Their recordings are a mere taste of their live show. Genuine talent and chemistry comes together to fill the air with an energy that will resonates with any audience leaving them with a smile, that is if they can manage to scrape their jaw off the floor.

Continue reading on The Sugar Prophets: A recipe for a rich sound with substance - Peoria art |"

"Extra, Extra Read All About It – The Sugar Prophets Make the Finals!"

"The current band comprised of Josh Spence-Lead Vocals/Harmonica, A.J. Williams-Guitar/Vocals, Joe Asselin-Guitar/Vocals, Al Chapman-Bass and Fuzz Elam on Drums is not your typical blues band. No, blues fans, these guys are more like: in your face! One example is the band’s first 2011 IBC show at Alfred’s on Wednesday February 2nd. The judges would see and hear 10 bands that night. I’ve seen this band several times before, but never in this type of setting. Sometime after 8:30 p.m. the band was ready to show the folks in Memphis their stuff.

From the first few notes of “Hey Bernice,” I could tell the crowd was in for something special and I was right. This band was cooking on Beale Street and no one was going to stop them. For 25 minutes they went from song to song flawlessly and even threw in a few extra treats, like showing off duel harmonica playing between Josh and Joe. The crowd really liked it!"

- Prairie Crossroads Blues Society

"Meanwhile... Champaign-based blues band is making a name for itself"

Champaign - When Josh Spence formed The Sugar Prophets two years ago he had two goals in mind: to make the finals of the International Blue Challenge and to receive a Blues Music Award Nomination for best debut artist.
Check off the first.
The Champaign-based (The Sugar) Prophets were among the eight finalist bands in the Blues Challenge earlier this year in Memphis, Tenn. As for the 2012 Blues Foundation award nominations, they will be announced in the fall.
"We've got a lot of stuff to do before we can be considered," Spence said last week. "We need to submit our album and work on expanding our playing area and getting our name out there nationally."
"It's a tall order, but shoot high. If you miss, you're still OK."
In The Sugar Prophets, Spence sings and plays harmonica. Singing and slinging guitars are A.J. "Apple Jack" Williams and Joe Asselin, who was a member of the award-winning Kilborn Alley Blues Band for 10 years. Laying down the bass is Al Chapman and the Prophetic beats, drummer Vince "Fuzz" Elam.
Rich Cibelli, President of the local Prairie Crossroads Blues Society, heard The Sugar Prophets play their three rounds at the (International) Blues Challenge.
"At the first show on Wednesday they had the crowd Jumping," he said. "Josh and Joe played a harmonica duo that was just amazing."
Cibell said the band's second show also displayed a great deal of infectious energy.
"The crowd really liked them," he said.
The Sugar Prophets did their best in the finals, where there was some heavy-duty competition," Cibelli said. But he believes late nights during the challenge took at toll on the band members.
Cibelli said The (Sugar) Prophets take traditional blues-rock and turn it up a notch. Spence said the band's sound is based on a lot of blues and other music from the 50s to the 70s.
"A.J.'s kind of a rocker guy. Joe comes from a little different background -- he's more Grateful Dead, AC/DC."
"I grew up with AC/DC and listening to my dad's records: The Beatles, Canned Heat. The drummer is a church drummer so we have the gospel in there, too."
The band performs covers and originals, with every member contributing to the writing of songs.
"We haven't had much time to do much new writing recently," said Spence, the band's manager. "We're kind of removed from that situation. We went through a creative period where you might write two songs in one rehearsal. That's always fun when that happens."
Loaded with originals, the band's self-titled debut album , released in late January, debuted at No. 16 on the Roots Music Report's Blues Radio Charts(Nationally) and at No. on the Illinois charts.
The (Sugar) Prophets play eight to 12 gigs a month within 70 miles of Champaign-Urbana. They lead an open blues jam at 10pm the last Thursday of each month at Ko-Fusion in downtown Champaign. - The News-Gazette - March 3, 2011

"Joe Asselin - Harmonica Player And Much More"

"The Sugar Prophets may hail from a wide spectrum of musical influences, but when those individual pieces mesh together as a unit, the end result is sweeter than ice cream and pie."

"While those looking for a contemporary skip down the traditional blues path might be a bit disappointed, those that enter with ears wide open should be mightily rewarded after sliding The Sugar Prophets (Just One Teaspoon Records) into their CD player."

"From the cover -emblazoned with a ripped-open packet of sugar with an ultra-hip shamanistic dude on it - to the 12 rippin’ cuts found on the disc itself, it’s easy to tell that The Sugar Prophets are not shackled in lock-step with your basic 12-bar blues." - Blues Blast Magazine

"Review: The Sugar Prophets - The Sugar Prophets"

"The blues isn't dead- far from it. The Sugar Prophets are the spoonful of sugar we've all been waiting for."

"The Sugar Prophets may be a new band but don't write them off as rookies, they have a resume. Think of the International Blues Challenge like American Idol for the blues, only without Ryan Secrest. Bands compete at the local level for an invite to Memphis. Multiple rounds of competition are held at venues throughout the city until winners are selected. TSP didn't come home with the trophy but they did make it to the final round, which tells us these guys know how to bring it onstage." - Blinded By Sound

"Blues Radio Report: Gregg Allman Continues March At #1, Sugar Prophets On The Move"

"The big story this week has to be the mighty, mighty Sugar Prophets hitting the charts at #14 this week. These lads from the Champaign, IL area took the International Blues Challenge by storm, reaching the finals in Memphis last month and now they're independently distributed, self-titled debut is #14 on Roots Music Report's blues chart." - Blinded By Sound

"The Sugar Prophets "The Sugar Prophets" - CD Review"

"All in all, I found The Sugar Prophets Debut release to be a very enjoyable listen, one that will become a staple for me for the foreseeable future.

It is also nice to know that as we all continue down our musical listening journey, that every know and then a captivating new band will come across the horizon and in doing so, increase our confidence that the future of not only the Blues, but other genres as well, are in good hands. The Sugar Prophets are such as band.

Highly Recommended and Thoroughly Enjoyed... A very good start for a very good band... " - Blues Underground Network

"The Sugar Prophets prepare for CD release party and upcoming IBC trip"

"What do you get when you add a charismatic young singer with a voice made for the blues to three savvy blues veterans with experience and unlimited talent? The Sugar Prophets, Champaign-Urbana’s hottest new Blues band." - Prairie Crossroads Blues Society

"The Challenge of the Blues"

"With former members of C-U blues band staples Kilborn Alley and the Blues Deacons, the band solidified the personnel lineup in February of 2010, recently released a CD and seem poised to move beyond regional success to arrive in a higher bluesland." - Illinois Times

"Kick Out The Blues A Huge Success"

"Josh Spence has one of the most powerful blues voices ever, and he knows how to use it! The Prophets’ cover of Al Green’s I’m a Ram was truly better than the original. It is hard to believe that this group has been together just a little more than a year. Their sound is really tight, and packs an irresistible beat. Luckily there was a little space for dancing, because it was hard to stand still. You just have to move to the groove of The Sugar Prophets." - Prairie Crossroads Blues Society

"WPGU Track Of The Week"

"The Sugar Prophets deliver a high energy performance that is sure to get you up out of your seat and on the dance floor!" -


01/2011 - The Sugar Prophets - The Sugar Prophets - Just One Teaspoon Records



2011 International Blues Challenge Finalist, The Sugar Prophets, are an interesting amalgam of backgrounds and talent that have seemingly merged together in the right time, place, and groove. Fiery singer and harp ace Josh Spence combine with veteran guitar slingers A.J “Apple Jack” Williams and Joe Asselin(formerly of the Kilborn Alley Blues Band), along with a groovin’ rhythm section of Kevin Wilson and Aaron "A-Train" WIlson to create their own sweet sound of the Blues!

The Sugar Prophets' debut CD, released Jan. 2011, hit #14 and #21 on the Roots Music Reports Blues Radio Charts and Living Blues Charts, respectively. The band's raw, intense energy and blue collar lyrics are both danceable and deep. Their eponymous release was nominated for a 2012 Blues Blast Award in the category of Best New Artist Debut Recording. With their long-standing talent, passion, relatable lyrics, and a sound chock full of groove and grit, TSP continues to garner new fans and devoted followers wherever they play. Listen and become a believer in this heartfelt message of amazing music.