Curtis Salgado hospitalized; will have heart surgery

Curtis Salgado

Curtis Salgado is up for three 2017 Blues Music Awards.
Photo by Paul Natkin, provided by Alligator Records.

He may have the sweetest soul singing voice on the planet but don’t be fooled. Curtis Salgado is a fierce fighter.

Salgado, 64, suffered a “mild heart attack” on Tuesday and on Friday he will undergo triple bypass surgery at a Lebanon, New Hampshire, area hospital, Alligator Records announced today

A cardio catheterization revealed arterial blockage. “We expect the surgery to be successful and anticipate a full recovery,” said Salgado’s manager, Shane Tappendorf, in a press statement.

Salgado survived liver cancer in 2006 and lung cancer, which he had removed in 2006, reappeared in 2012, and part of his lung was taken out.

He is nominated for three Blues Music Awards to be announced in Memphis on May 11. Salgado not only plans to attend the ceremony, he intends to perform. All of his shows through April have been canceled.

The nominations include Album Of The Year for “The Beautiful Lowdown,” Soul Blues Artist Of The Year, and Song Of The Year for “Walk A Mile In My Blues.” He won the 2010, 2012 and 2013 Blues Music Awards for Soul Blues Artist Of The Year. In 2013, he also won the coveted BMA for B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year — the highest honor the blues world has to offer — and took the statue for Soul Blues Album Of The Year for his Alligator Records debut, “Soul Shot.”

Salgado is a native of Eugene, Oregon, where the 1977 movie “Animal House” was filmed. Actor John Belushi saw Salgado perform and befriended him. He later modeled his character Joliet Jake in the movie “The Blues Brothers” after Salgado.

Salgado played harmonica on Robert Cray’s first album, “Look Who’s Talkin’,” before becoming the frontman for Roomful of Blues. He then went on to record numerous solo albums.

Locally, Salgado has performed in recent years at the Crystal Bay Casino, Squaw Valley’s Bluesdays and the Coloma Blues Festival.

-Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage

Related story: Album review — The Beautiful Lowdown

About Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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