Jason Ricci - Rocket Number 9
In just a few short years, Jason Ricci has compiled a musical resume and Blues credibility that most musicians don’t achieve in a lifetime. By the time he was 21, he had won the Sonny Boy Blues Society contest, had performed on the main stage at the King Biscuit Blues Festival, been featured on the Memphis evening news, and had worked with Susan Tedeschi, Billy Gibson, and Bobby Little.
Before you knew it, Jason was gigging with Jr. Kimbrough’s son, David, and frequently performed with Junior himself as well as with R.L Burnside in clubs throughout the South. During this period Jason recorded Down at the Juke with Kinney Kimbrough.
After Junior’s death, Jason returned home to Portland, ME and formed a band with guitarist Nick Curran. A year later, Jason won the Mars National Harmonica Contest, beating out over 1,000 contestants, and earned himself the opportunity to perform with the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Hohner harmonicas quickly signed Jason on as an endorsee.
After touring nationally with Big Al and the Heavyweights, Jason released a solo album, Feel Good Funk, but he needed new blood to take his music where he wanted it to go. Jason joined with young guitar phenom Shawn Starski, flamboyant Argentine drummer Maki Bergara, and veteran first Beale St. bassist Slim Louis to form, appropriately, Jason Ricci and New Blood.
JRNB has been on a rigorous, 300 gig-a-year schedule for a couple years now, thrilling audiences, defying musical genre labeling, and constantly evolving. No two JRNB shows are alike. After one deportation and one retirement, Steve Johnson now supplies an infectious swing on drums, and Todd “Buckweed” Edmunds brings a jazzy funky groove on bass that adds a whole new dimension to the band’s sound.
The band has released two albums – Live at Checkers and Blood on the Road, and the awards and accolades have flowed in – including the coveted “Muddy Waters Award” for most promising new talent.
However, Jason Ricci is no flash in the pan. He is a seasoned, road-tested and proven musician with a fire and passion to take his music to unheard of heights and innovations. He is an inspiration, a rare talent, and is a performer not to be missed.