Topic: Jason Ricci & New Blood
I recently caught two shows by Jason Ricci & New Blood and wanted to recommend seeing them to all of the "non-traditional" blues lovers here on the site. I kept hearing the name through several different circles and got my first opportunity to see these guys live last summer. It was one of those "where the hell have I been" kind of experiences like it was with seeing Joe the first time. I just drove a 400-mile roundtrip to see them Friday after seeing them 45 mins from home on Wed, so, either I'm a freak or they are pretty amazing. (P.S. I've done the same for Joe, but no other band other than Dream Theater).
JRNB are a 4-piece band out of Nashville, TN, Jason (the frontman) is, for lack of a better explanation, the blues harmonica equivalent of Joe. He plays amazing harp licks of such varying styles it's hard to explain, you just have to experience it. From lively covers of classic blues tunes like Slim Harpo's "Scratch My Back" and Little Walter's "Mellow Down Easy", to well constructed original blues songs like "Blues Penitentary", to jammin' groovers like "Cissy Strut" and "Feel Good Funk", the strong backing band compliments Jason's bluesy vocal style and harmonica pyrotechnics for a very tight performance. Jason's stage persona is also very entertaining as well. JRNB's guitarist, Sean "Guitarsky" Starsky is a great player but stays in the background most of show allowing Jason (the frontman) to bask in the spotlight. Make no mistake, though, he's a monster lurking in the shadows. A lot closer to "traditional" blues guitar licks, but expertly executed, and he can shred a bit too.
Like Joe, JRNB encourages taping and sharing of their live shows, and right now there's about 30 available for listening/downloading at archive.org. You can go to the "Live Music Archive", search by band or browse a list, and listen to/download songs from shows from the last 4 or 5 years. Also like Joe, these guys are road warriors, Friday night was their 319th show this year, so they could use all the support they can get from us "fringe" blues lovers.
They are on a brief hiatus but will be cranking up some tour dates after the first of the year, so spend a few bucks and go out and see 'em, most of you will be glad you did.
Keep on rockin' the blues...