JASON RICCI and NEW BLOOD
Jason Ricci is one of the hottest young harmonica players on the national circuit. At 31, he is relatively young in blues years, but has already experienced more than many players do in a lifetime.
In 1995 at the tender age of 21, he was the winner of the Sonny Boy Blues Society Contest in Memphis named after legendary blues harp master, Sonny Boy Williamson. He played for nearly a year as a member of Junior Kimbrough's band in Mississippi and gigged regularly with many of Kimbrough's sons and R.L. Burnside's sons.
In 2000, Ricci won the Mars Music mega-store chain's nationwide Blues Harp Blowoff. In 2001 he went on the road with Big Al and the Heavyweights performing over 260 dates from coast to coast. Later Ricci performed for two years as a featured solo performer at Harpin' Help in New Jersey along side Rob Paparozzi, The Nighthawks, Adam Gussow and harmonica icon, Howard Levy. Ricci was also a featured soloist on the Emeril Live show with chef Emeril Legassi.
In 2002, Jason Ricci formed "New Blood" featuring the 23-year-old guitar prodigy Shawn Starsky recorded "Feel Good Funk" and resumed national touring. They have since released two additional records, "Live At Checkers Tavern" and "Blood on The Road" featuring the touring rhythm section of drummer Steve Johnson who has backed artists as diverse as Bob Hope, Jerry Portnoy and Pine Top Perkins and bassist Todd Edmunds who has been a member of bands such as The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, James Brown, Fred Wesley and others.
In 2005, Ricci won Blues Beat Magazine's coveted "Muddy Waters Award" for most promising new talent and signed with U.T.R. Management who have represented such artists as Jonny Lang, Susan Tedeschi, Tommy Castro, Luther Allison among others. True "road dogs", Jason Ricci and his band performed 300 shows last year, including an innaugural visit to the Rockfish. Along the way, they appeared on the cover of over a dozen regional blues publications and were named "show of the week" by music downlaod site, archive.org, beating out artists like The Grateful Dead, Phish, Derek Trucks, Left Over Salmon, The North Mississippi All Stars and many others in the number of downloads.
A sensation on his first visit to the Rockfish, catch Jason Ricci and his band on their return, 8:00 PM Thursday July 20. Cover is $8 @ the door.