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Friday, July 24, 2009

Blues Historian Review: Jason Ricci And New Blood, Done With the Devil

Jason Ricci has certainly paid his dues, and his new release Done With The Devil is one of the best blues CDs that I have had in my hands since starting Blues Historian. There is an old saying that to play the blues you have to live the blues. Ricci has certainly faced the blues head on in a political climate that until the election of Obama, didn't like different. (click here for more info.) This is one brave man. Yet, this is about not only the guts of a great performer, but also a CD of increadable blues. Ricci's last release Rocket Number Nine was eclectic, but great, Done With The Devil blows that away. The title song itself ties in the old legend of the devil and blues, but with a new twist. Ricci rejects the devil, and in my mind he is rejecting all of the dream weavers in the music business who try to stick forks in you. They are a sneaky bunch, and having delt with promoters, bar owners, blues societies, etc. my whole life, I was thinking they are a devilish lot:-)

Ricci is an amazing harp player. He just burns throughout the disc. Both he and the guitarist, Shawn Starski, just blow the doors off on this CD. This is the real deal folks. Smoke will come out of your speakers when you play this music! I now that there are going to be some purists who think that all harp players should sound like Little Walter, or the Chicago sound, but people like myself who were lucky enough to be around Kansas City in the mid to late 80s, know real harp,(check out Lee McBee, John Paul Drum, Mo Paul, and the late Provine "Little" Hatch) and they will recognize Ricci's enormous talent. Ricci is phenomenal on his harp. Furthermore he has the credentials to back it up. He played with Junior Kimbrough, and RL Burnside. That is the real deal folks.

The whole album rocks pretty much from beginning to end, with a few jazzy, eclectic numbers thrown in. He has a very touching and rocking salute to the late bluesman Craig Lawler, called Holler For Craig Lawler. (for more on his amazing life click HERE) His song Broken Toy whether autobiographical or not, is almost heart wrenching, because it talks about what it is like to be a misfit, and not fitting in. The very last song, Enlightenment, is an interesting idea. It is more reminiscent of his earlier CD. The only song that really has anything close to the punk blues label that some have thrown on him is I Turned Into A Martian. it certainly has some punk sensiblities in it, that it is quick, with funky background vocals, but then when he rips into his solo, it is all Charlie Musselwhite!

I know I say a lot of the CDs that I review are must haves, but this is one of those disks that people will treasure for a long time. It is time more people discover this kid, his harp playing, and his amazing band. Get out there and do your job and spread the word people!! Jason is the real deal!


Dy-sphoric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dy-sphoric said...

...great review. Makes me want to buy it on the way home from work...

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