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12. Schöppinger Kneipennacht
Jason Ricci & New Blood (USA)
New Blood's Rhythm section as well holds equal footing musically with Ricci and Starski on stage. Bass and drum solos abound regularly within their two to four hour non stop sets. Todd "Buck Weed" Edmunds (Bass, Tuba, Double Cass, Sousaphone, Bass Harmonica) is a jazz master and devout musicologist. In between gigs with Ricci and New Blood Edmunds is just as likely to be found playing upright bass for a Ellington Big Band, or Tuba for a New Orleans Brass ensemble as he is likely to be subbing on electric bass for a Norwegian black math metal band. Ed Michaels (Drums) has been with the band over a year his background includes trap set drums, formal East Indian Tabla study as well as other hand drums and world percussion disciplines. Michaels has toured with Roy Rogers, Alvin Young Blood Hart and Commander Cody among others. Every member of Jason Ricci and new Blood is a soloist, contributing songwriter, and vocalist.
Although the openly gay Ricci may appear and often sound as unorthodox as his punk and gothic inspired clothing and hair make no mistake Ricci spent plenty of time firmly rooted in the blues putting together a blues pedigree that would leave many "traditional blues" players looking as authentic as an American Idol contestant. By the age of 21 Ricci had won the Sonny Boy Blues Society contest, performed at The King Biscuit Blues Festival, LIVED and played with Big Bad Smitty, David Kimbrough, and RL Burnside as a member of those bands throughout clubs and real black/African American owned and run juke joints throughout the south namely Mississippi. Before embarking on a journey beyond the blues inspired by ex Johnny Winter Side man and now deceased Pat Ramsey, Ricci was a devout student of the traditional harmonica masters like Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson and George Smith.
In 2004 for three weeks the bands hard worked paid off when a bootlegged recording from a Jersey club (Mexacali Blues) was the most down loaded live show in the world over the Grateful Dead, Phish and other popular jam bands clocking over 21,000 thousand down loads in two weeks. The same year they released a live album titled "Live at Checkers Tavern." In 2005 Jason Ricci won the Muddy Waters Award for most promising new talent and later in 2006 the band released the CD: "Blood On The Road". "Blood On The Road" was an independently produced CD that topped the XM radio charts as a top ten "Pick For Click" for a solid month and sold over 12,000 copies from the stage alone. The Independent CD "Blood On The Road" was listed in the Mercury News as the top ten albums of 2007 along side Green Day and Prince. 2007 saw the band nominated for band of the year by Blues Wax Magazine and had the group expanding into Canada and Europe.
In 2008 Jason Ricci and New Blood were signed by Rand Chortkoff to Eclecto Groove Records (a subsidiary of Delta Groove Records) Releasing their first in stores everywhere album: "Rocket Number Nine." Rocket Number Nine was produced by multiple Grammy award winning producer John Porter (The Smiths, Los Lonely Boys, Ryan Adams etc.) The Album interweaved Ricci's autobiographical political, drug related and spiritual themes with traditional blues, funk, rock, and eastern music. "Rocket Number Nine" climbed the Billboard Blues Charts to arrive and stay at Number Four for multiple weeks. The record also again made the "Pick to Click" top ten on XM and Sirius Radio charts and was chosen for "Album of the Year" by Gibson Guitars. The press was hefty too with a feature story and interview with Jason in Blues Review Magazine. Ricci has always been an in demand studio musician and 2008 saw guest appearances on Albums with Cedric Burnside and Lighting Malcolm's CD: "Two Man Wrecking Crew", Motor City Josh's: "Tribute to Howling Wolf", and Walter Trout's CD "The Outsider" among others. Later in 2008 Ricci would join Walter in Europe on tour with his band The Radicals for some critically acclaimed shows and a partnership that continues today.
In 2009 Jason Ricci and New Blood finished up work on their latest offering for the Eclecto Groove label titled "Done With The Devil". This is their most ambitious album yet produced by Grammy Award winner Phil Wolfe (Alabama) featuring ten original songs by the band and two covers spanning the distance between Sun Ra and the Misfits. The CD like Rocket Number Nine is an even greater expansion on an eclectic mix of Rock, Blues, Jazz, fusion, folk, funk, eastern, carnival, punk and jazz often within one tune or solo for that matter. 2009 has Ricci and company up for a second nomination for "Band of the Year" by Blues Wax Magazine, Jason already won The Blues Critic's award for "Harmonica Player of the Year", and he also stole a literary award for "Article of the Year" from Blues Wax Magazine. Additionally Ricci is currently nominated for the first time for the B.M.A. (Formerly Handy) Award for "Best Instrumentalist: Harmonica".
Whether the band is covering Lou Reed or Little Walter or playing a rock room or a blues festival the musicians in New Blood remain sincere and true to music and the love and respect they have for it's many forms, textures and colors. This band never does anything it feels isn't part of them deeply in some way. You can call them rockers, punkers, jazzers, bluesers, clowns, jammers or virtually anything you like and any one or all of those descriptions may be true at any one time but as any one who has ever seen this band live will tell you whether they liked it or not, they were anything but insincere.
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