Let's cut to the chase. We love Jason Ricci. Whenever a young artist is knocking it out of the park on a nightly basis and shaking up the world of rhythm & blues in ways that are best described as good, ambitious, challenging, and artistically endearing, the blues community tends to call it "the future."
We can curse here, right? Shit, it's our blog. We own this. And so we say, Fuck That Shit.
This is the Present.
We see artists like Jason, Bob Log III, Nathan James, Ben Hernandez, the Black Keys, the Blues Explosion, the sadly gone Sean Costello, Eddie Turner, Reverend Dead Eye's No Man Gospel Band, Gravel Road, and a whole shit ton of others who are taking the traditional form and while keeping it as their musical center of gravity, blowing it to pieces and taking it to new and exciting places.
Jason Ricci, who is playing on our stage at this very moment, is playing rhythm & blues music. He is also playing American roots music, pop music, rock & roll music, he is playing live music. He is not only giving props to his band, he is featuring these musicians frequently throughout the course of the show. He is engaging the audience, through his on-stage actions reminding us that the word "concert" means that the audience is in concert with the band, part of what's going on. Jason's performance style recalls some blend of Howlin' Wolf and a young Bruce Springsteen: it is at once real, viral, organic, personal, combustible, musically impressive, engaging, professional show business.
Let's stop pontificating and start showing. Here's a clip we shot with our garden-variety digital camera from behind the bar earlier tonight - this may take a minute to load, but trust us, it's worth it. Ladies and Gents, we give you our brother in arms, Mr. Jason Ricci: