Jason Ricci

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In 1995, Ricci moved from Portland to Memphis, TN, where shortly thereafter he placed first in the Sonny Boy Blues Society contest at 21 years of age. Later that same year Ricci recorded his first album, Jason Ricci.

In Memphis, Ricci began playing with David Malone Kimbrough, son of Junior Kimbrough, and soon was a part of the bands of both Kimbroughs and was sitting in with R. L. Burnside. This also marked a dark period for Ricci, as drug addiction led to a one-year stint in jail.

Ricci singing

In 1999, Ricci won the Mars National Harmonica Contest, and began playing with Keith Brown, later recording with him as well. In 2000, he received a two-page write up in Blues Access magazine by Adam Gussow (harmonica player for Satan and Adam) saying:

"I am convinced he along with New Jersey's Dennis Gruenling is one of the best harmonica players of his generation."

After 15 months with Big Al and the Heavyweights, and a brief period of living in Raleigh, North Carolina, Ricci started his own band, Jason Ricci & New Blood, in 2002. This band features Shawn Starski, who, in June 2008, was named by Guitar Player magazine as one of the "Top Ten Hottest New Guitarists." In 2005, Ricci was honored with the Muddy Waters Most Promising New Blues Artist award.

In 2007, Ricci and New Blood were signed to Eclecto Groove, a new subdivision of Delta Groove Productions. His first album with the label, titled Rocket Number Nine, was released October 23, 2007. Later in 2009 the band recorded Done With The Devil for the same Label. Done With The Devil signaled a new direction in Ricci's musical inspiration, as his study of the occult strongly influenced the writing on the album. The band as a whole has been nominated for Blues Band of the Year three times by Blues Wax magazine. Ricci won the Blues Critic Award for Harmonica Player of the Year (2008) and was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Harmonica Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010. By January 2011, Ricci had relocated to New Orleans, and assembled a new band, Approved By Snakes, with guitarist John Lisi. Ricci received "Best Harmonica Player" at the May 6, 2010 Blues Music Awards.

Ricci played harmonica on the Johnny Winter song "My Babe" from his 2014 album Step Back. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Blues Album in February 2015.

In February 2015, Ricci began a national tour with a new band named Jason Ricci and the Bad Kind.