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Born 2/3/74 and raised in Portland, Maine, Jason Ricci is the son of the controversial businessman/politician/activist Joe Ricci. Ricci started playing music in punk bands at the age of 14. After discovering a love of the harmonica and Blues music, he turned his attention in that direction. In 1995, Ricci moved from Portland to Memphis, TN, where shortly there after 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 (Self titled).

In Memphis, Ricci began playing with David Malone Kimbrough, son of blues great 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 claims to have been sober ever since.

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, 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 Records. 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. 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 Harmonica Player of the year by the B.M.A. awards as well in 2009 and 2010.

Today, Jason Ricci and New Blood can be found playing almost 300 days per year in cities all over the United States, Canada, and Europe. Ricci has also accompanied guitarist Walter Trout on his recent European tours.


Ricci is one of the only openly gay male performers touring on the blues circuit today. This has both been a professional obstacle as well as an opportunity for Ricci to challenge both gay stereotypes and traditional Blues expectations:
"The community doesn't like drum sets and guitars and actual live music. They're used to lip-synching, and dudes in dresses, and Madonna, and Cher, and techno beats. Those are the things that kept me from coming out earlier. I felt like I had nothing in common with the gay community, and I still don't feel like I have a lot in common with the community. I'm hoping that changes, but the majority of their icons are press-friendly little Mickey Mouse-doll figureheads that you're more likely to see on a show redecorating somebody's house than onstage at a blues festival…When I came out of the closet as a gay white male from an upper-middle-class suburban home, I came out as not just gay, but as a white guy, and as a guy who likes punk, and as a guy who didn't come from total poverty, and all those things that we associate with being 'blues' things. And when I did that, I wanted to sing about that. I wanted to write songs about what my life was like, and I wanted to use terminology that was modern."

Though Ricci does not generally wear his sexuality on his sleeve on stage, his openness with being gay has occasionally been a difficult issue in the traditionally conservative Blues world, as he's been "disinvited" from a number of venues and events.

"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. Ricci has become a student of Thelema and the writings of Aleister Crowley, and Ricci has gone so far as to call him "a great holy man." This has prompted more controversy for an already controversial artist, prompting an extended online mea culpa from Ricci himself, in which he fervently denied accusations of Satanic worship.

1995 “Jason Ricci” (self titled debut) North Magnolia Music
1997 “Down At The Juke” North Magnolia Music
2001 “Feel Good Funk” Self Produced
2004 “Live At Checkers Tavern” Blue Sunday Records
2005 “Her Satanic Majesty Requests Harmonica Music” (Compilation) –Self Produced
2006 “Blood on the Road” Rah Fox Records
2007 “Rocket Number 9” EclectoGroove Records
2009 “Done with the Devil” EclectoGroove Records
Note: This discography does not include appearances by Jason Ricci or other members of New Blood on other artist’s albums, or various compilations.

^ Nagy, Levy . “Jason Ricci” . Levynagy Weblog . June 7, 2009
^ Nagy, Levy . “Jason Ricci” . Levynagy Weblog . June 7, 2009
^ Bledsoe, Wayne . “Out Gay Bluesman is opening Ears and Minds” . Scripps News, November 28, 2007
^ Ricci, Jason, "Biography" . http://www.intrepidartists.com/jasonricci.html
^ Bledsoe, Wayne . “Out Gay Bluesman is opening Ears and Minds” . Scripps News, November 28, 2007
^ Bledsoe, Wayne . “Out Gay Bluesman is opening Ears and Minds” . Scripps News, November 28, 2007
^ http://www.intrepidartists.com/jasonricci.html
^ http://www.blues.org/bluesmusicawards/nominees.php#ref=bluesmusicawards_pastyears
^ Beckers, Ludo, "Interview: Jason Ricci", Back to the Roots, retrieved 2007-10-24
^ Long, Autumn . “Jason Ricci Gets His Rocks Off” . Blues Revue Magazine . Feb/March 2008
^ Wenzel, John, “Music Q&A: Jason Ricci” . Get Real Denver . December 20, 2007
^ Arnold, J.W.. “Jason Ricci Bringing His Blues Harmonica Magic to K.C.". Camp KC April 30, 2009
^ Ricci, Jason . “Favorite Crowley Quotes” . http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=45122033&blogId=513343675
^ Ricci, Jason . "Occult or Satanic Symbols on our Site, Videos, and Lyrics" . Jason Ricci Writings .Http://jrnb.blogspot.com/2009/05/occult-or-satanic-symbols-on-our.html
^ Long, Autumn . “Jason Ricci Gets His Rocks Off” . Blues Revue Magazine . Feb/March 2008

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