While pursuing a goal, a person may find himself in a location he never thought possible. An article in Guitar Player magazine about the Old Town School of Folk Music inspired Ric Harris to leave North Carolina and make his way to Chicago. A few months later, he caught Ira Sullivan and Joe Diorio at the Jazz Showcase and moved to Los Angeles to attend the Guitar Institute of Technology. After returning to Chicago, Ric formed his own jazz group and appeared in the area until 1991, at which time he retired to raise his children. Ric has returned to the music scene with a new vision, one inspired by artists such as Gary Moore, Dickey Betts, and Duane Allman.
After adding slide guitar to his arsenal, the jam sessions around Chicago, such as Rosa’s and Buddy Guy’s Legends, have helped Ric to redevelop his playing. Ric also found the work of current artists, such as Mark May, Matt Schofield, and Coco Montoya, to be more compelling because they combined tradition with a new approach to the blues. The jam sessions also led Ric to consider the blues as something that is defined by more than improvisation. His compositions merge the improvisation with melodies and arrangements often associated with the works of many Southern Rock bands. Many of the tracks on the CD that Ric just completed have the solo as a part of the overall song, not the focus of it.
Ric has taken on additional roles in addition to that of lead vocalist during the creation of his CD, Open For Business, that is scheduled for release by the end of 2018. Not only did Ric write all of the songs on the CD, he was also responsible for the arrangements and the production of the project. Enjoy what you hear and let him know what you think.
Ric Harris has just produced a debut blues album called Open For Business that features his guitar playing, vocals, and compositions. With harmony parts and arrangements that focus on the band, the songs use more than the soloist to capture the attention of the listeners.
All of the musicians—rhythm guitarist Zack Avery, drummer Marty Binder, harmonicist Ray Cumpian, vocalist Gwen Klemenz, keyboardist Steve Kostakes, and bassist Harlan Terson—are based in Chicago. Three of the players – Marty Binder, Steve Kostakes, and Harlan Terson – have performed with established talent, such as Coco Montoya, Roomful of Blues, and Otis Rush.
As a solo recording project, this debut album appeals to a variety of people in the blues world. By focusing on the song, not merely the soloist, the album attracts those who enjoy either beer or wine while listening.
Zack Avery – Rhythm guitar 1-6, 8-14 background vocals 3,4,9,10,11,12,14
Marty Binder – Drums 1-14
Ric Harris – Lead vocals 1-14 guitar 1,3,5,7,9,10,11,13 slide guitar 2,4,6,8,12,14
Gwen Klemenz – background vocals 2, 4, 6, 11, 14
Steve Kostakes – Piano 1,3,7,9,10, 11,12,14 Organ 2,4,5,6,8,13 background vocals 3,4,9,10,11,12,14
Harlan Terson – Bass 1-14
Ray Cumpian – Harmonica 6, 8, 10, 12, 14
1. Open For Business -3:02-Ric Harris
2. Before We Turn Out The Light -4:50-Ric Harris
3. All Of Our Debt Is Due – 3:47-Ric Harris
4. Come What May – 3:56-Ric Harris
5. How Much Is Too Much – 3:57-Ric Harris
6. Is It Ever This Hard – 3:44-Ric Harris
7. If Not – 3: 19 -Ric Harris
8. I’ll Be Back Again – 3:01-Ric Harris
9. Tell Me Why – 3:36-Ric Harris
10. Another Day, Another Dollar – 4:08-Ric Harris
11. Some Day – 3:15-Ric Harris
12. There’s Only So Much A Man Can Do – 2:55-Ric Harris
13. Ev’rything Was OK – 3: 26-Ric Harris
14. Viagra Falls – 5:11-Ric Harris