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Jason Ricci Brings Some "Devil" Into His Music

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Friday, September 4, 2009

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“Done With the Devil” is more than just a compelling title for Jason Ricci & New Blood’s new album.

The genre-jumping Ricci, it turns out, is an active occultist, immersed in the works of Aleister Crowley, Samuel Mathers and others. The Maine-born, Nashville, Tenn.-based singer, songwriter and harmonica virtuoso drew on his studies for some of the songs on “Done With the Devil,” and he predicts his continuing readings “will give me a lot of stuff to write about in the future.”

“It’s fascinating stuff,” says Ricci, 34. “It’s amazing how many new wave pop psychology self-help books are tapping into the philosophy of those groups. And it’s being validated in so many ways — in science and scientific proof.

“I’m not a member of any lodge or anything — but not for lack of trying. My job makes it difficult to get to know anybody who is formally involved in any of those groups, and they’re very cautious of who they will consider for membership.”

New Blood takes up plenty of Ricci’s time in the interim, however. The hardtouring band is a favorite of the blues crowd, but its embrace of other styles makes it unique and has cultivated an audience as broad as its sound.

“We have never marketed ourselves as a blues band, ever,” Ricci notes, “and we’re on a label called Eclecto Groove, you know? But the majority of them don’t care what we play as long as we do a good job of it and we’re sincere about it.

“So should I ever start playing blues or entirely blues just to keep that audience, I suspect I may actually lose some of them by not doing something that’s entirely sincere or is more or less motivated by fear and fear of financial insecurity. And that is not my forte.”

Jason Ricci & New Blood perform at 8 p.m. Friday (Sept. 4) at Callahan’s, 2105 South Blvd., Auburn Hills. Tickets are $8. Call (248) 858-9508 or visit www.atcallahans.com.

Web Site: www.atcallahans.com

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