Ric Harris

By moving from North Carolina to Chicago, Ric Harris pursued a desire to play music and went from learning jazz to playing the blues. Along the way, Ric found the joy of writing songs more rewarding, allowing him to complete the thoughts that he started while improvising. The music of Robben Ford, Matt Schofield, and Tommy Castro influenced Ric, not only in his guitar solos, but also his vocals.

An article in Guitar Player magazine about the Old Town School of Folk Music inspired Ric to make his way to Chicago from North Carolina. A few months later, he caught Ira Sullivan and Joe Diorio at the Jazz Showcase and moved to Los Angeles to attend the Musicians Institute. After returning to Chicago, Ric played jazz in the area until 1991, at which time he stopped and raised his children. When he returned to the music scene, Ric had a new approach, inspired by artists such as Gary Moore, Dickey Betts, and Tab Benoit. 

The jam sessions at blues clubs in Chicago helped Ric to redevelop his playing by combining tradition with a different approach to the blues. Every song on the new CD that Ric is releasing later this year is based on the classic blues format. Some of the songs have a bridge, others have what some will consider a commercial feel, and few of the lyrics will be mistaken for a standard blues song. Ric composed nearly every melody before he wrote the lyrics, and although the solos were improvised, none of the arrangements were. As Griff Stevens said in his review of the first CD,  Open for Business, Ric “… has many talents, a virtuoso instrumentalist, a musician that can sing with a poignant blues feeling and compose music that expresses the pain and redemption of life.” The new CD by Ric, Along the Avenue, will be released in October of 2024.