While pursuing a goal, a person may find himself in a new location. After making his way to Chicago from North Carolina, Ric Harris caught moved to Los Angeles to attend the Musicians Institute. Ric returned to Chicago and appeared with his own jazz group until 1991. Ric has returned to the music scene with a new approach, inspired by artists such as Gary Moore, Dickey Betts, and Tommy Castro.  

Ric used the Chicago jam sessions to redevelop his playing and found the work of Mark May, Tab Benoit, and Matt Schofield, to be more compelling. Ric considered the blues as something defined by more than improvisation. Inspired by the works of the Allman Brothers Band, Ric used the solo as a part of the overall song, not the focus. 

As a solo artist, Ric released his first CD, Open For Business, in January of 2019. Building on that production, Ric Harris and The Heat Merchants was started in 2021. With Greg Sarwa on bass and Philip Soosloff on drums, the band is taking Rockford and the surrounding are by storm. Come, feel the heat. 


His lyrics are interesting and sung with a raspy blues voice. Harris fingers a bluesy solo that has emotional bends and blues drenched single notes.... Harris 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. All three of those elements can be heard on “If Not.”

Harris’ approach to the blues is in service of the song, not just the soloist.  His melodies are well-crafted and have a broad-based appeal lyrically.  

Griff Stevens  -

Upcoming Dates

Saturday, January 20 @ 8:00 PM   -   Copper Fiddle Distillery, 532 W State Rte 22, Lake Zurich IL,


Sunday, February 4 @ 7:00 PM   -   Montrose Saloon, 2933 W Montrose Ave, Chicago IL,


Press Photos

Sample Video