Best harmonica man teams with other pros

City, Country, City by Ricci / Krown

Back in the late 1960s, early 1970s if someone asked me “Who is the greatest harmonica player you know?”

I would have confidently answered Greg “Fingers” Taylor.

I met him in 1989, after he’d released his first major solo record, Chest Pains. He was touring with Jimmy Buffett, but I could tell “Margarittaville” had taken its toll.

Fingers had left briefly in 1983, saying “We were a real crazy band. We had a bigger liquor rider [contract clause] than the Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin. That’s a documented fact.”

But starting in 2014, Fingers family announced the harp player was broke and suffering from Alzheimer’s.

At last call, he was still alive but in really bad shape.

I still love to listen to Fingers, but a relatively new fellow, Jason Ricci, has picked up the torch taking the jaw harp to new levels.

Jason has appeared as a guest harmonica player on albums with Johnny Winter, Terence Blanchard, Nick Curran, Ana Popovic, Walter Trout, Cedric Burnside, The Mannish Boys and Joe Louis Walker.

Recently, Gulf Coast Records signed Jason Ricci and Joe Krown, and will release their debut duo CD, City Country City, on Oct. 22, 2021.

Stand in line for this one.

The killer album features a wild trio — Jason, vocals and harmonica, Joe, Hammond B-3 organ and piano and Doug Belote, drums.

“The duo with Doug Belote on drums got into the studio in spring of 2021 in New Orleans and got to work recording fresh new original music and covering some classics as well. The sound is pure joy. The music has air and electricity all at once. It breathes and is urgent. Hearing the tracks for the first time was an experience all its own. It was like hearing music you have never heard before and something you have known all your life,” said Mike Zito, Gulf Coast co-owner and one of the best axe men around. “The chemistry between Joe and Jason is obvious and they complement each other’s styles perfectly. I am so excited for everyone to hear this album, City Country City, wonderful music that is a listening pleasure to experience over and over. I am proud this album is released on Gulf Coast Records and I look forward to more music from Jason Ricci and Joe Krown.”

Two of Jason’s critically acclaimed albums were Done with the Devil and Rocket Number 9. You can clearly hear the prior Mississippi resident exercise his own demons.

Joe is a New Orleans-styled piano and Hammond-endorsed B-3 player. He held the keyboard chair with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown & Gate’s Express from 1992 until Gatemouth’s passing in the fall of 2005.

“Working with Joe Krown makes me feel like I’m finally beginning to be a musical grown-up,” Jason said about the new album. “But we still have as much fun as little kids! Being linked up with a New Orleanian with Joe’s heavyweight history is truly a dream come true.”

This is an unforgettable CD that will help you get through life’s daily grind.

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