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"Philadelphia" Jerry Ricks
"Philadelphia" Jerry Ricks learned from the blues masters. During the blues revival of the 1960s Jerry was booking traditional delta blues men into the coffeehouse where he washed dishes in Philadelphia. They taught him about the blues and became life long influences in both his music and his personal life. Ricks learned guitar from and played with a virtual "whos who" of delta blues musicians including Mississippi John Hurt, Lightnin' Hopkins, Son House, Mance Lipscomb, Sleepy John Estes, Skip James, Furry Lewis, Bukka White and Brownie McGhee, among many others.

A worldwide traveler, Ricks has lived in Europe for most of the '70s and `80s, recording albums in Germany, Yugoslavia, and Hungary. With his return to the U.S. and the release of his first American recording, "Deep In The Well." Jerry Ricks has now assumed the role of master and mentor in the world of acoustic blues, passing on the lessons he learned from his predecessors. Ricks pays homage to his teachers and, within the same traditional framework, creates his own songs. He comes to the blues not as an academic, a revivalist or an interpreter from outside the culture, but rather as a musician who simply plays what he feels, the same way blues legends have approached the genre for nearly a century. Born and raised in Philadelphia, on May 22, 1940, Jerry Ricks is currently living and performing in the Delta, the birthplace of the rich musical heritage he has been carrying on for the past 35 years. You can hear Ricks remarkable playing as he appears on the Blues Boogie train after the festival.

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Copyright © 1998 by Ray M. Stiles
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