JJ APPLETON AND JASON RICCI
OLD BOY NETWORK
LEANING BLUES–NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE–CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S THIS GOOD–NEW MAN–JASON SOLO–JUST ENOUGH–AT THE WHEEL AGAIN–BLACK LIMOUSINE–DEMON LOVER–IT AIN’T NO USE–COME ON OVER, COME ON BY
Guitarist/vocalist JJ Appleton’s first exposure to the blues was a Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee concert. He has teamed up with one of the most dynamic and exciting harp players on the scene today, Jason Ricci.(who spent some time right here in Music City several years back, playing with Big Al Lauro.) Together, they have just released “Dirty Memory,” eleven cuts that recall the glory days of that basic, two-person, Delta-meets-Piedmont, all-acoustic style (with acoustic bass from Tim Lefebvre and Neal Heidler adding the depth).
The set starts off rockin,’ with an Elmore James-inspired, “Leaning Blues,” as JJ exhorts, “you got to lean on somebody–go ahead and lean on me!” A couple of cool looks at love are the lively take on a relationship that is “somewhere in the middle, between too much and too little,” and is “Just Enough to keep me satisfied!” The set closes with just JJ on vocal and his dobro, urging a particularly-attentive lover to “Come On Over, Come On By, anytime!”
The heat of the Delta brings out the lust in the two lovers depicted in “Can’t Believe It’s This Good,” as both know “this ain’t my first rodeo,” as they passionately make their “dirty memory.” The fellows give a sweet country-blues read on the Stones’ “Black Limousine,” while Jason’s original “Demon Lover” follows a brooding, swampy, echo-laden groove.
We had two favorites, too. The gospel-tinged “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” is as timeless here as in Blind Willie Johnson’s original. And, on “Jason Solo,” young Mr. Ricci literally tries to blow the reeds outta his harp on a blistering instrumental that sounds like a freight train rumblin’ out of the mists of the Delta night, on its way to New York, with a stopover in “Harlem,” for a little “Shuffle!”
JJ Appleton and Jason Ricci authentically keep the Delta and Piedmont traditions of Sonny, Brownie, John Cephas And Phil Wiggins alive and kickin.’ Yep–these two “firewalkin’ wonders” have taken the blues world by storm with “Dirty Memory!” Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.