Prior to 2015, New York City-based guitarist/singer/songwriter/music producer JJ Appleton was known primarily for rock and pop. Harmonica player/singer Jason Ricci is something of a Blues legend — he has won dozens of music awards (including a Grammy) and has long been considered among the top living harmonica players in the world. When the two teamed up in 2015 to record an acoustic Blues album, the pairing was unexpected but the resulting album was a revelation. The album, entitled “Dirty Memory”, contains original songs by both Appleton and Ricci, plus covers of The Rolling Stones’ “Black Limousine” and Blind Willie Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault but Mine,” as well as an astounding, blistering, 6-minute-long harmonica solo by Ricci called “Jason Solo”.
Though neither Ricci nor Appleton is new to the music scene, the uncommon pairing was recognized by Blues 411 with an award for Best New Artist of 2015.
“Dirty Memory”, which was produced by Appleton, features vocals by both Ricci and Appleton and includes Tim Lefebvre (Tedeschi Trucks) and Neil Heidler (Eddie Harris) on upright bass. It spent 10 weeks on the Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Acoustic Blues Album chart, and has been lauded as “keeping the tradition of Piedmont Blues alive”.
The duo began touring in support of the album in the Fall of 2015, and have recently announced the addition of five more live shows, to begin in February, 2016 in Piermont, New York. See the full 2016 tour schedule on Appleton’s site, (http://www.jjappleton.com).