While pursuing a goal, a person may find himself in a location he never thought possible. An article in Guitar Player magazine about the Old Town School of Folk Music inspired Ric Harris to leave North Carolina and make his way to Chicago. A few months later, he caught Ira Sullivan and Joe Diorio at the Jazz Showcase and moved to Los Angeles to attend the Guitar Institute of Technology. After returning to Chicago, Ric formed his own jazz group and appeared in the area until 1991, at which time he retired to raise his children. Ric has returned to the music scene with a new vision, one inspired by artists such as Gary Moore, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Duane Allman.
After adding slide guitar to his arsenal, the jam sessions around Chicago, such as Rosa’s and Buddy Guy’s Legends, have helped Ric to redevelop his playing. Ric also found the work of current artists, such as Mark May, Matt Schofield, and Coco Montoya, to be more compelling because they combined tradition with a new approach to the blues. The jam sessions also led Ric to consider the blues as something that is defined by more than improvisation. His compositions merge the improvisation with melodies and arrangements often associated with the works of the Allman Brothers and others. Many of the tracks on the CD that Ric will be completing this year have the solo as a part of the overall song, not the focus of it.
Ric also has taken on the role of lead vocalist during the creation of his upcoming CD.