Come, feel the heat ...”


After making his way to Chicago from North Carolina, Ric Harris caught Joe Diorio at the Jazz Showcase and moved to Los Angeles to attend the Musicians Institute. Ric returned to Chicago and formed his own jazz group,  appearing in the area until 1991, at which time he retired to raise his children. Ric has returned to the music scene with a new approach, inspired by artists such as Gary Moore, Dickey Betts, and Tommy Castro.  

Ric used the Chicago jam sessions to redevelop his playing and found the work of current artists, such as Mark May, Tab Benoit, and Matt Schofield, to be more compelling since they combined tradition with a more accomplished approach to the blues. The jam sessions also led Ric to merge the solos with the melodies and arrangements, making it part of the overall song, not the focus. 

Ric had other roles in addition to that of lead vocalist during the creation of his first CD, Open For Business, that was released in 2019. Not only did Ric write all of the songs on the CD, he was also responsible for the arrangements and the production of the project. With band members Cary Roberts on bass and Jim Semmelroth on drums, Ric Harris and The Heat Merchants are making a mark in Rockford. Enjoy what you hear and let him know what you think. 

From the CD "Open For Business"

Press Photos

Sample Video