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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Philadelphia Jerry Ricks

Jerry Ricks (May 22, 1940 – December 10, 2007) was an American blues guitarist.

Ricks was born and grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, playing trumpet as a child; he started playing guitar in local coffee shops in the late 1950s. He worked as a booking manager for the Second Fret Coffee House in Philadelphia from 1960-1966, coming into contact with many key figures in the blues revival (Son House, Lightnin' Hopkins, Libba Cotten, Jesse Fuller, Mance Lipscomb, Lonnie Johnson).

In 1969, Ricks toured with Buddy Guy on a State Department-sponsored East African tour. After returning to the U.S. briefly to do field work in Arkansas for the Smithsonian Institution, he moved to Europe in 1971, remaining there until 1990. He did come back to the states in 1972 and 1973 and recorded with Hall & Oates on Whole Oats and Abandoned Luncheonette.

Ricks recorded 13 solo albums in Europe, but his first American releases did not arrive until 1998, when Rooster Blues released his Deep in the Well. The album was nominated for three W.C. Handy Awards. Many Miles of Blues followed on the same label in 2000.

In 2007 Ricks and his wife moved to Kastav, Croatia, and on December 10, 2007 he died at the age of 67 in Kastav.
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