Monday, October 15, 2007

Philadelphia Jerry Ricks benefit October 28

Philadelphia Jerry Ricks, the most cosmopolitan* of blues artists -- maybe the most cosmopolitan person I've ever known, period -- has been hospitalized in Croatia (one of his regular bases of recent years). Complications have arisen from a brain tumor operation, and his friends back home (Michael Cloeren, Doug Waltner and others) have organized a benefit concert for his medical expenses at the Commodore Barry Club in Philadelphia on Sunday, Oct. 28, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information on the concert or to send donations, please see details at

We've all been awaiting Jerry's return to the states for several years now, but he had been keeping busy in Croatia, Turkey, Switzerland, Russia, and elsewhere, learning the languages wherever he and his partner Nancy would go, and amassing more knowledge to add to his discussions on anything from the French Revolution to the highways of Montana to the blues recordings of Peanut the Kidnapper. When I once told a friend I had recorded an album by Jerry (Deep in the Well, Rooster Blues R2636, recorded at the Stackhouse Recording Studio in Clarksdale, December 1996), her response was "What? A monologue?" Actually, we did record a monologue on blues history at that session, so far unreleased. Let's hope Jerry will be back with us soon to regale us with more tales and more of the blues played as only he can play it.

* cosmopolitan = so sophisticated as to be at home in all parts of the world or conversant with many spheres of interest [American Heritage Dictionary]


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