By Alicia Dziak

There’s no need to sit inside and wait for something fun to happen this April when you live in or near EVL. Live music and hoppin’ entertainment await at every turn. If you’re in the mood for some hot blues, rock and jazz, look no further than Balloons next Saturday night, April 16, when Jason Ricci and the Bad Kind will be performing their intense set.

This band hails from New Orleans where awesome music goes hand-in-hand with just about everything else. Ricci describes the band as, “Serious musicians not being very serious…(playing) funk, rock and blues, with real lyrics about real things that really happened that are not boring…” He also mentions that the band involves “cool guitars and guitar players.”

Other band members include Adam Baumol, Andy Kurz, John Lisi and Sammy Hothckiss.

Ricci is not a newcomer on the scene. In 1995, he began his international music career by moving from Portland, ME to Memphis, TN to study with former Johnny Winter sideman Pat Ramsey. That same year Ricci won the Sonny Boy Blues Society contest and played the King Biscuit festival at 20 years old.

Since then, Ricci has won dozens of blues and harmonica contests, toured the world and amassed an impressive collection of awards, honors and accolades, including the 2010 BMA Award for “Best Harmonica Player.” In 2014 Ricci was a featured artist on Johnny Winter’s Grammy Award winning album “Step Back,” appearing along with Eric Clapton. In 2015, Ricci was invited by Paul Shaffer to perform on the HBO televised Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for Paul Butterfield, where he performed live for 10,000 people and millions of HBO viewers with Zac Brown and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, as well as the Paul Shaffer band.

Having lived the music scene, Ricci notes that when it comes to his music, “New Orleans and Mississippi were the most influential.” He adds that the “Good food, great culture, crowds that grew up on that music, wild parties, sincere people and musical history, not to mention currently active music scenes independent entirely of NYC, LA and ‘Nashvegas’” are reasons for their strong influence on his style, which he describes as “Art Blues” or a variation of “New Orleans Blues Rock.”

Ricci has been playing shows in Western New York with various bands over the past 20 years. He hopes “that the Bad Kind and Balloons get a great crowd,” and that plenty of “Buffalo wings are present.” (On a side note, he mentions that “bass player Evil Andy Kurz won the world record for eating Buffalo wings” when they were in the area about six months ago.)

Don’t miss this international recording artist playing at Balloons next Saturday, April 16 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.