Area musician Ric Bianchi should get more play
By Molly Fleming, Staff Writer
Ric Bianchis last name is Italian for white, but his musicianship covers an array of colors and tones that goes beyond mere white. With both a masters and a bachelors in music, and extensive music teaching experience, Bianchi is well acquainted with the profession. His CD Pesho, which is dedicated to his father Renardo Pesho Bianchi, is a great album to add to your Rockford-area collection of music.
Pesho features aspect jazz, ethnic folk and blues. Four originals are placed between various jazz standards and folk songs to create 11 tracks of well-rounded musicianship; its an extremely impressive work for the area. For any album that is described by the musician as an all-around mix-up of various stylesjazz, folk, blues etc )the potential for cheesiness is at a high. Fortunately, save a few tracks, Pesho maintains taste and style. Bianchi recorded the album in one take, and played all the instruments save the drum tracks. Although Pesho could go without Miles All Blues, and Rt. 72 (Bianchis instrumental version of Route 76,) so could a lot of albums by other more well-known musicians. These tunes are recorded with taste and care. In Heaven, There is No Beer, an anonymous folk bit, is sung in English, Spanish and German and adds a sparkle of humor to the work, and also displays Bianchis talent for language. What makes the whole album worth getting a hold of, however, is Whatchamacallit, an instrumental track that is pure Italian folk guitar with accents of Spanish trilling. All of his musicianship is clear and well designed, and would make one confident to take guitar lessons from himwhich can be arranged.
Bianchi has a masters degree in music from Northern Illinois University and a bachelors degree of Arts in Music from the University of Northern Iowa. He has taught music theory, music-related classes and jazz groups at Kishwaukee College in Malta, Columbia College in Chicago, Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, and Iowa Central College, but now owns a private studio in Genoa, Ill. He has a wide experience in performing publicly for a variety of jazz groups, wedding bands, church-related activities and solo performances.
Check out Ric Bianchi at The Red Ox at 129 E. Knoll, Hampshire. He plays every Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and there is no cover charge. For directions and information, call 608/365-0363. For bookings or lessons, call 815/784-4632.
Copies of Pesho are available at Bianchis shows every weekend for a reasonable price.