Area musician Ric Bianchi should get more play

Area musician Ric Bianchi should get more play

By Molly Fleming, Staff Writer

Ric Bianchi’s last name is Italian for “white,” but his musicianship covers an array of colors and tones that goes beyond mere white. With both a master’s and a bachelor’s 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; it’s an extremely impressive work for the area. For any album that is described by the musician as “an all-around mix-up of various styles”—jazz, 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 Mile’s “All Blues,” and “Rt. 72” (Bianchi’s 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 Bianchi’s 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 him—which can be arranged.

Bianchi has a master’s degree in music from Northern Illinois University and a bachelor’s 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 Bianchi’s shows every weekend for a reasonable price.

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