Bro Ric Patton & ChickenBone Reunion Band -
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Brotha Ric Patton Biography
Ricky L. “Brotha Ric” Patton, Sr. was born in Swancott, AL, but was raised up in Triana, AL. He is the grandson of the blues and whiskey making man, Thomas “Paper” Patton. Playing the blues was not his idea, he wanted to play football. Playing the guitar was his mother idea, she did not want him to get hurt and saw it as a way of not having to transport him to and from football practice.
She did not know when she purchased him a guitar that she was laying the foundation for one of the jewels of North Alabama blues music (particularly Huntsville).
As a youngster Ric grew up around his Uncle Johnnie Rice. Johnnie was a hobo, a ex-con and a harmonica player who loved drinking bootleg whiskey. Johnnie would often stick his soaked in whiskey harmonica in Ric’s mouth causing it to burn and Ric would find himself blowing and drawing (aka blowing and sucking) on the harmonica. This was the beginning of Ric’s life as a guitar and harmonica player.
In an interview Ric says, “Playing the blues is nothing I found, it found me. I have been doing so long, I just do it. When I play and sing it is like painting pictures with people in it. I have fun and amuse myself with the pain and sound; I think it is what folks enjoy about my blues, I play in a colorful way. Every summer I go down South to the Mississippi Delta and play; but for me, it does not take the place of that Alabama Front Porch style blues”.
Ric Patton handles his harmonica like a grand Master of Southern Blues. Ric sings, write and blow his feelings clean thru his harmonica like only a true Southern Bluesman can.
Ric Patton is a great songwriter. He writes about life’s journey down the Blues Highway. Ric says things that many people think but never say out loud, about who we are and where we stand and where the times are taking us too.
His outlook on life is cast in funky Blues melodies, sung in a clever way by a voice that is unpredictable.
He is a Country Blues Master on the harmonica... influenced by Jerry (Boogie Man) McCain, Alvin Hope and
Mr. Skiprope his underground unsung mentors.
Ric has been underground and has now began to release his own works on his own label, Swancott Records.
Ric is bound to shake everybody up with a completely different take on New Blues music. After a few spins, his lyrics will still spin around in your head.
Ric is fiercely original. His music is not to listen to but to explore. Vocals, Harp and Arrangements.
There are harmonica players and then there is Ric Patton..... One of the most original harp players in North Alabama”.
Born in Swancott, AL raised in Triana and Huntsville, Alabama area, Ric Patton was bathed in a wide range of Southern Blues as well as the soul sounds of his 1970’s and 80’s childhood. The soul and spirit of that era is at the core of his music.
Ric grew up singing and playing guitar in blues bands. He went to AL A&M University where he studied Telecommunications and worked as a camera operator for the football team. He later worked in local TV stations and the Cable TV industry.
Ric incorporates elements of jazz, blues, funk, and world music, mixed colorful lyrics, strong vocals, and virtuoso harmonica playing, to create a unique, modern concoction of Blues and Soul music.
“Growing up in Alabama obviously blues has had a big impact on me. It’s also the soul of virtually every genre of music. But I also grew up a big fan of artists like Sly Stone, George Clinton, Chaka Kahn, Johnnie Taylor, Bennie Latimore and Bobby Rush just to name a few. So, I draw from all of that, and I try to write lyrics and music that have an emotional as well as intellectual impact. Then I throw in some harmonica for salt and pepper.”
Patton has become a harmonica master; he also utilizes digital effects to expand expression of the instrument taking it into unexplored Blues territories.
“I feel most in-tune with artists who are their own genre in music, borrowing from different kinds of music. I hope my music reflects that.”
Ric is excited about this next step in his musical evolution. He expresses gratitude for the freedom and ability to make music.
“I was also lucky to grow up with parents who always believed in me even when they didn't understand what I was trying to do”.
“I believe in making music and writing songs, as well as the appreciation of sharing music, especially Blues music, is one of the most powerful links to our community and shared humanity”.
On September 28, 2015 Ric joined Periscope (live stream application), creating his own fan club called the “Blues VIPs” = Very Involved in Promotion, in hopes of building a blues community. He broadcast nightly first from his 1979 Chevrolet Van which he refers to it as the “Blues Room” and on Busker another live stream platform he refers to it as the “Blues Lounge”. Since the beginning he now broadcast from the family home built by his grandfather “Paper” Patton and is called “The Blues Room II”. As he lives stream nightly, his fans join him while chatting with him and each other. He has since made his own recordings highlighting the broadcast and his followers. He currently has over 10,000 followers. While streaming Ric welcomes them in; he also talks about today’s happenings. He also sings, plays his guitar and harmonica and his foot tambourine to all types of songs but particularly, blues. He also has a portion of his “scope” where he sings to his “followers” comments. Each night the followers tap hearts or commenting to show how much they enjoy Ric’s broadcast; he also gives recognition to followers who tap a 1,000 hearts or more and those who give him a super heart (these are hearts his followers purchases). In July 2017 Ric began raffling his merchandise or blues artifacts he has collected by giving followers a raffle ticket. To get a raffle ticket; The followers must share the broadcast or give super hearts. During his broadcast Ric will often promote other artist, festivals and events when informed. There are times where he also allows his followers to introduce and promote themselves.
In 2016 Ric appeared at the Delta Cultural Center, Helena, AR “Front Porch Blues Bash”; and since 2018 he has been hosting the DCC “Front Porch Blues Jam”, when the museum found themselves without a host for the annual jam which is held during the annual King Biscuit Blues Festival. He has also performed on the festival with his band “The Chicken Bone Reunion Band” in 2017 and 2019.
Ric’s band, the “Chickenbone Reunion Band”, band members are Ric, (vocals, guitar, harmonica), and Mac Barnes (bass), Chip Freeze (rhythm guitar) and Lurch (Drums). Ric mostly plays solo and bring along kazoos, a shaker, washboard, hula hoops and ask for help with these instruments from his crowd. “What I do is plain Southern Style Funky Blues” says Ric.