top of page

Ricky Nye – The Vevay Sessions – 1-2-3 Records

I was first introduced to the sweeping talent of Ricky Nye at the famed Mishawaka, Indiana blues venue The Midway Tavern & Dancehall when he was brought in to play a show by local bluesman Tom Moore.  Of course, having my ear tuned to all aspects of the blues, I was already aware of Nye’s high regard on the blues scene, but with him being based in Cincinnati, Ohio I had not had the opportunity to catch him “live.”  Simply, Nye’s infectiously friendly demeanor, his astounding piano competencies, his engaging vocals, and obvious deep dedication to his craft opened my eyes to all that he offered musically.

Nye began honing his keyboard craft very early in life, beginning with work at the ripe age of 12 by way of his family’s band.   Through his drive and determination, and absolute love for his trade, during the period of his 20s and 30s he had made important contacts and strides to forge vital musical alliances with the likes of the celebrated jazz guitar giant Wilbert Longmire, and most importantly, a cadre of Cincinnati blues titans that included guitarist Big Ed Thompson, jump blues singer H-Bomb Ferguson, barrelhouse blues piano man Pigmeat Jarrett, along with Cincinnati’s own blues and boogie woogie piano superman Big Joe Duskin.

Nye is not only revered domestically, as his musical aptitudes have carried him far abroad as he’s plied them in various venues and formats throughout Europe.  He has provided his unique broad meld of musical knowhows for international rapt audiences who highly appreciate the joy he has for his vocation.

Nye’s ability to segue between blues, New Orleans music, and straight-ahead boogie woogie thrill audiences everywhere he goes, and his schedule always seems to be packed with upcoming shows.  By the way, many may not know, but Nye is also a very accomplished drummer, and some upcoming dates see him backing Ben Levin and Lil’ Jimmy Reed on percussion.

The Vevay Sessions were recorded in Vevay, Indiana with Jerry King and Anthony Ray Wright of Jerry King & The Rivertown Ramblers at King’s personal studio set-up.  King provides upright bass efforts to the proceedings, while Wright tenders his guitar and drum skills.  It should be noted that Eli Gonzalez also provides commendable baritone and tenor saxophone work on this outing.

Let’s get to the core of my thoughts here: From cut number one to cut number ten, this is a flat-out enjoyable musical expedition through the bottomless well of Nye’s broad inspirations and musical qualities.  Whether it’s him at his improvisational best on “Kay-Bee Boogie,” his homage to Tampa Red on “You Can’t Get That Stuff No More,” his reverence on Hersal Thomas’ “The Fives,” or his interpretations of the works of Lonnie Johnson, Tiny Bradshaw, Bob Wills, along with others here, it must be stresses that Nye, however, is no mere copycat.  So very far from it.  No; he injects each and every tune with his unique capabilities, strongly preserving and moving the songs forward in the ears of the listeners via his resplendent conceptualizations of them.  His is a deference built upon independent analysis and framing, and on all counts, he and his co-conspirators achieve great heights.

Nye’s The Vevay Sessions is purely a grand time front-to-back, and it comes with the highest of recommendations from this reviewer.  Listening to this astounding collection fills the listener with a joyfulness that only honest, integrity-laden music can afford.  Bravo, Mr. Nye!


Curt Brown 
Curt’s Blues

The Vevay Sessions

    bottom of page