Ricky J, a 25 year old from Boston formed the band “Richard James” and has been captivating audiences all over the Northeastern U.S. and Canada since their inception in 2008. Spending summers in Cape Breton growing up, Ricky grew attached to the area and has performed there multiple times over the years. One of the more notable Cape Breton performances was when 9 year old Ricky decided he would sing and play the song “Right Now” by Van Halen at the Inverness fire hall to over fifty 80 year old’s, and received a standing ovation. He knew right then and there that he was going to be a performer for life….. especially if he could make 80 year old’s dance and applaud to an 80’s glam hair metal band.
After that, Ricky began writing and performing regularly. After finishing College at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Ricky began playing live shows on keyboards and synthesizers for hip hop artist Slick Rick while also taking a keen interest in the musical styles of The Allman Brothers, The Beatles, Steve Winwood, Herbie Hancock, old Elton John and Frank Zappa. When first conceived, the band Richard James was originally a duo, Ricky on vocals, keys & synth bass, and long time friend Matt Lavigne on Drums. The duo played a sold out show in Boston at The Middle East for over 500 people, and then asked themselves, “What if we added some more musicians?” Shortly after, they added bassist Brendan Connors, guitarist Ben “Shrederick” Fairbank, and the Hornitz as their horn section on tenor sax & bass trombone, (who have performed with the likes of Parliament Funkadelic, James Brown’s “Soul Generals”, Guster and Redman, and together, they have been selling out venues regularly around the northeast. In November of 2009, Richard James played the after party for the band “Phish” in Portland ME to a sold out crowd at The Big Easy. During their 3rd set, Phish walked in and watched the remainder of the show. Afterwords, Phish drummer Jon Fishman told Ricky and the guys how much he enjoyed their playing and how musically tight they were, which for the guys in the band meant a lot.
For the first time in July 2009, Richard James planted their seed up north and played all around Halifax and Cape Breton Island. The response was great! The first show on a Sunday night brought in around 50 people, and by the following Thursday night, the word had spread and there were lines down the street to see the band. Richard James is very excited for their return to Nova Scotia, and to have the opportunity to showcase their act at an event such as Evolve. It is a huge treat for the band and they promise to make the show special for everyone!