Ricky Nye’s musical pedigree is well known by now. An Elder grad with a Berklee School of Music education, Nye (then under his given name, Rick Nieheisel) returned home for a six-ear stint behind the keyboards for one of Cincinnati’s most renowned Rock bands, The Raisins. When they dissolved in 1985, Nye worked with local icon Big Ed Thompson, and it was there that he discovered his true Blues passion.
For over a decade, Nye rubbed elbows with some of the city’s most renowned Blues icons (Big Joe Duskin, H-Bomb Ferguson, Pigmeat Jarrett) and learned new facets of his already well-schooled craft. He assembled a couple of bands — Ricky Nye and the Red Hots and the Swingin’ Mudbugs, now known as Ricky Nye Inc. — and became a presence himself in the local Blues scene. In 1996, he played his first gig at the Cincinnati Blues Festival’s Arches Boogie Piano Stage where he met British pianist Carl Sonny Leyland and was exposed to the magic of Boogie Woogie.
He has regular nights booked around the area (Wednesdays at Chez Nora in Covington, first/third/fifth Thursdays at Arnold’s; check his calendar at www.rickynye.com), he works with vocalists Bekah Williams and Dottie Warner on those and other nights, he travels the world to play with Summit friends (he just returned from a Paris gig) and he plays deeply gratifying shows for the elderly under the auspices of a program called Creative Aging. Saturday he plays the 10th annual Blues and Boogie Piano Summit at The Southgate House.