Celtic Spotlight: The Ric Blair Band

The Ric Blair Band is a Christian, celtic, folk rock group on Scottish
Castle Records, which is distributed by Wesscott and Provident. On tour in
the UK and across the United States, the Ric Blair Band has been impacting
audiences with the message of freedom in Christ.”
The Ric Blair Band’s unique musical style has been described as “the
acoustic Beatles meets Braveheart meets Jesus.” Half of the Ric Blair Band is from Ireland with Patrick Darcy from Dublin on uilleann pipes and
Beth Balmer from Belfast on celtic fiddle. Ric’s wife Yun Kim Blair plays
Irish tin whistle and is Asian American (often affectionately referred to as
“Yoko”). Jeff Durham plays percussion and Ric sings lead vocals and plays
acoustic guitar, mandolin, Irish bodhran and piano. They are a completely
acoustic truly international group that dares to be different.”

Ric’s latest CD “Break the Walls,” is a unique blend
of traditional celtic music and acoustic folk rock. Passionate
instrumentals, soul-stirring ballads, and thigh-slapping jigs are guaranteed
to “take you back to Ireland!” This CD features players such as Eric Rigler,
who played the uillean pipes on the “Titanic,” “Braveheart” and “Rob Roy”
Ric’s interest in celtic music originates from his Irish/Scottish ancestory.
His mother comes from an Irish family which settled in Kentucky in the early
1900s. “Blair” means “battlefield” in Gaelic. Ric’s father’s family has
been traced back to Blair’s Castle in the highlands of Scotland. Many of
these Blairs fought alongside William Wallace of “Braveheart” fame. Most
notable of these Blairs was John Blair who served as the personal chaplain
to this Scottish hero. Thus, Ric’s passion for the Lord and for music comes
from a long line of Spirit-filled freedom fighters.
Ric Blair has been extensively involved in Christian and secular music since
signing his first record deal with The Willoughby Wilson Band on Frontline
Records in 1985. Ric was roomates with the late Rich Mullins and played
guitar on Rich¹s first CD which they recorded in Amy Grant¹s basement
studio. During ric’s first one year stay in Nashville he wrote a song
entitled “Never for Nothing” which became a number one hit for grammy
nominee Margaret Becker. This song is one of the most played songs in
Christian music history and is featured in the EMI Music, Time/Life “Songs
of Life” series. In 1986 ric moved to Los Angles to compose TV and film
scores. There he worked with people like Morgan Freeman and Danny Glover
and composed scores which aired on HBO and Cinemax. An interesting side
note is that Ric also served as a personal guitar instructor to rock singer
Sheryl Crow.
Since starting the ric blair band in 1995 they have shared the stage with
Steven Curtis Chapman, Point of Grace, Randy Stonehill and many others.
Ric’s first release “Always By My Side” (on KMG/distributed by Provident) is
a collection of heart moving ballads, and features the radio single “The Red
Sea.” The single is getting widespread air play around the world,
particularly in the UK and Australia.
As he fights today’s spiritual battles Ric says, “Christ died for freedom
sake (Gal. 5:1,13)– to free us from sin, death, circumstances, legalism and
anything that binds us. Such is the love of the King we serve.”
Note: J’Anna Jacoby, fiddle player extraordinaire with the ric blair band, will be touring with Rod Stewart on a whirlwind, 44-city tour. Check out Rod’s website to see when J’Anna will be in your town!
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