Soul/Blues Singer Ursula Ricks Sings About "My Street"
Severn Records announces an October 15 release date for My Street, the debut album from Baltimore-based soul and blues singer Ursula Ricks. The album was recorded at Severn’s new state-of-the-art studios in Annapolis, produced by David Earl and Steve Gomes and features horn arrangements by Chicago legend Willie Henderson. Severn Records is distributed in the U.S. by City Hall Records.
My Street showcases Ursula’s astounding vocals and fresh approach to songwriting, as evidenced by her funky, gritty performances on the eight original tunes she contributes to the new CD. She’s backed by the label’s studio house band: Kevin Anker (keyboards), Steve Gomes (bass), with special guests Kim Wilson (harmonica) and Johnny Moeller (guitar) of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, plus Sugar Ray and the Bluetones’ guitarist “Monster” Mike Welch. Ricks also adds her deft interpretations of two covers on My Street: the Bobby Rush classic, “Mary Jane,” and Curtis Mayfield’s “Just a Little Bit of Love,” all delivered by the big-voiced singer whose star is clearly on the rise.
“Ursula's unique vision and vocal ability made recording her debut album a real pleasure,” said Severn Records President David Earl about the sessions. “Like any seasoned pro, she knows what she wants to hear. Ursula has flown under the radar for so long. We are excited that the world will finally get an opportunity to experience her incredible music.”
As a young child, Ursula Ricks sang often. She dreamed of entertaining and was influenced by movies and entertainers she watched with her grandmother. Movies like Severn Brides for Seven Brothers and Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals like Carousel affected her, along with stories her grandmother would tell while she watched and listened. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly and Shirley Temple movies also had an impact on Ursula as a young child.
Ursula soon fell in love with the blues listening to her mom sing in the living room, and she wrote her first song at the age of 16. In her early twenties, she formed an all-female band, began writing original music and playing in local clubs. She was later introduced to and educated further in the art of blues music by the players who came to perform at a local Baltimore club called the Full Moon Saloon. She called her band “Ursula Ricks Project,” for all the players she had been fortunate to share the stage with at the time. Ursula has opened for Johnny Lang in Baltimore and played the very first (annual) Baltimore Blues Festival.
With no formal training, Ursula has the gift of voice. She has been performing along the East Coast from New York to Florida for over 20 years and has played with some of the best artists in blues and soul.
As someone remarked upon hearing her sing, “Once you’ve heard Ursula Ricks, you are forever changed by the sultry voice and the way she makes your heart and soul feel. Ursula's new CD will do nothing less than her voice on stage has always done. She will move you to tears or move you to dance; either way, you're gonna be moved!”