Ragtime Rick's Bio

Ragtime Rick's CDs

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Roots of the Blues on KZYX-FM

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Ragtime Rick Blaufeld began playing the blues in 1962, after meeting Mississippi John Hurt and Rev. Gary Davis at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and receiving informal guitar lessons from both of them. After honing his blues chops in the coffee houses of New York City’s Greenwich Village, Rick moved to California in 1965, and has lived in Mendocino County since 1972. He was the owner of Mendocino Music, specializing in vintage guitars, from 1985 to 2017. In 1990, Rick founded the Mendocino County Blues Society, and from 1992 through 1998, produced the Mendocino County Blues Festival. He also produced the all-acoustic Boonville Folk-Blues Festival from 2002 through 2004, and since 2006 has co-produced the sometimes-annual Mendocino Acoustic Blues Workshop. Ragtime Rick presently hosts a radio show called "Roots of the Blues" on KZYX-FM, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, which airs on alternate Monday nights from 8 to 10 P.M. Pacific time, and is webcast live at www.kzyx.org. After 16 years, Rick is no longer doing Roots of the Blues, but now makes occasional guest appearances on other KZYX shows

Ragtime Rick has performed and recorded the songs of a host of country blues and ragtime greats, as well as his own original compositions. He has now released twenty-two self-produced albums since 1991, as well as contributing several tunes to each of three volumes of "Blues Showcase," a series produced by the Mendocino County Blues Society in the early nineties. Rick has twenty-two CDs currently available, combining rootsy covers with authentic-sounding originals. These include "Ragtime Blues," originally released in 1991 on cassette, and now available on CD; "Country Man Blues," released on cassette in 1993, now remastered to CD; "Down and Out Blues," featuring guitar and vocal duets with folk-blues guitar wizard John Brandeburg, released in 1997; "Half a Buck Blues," a solo album of blues classics, plus the original title track, released in 1999; "Blue Cat Blues," which includes several of Rick’s original tunes, and features the mandolin of Thom Davis on the title track, released in 2000; "Hippie Blues," more classic covers, plus three originals, featuring graphics by Cal Schenkel of "Mothers of Invention" fame, released in 2003; "Rags To Riches," an album of ragtime guitar instrumentals, released in 2004; "Favorite Blues," a collection of Ragtime Rick's favorites from his earlier albums, released in 2005, and currently undergoing remastering as a "best of" album; "Sweet Woman Blues," more classic and original blues, released in 2006; "Green Rocky Road," recorded live at the 2006 Mendocino Acoustic Blues Workshop with John Brandeburg, and released in 2007; "Vintage Blues," featuring some of the best tunes from his three earliest cassette albums, released in 2008,and currently being remastered; "Beside Myself Blues," which contains some classic multi-tracked tunes from the vault, released in 2009; "Walkin' Blues--Live in Boonville," a collection of tunes recorded at various events from 1990-93, released in 2010; "Hard Road Blues--Live at Blues Alley," recorded live at the Mendocino Community Center from 2006-09, also released in 2010; "Living With The Blues," featuring Shaky Jake Blues Band, with Jammin' Gino Jacomella on harp, and Big Bill Yates on standup bass, released in 2011; "Gone Guitar Blues," a collection of various unreleased studio takes from 2006-2009, including 3 originals, released in 2012; "Borrow From Tomorrow," featuring rock, roll, rhythm, & blues from Ragtime Rick, with $lim $ilver and the Side Effects,, including lots of classics plus three originals, originally recorded in the early eighties, and also released in 2012; "West Coast Blues," a tribute to Blind Blake, featuring 16 remastered Blind Blake compositions from Rick's past albums, released in 2013; "Avalon Blues," mastered from live recordings made at the 2003 Boonville Folk-Blues Festival, featuring Jammin' Gino and Thom Davis on several tracks, also released in 2013; "Blues By The Books," recorded live at the Fort Bragg library, in 1993, and released in 2013; and his latest album, "Rag-ology: More Rags," solo instrumentals released in 2014. "Ragged and Dirty" was recorded live, in June, 2000, at the Placerville, CA public library, with Thom Davis, and features Thom and Rick, performing solo and together, on 13 classic delta blues tracks.

Among the venues at which Ragtime Rick has performed are the Mendocino County Blues Festival, Wild Iris Folk Festival, Fort Bragg Library, Santa Rosa Folk Festival, The Inn of the Beginning, Mendocino Art Center, Willits Community Theater, Crown Hall, Gualala Summer Art Fest, Gloriana Theater, Art in the Gardens, Camino Country Blues Festival, KZYX radio, KMFB radio, Boonville Folk-Blues Festival, Mendocino Hotel, Caspar Inn, Navarro General Store, Mendocino Acoustic Blues Workshop, Lark Music Camp, Mendocino Community Center, Frankie's Ice Cream and Pizza, Headlands Coffee House, V'Canto Restaurant, and the annual Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop , in Port Townsend, Washington, where he has been on staff several times since 1998.

In 2003, Rick and W.B. Reid co-produced for the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop the album, "Lay Down My Old Guitar," a tribute to the late bluesman and songster John Jackson. This CD, which is available both from centrum Recordings and Mendocino Guitars, contains 17 of the tunes John used to play, performed by some of the best of today's acoustic blues artists, including Cephas & Wiggins, Roy Book Binder, Corey Harris, W.B. Reid, Mary Flower, Terry Robb, Saffire--the Uppity Blues Women, Pat Donohue, and Ragtime Rick. All profits received by Centrum Recordings from this CD will benefit the John Jackson Memorial Blues Scholarship Fund!

Ragtime Rick has studied with, performed with, opened for, or taught on staff with, Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, John Jackson, Steve Mann, Dave Van Ronk, Tom Rush, The Chambers Brothers, J.C. Burris, Johnny Shines, Jim Kweskin, K.C. Douglas, Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry, Catfish Keith, Mark Hummel, Ron Thompson, Bo Diddley & Lady Bo, Nick Gravenites, Paul deLay, Robert Lowery, Mary Flower, Cephas & Wiggins, Saffire--the Uppity Blues Women, Del Rey, Steve James, Terry Robb, Honeyboy Edwards, Sam Mitchell, Louisiana Red, Bernie Pearl, Roy Rogers, and Johnny Winter, among many others. Rick also appeared briefly in the PBS documentary "Sweet Old Song," performing with string-band legend Howard Armstrong, a.k.a. Louie Bluie.

For over fifteen years, Rick has taught blues guitar classes for children at the Mendocino Community Center. where he has been one of the featured instructors at the sometimes-annual Mendocino Acoustic Blues Workshop. Rick is always available for guitar lessons, and for festivals, workshops, and concert performances, with Shaky Jake Blues Band, or his jug band, Hittin' the Jug...email him at rick@ragtimerickblues.com, or call 707-895-3214!

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Last Updated 1/5/2018