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Members include Jeff Bryant, born in Texas drums;Junior Bryant, born in Texas, fiddle and mandolin;Teddy Carr, (raised in Lafayette, TN), steel guitar; GregCook, (raised in Vian, OK), bass and vocals; Eddie Kilgallon,(raised in East Greenbush, NY), keyboards, guitar, saxophone, andvocals; and Heath Wright, (raised in Vian, OK), guitar and vocals. Addresses: Record company-Sony Records Nashville, 34 Music Square East,Nashville, TN 37203 Phone: (615) 742-4321.
The six-member, contemporary country music group Ricochet combines seamless ensemble harmonies with irresistible, up beat dance music and delivers a sound with depth and passion.The band achieves its vocal trademark by layering two tenor parts atop the lead, then adding a baritone and low tenor beneath. Ricochet has been compared favorably to the Eagles, Restless Heart, and Southern Pacific, and the band's sixstring-and-fiddle exuberance, combined with their memorable balladry, has garnered numerous music awards since the band's inception in 1993. Ricochet was described by Stephen Thomas Erlewine on the web-based All-Music Guide as,"one of the most successful new country groups of the year , spending the better part of the year in the Top 40 of the country charts."
In 1993, drummer Jeff Bryant asked lead guitarist/singer Heath Wright to join his bandLariat, which included Bryant's brother, fiddle and mandolin player Junior Bryant. Shortly after Wright joined Lariat, the group disbanded, but the Bryant brothers and Wright decided to form another band. They called their new band Ricochet and, by 1994, they had found bassist/vocalistGreg Cook, steel guitar player Teddy Carr, and keyboardist/rhythm guitarist/saxophonist/vocalistEddie Kilgallon. From 1994-96 Ricochet toured the southern states and the west coast, slowly developing an ardent fan base and developing a uniquely energetic, edgy, and neo-traditionalsound. They also devoted their time to writing original songs and rehearsing, which paid off when they cut their first demo.
Ricochet's first manager was a friend of record producer Ron Chancey, noted for his work with the Oak Ridge Boys. After hearing them, he arranged for the band to cut a demo, and subsequently sent the tape to his son, Blake Chancey, Artist and Repretoire director fo Columbia Records in Nashville, Tennessee. After hearing the band perform live, Blake Chancey and a group of Columbia Record's executives decided to sign Ricochet to a development deal under the direction of producer Ed Seay, who had worked with Martina McBride and ColinRaye. By 1995, the development deal turned into a full-fledged record contract, and during the spring of 1995, the band recorded their debut album, Ricochet. During the remainder of 1995, the band toured the country as a supporting act for Merle Haggard, Doug Stone, and Charlie Daniels,which increased their exposure and fan base. Ricochet was released in early 1996 to vast acclaim,and remained on the charts for most of the remainder of the year.
Ricochet's self-titled debut release sold over 500,000 copies and garnered the Academy of Country Music's Top New Vocal Group of the Year award. In addition, the band was named Group of the Year by the Radio & Records readers poll, and Ricochet was registered bySoundScan as the number one-selling group in country music for 19 weeks straight. After touring exhaustingly throughout 1996, the band released its second album Blink of an Eye in 1997. The album won Country Weekly magazine's Favorite New Group Award at their Golden PickAwards, and further underscored the fact that Ricochet was a talented new band with staying power.
Blink of an Eye--released 18 months after Ricochet--was a more confident album than the band's first release, due in part to the band's extensive touring. The release featured stronger songs and offered a more strident approach to country music balladry. The band had grown more comfortable with their producers after working with them for over a year, and band members felt freer to make suggestions, changes, and to experiment. As a result, their second release was truert o their musical intentions and the material emphasized their vocal strengths more effectively. Singles such as "He Left A Lot to be Desired," "Blink of an Eye," and "You Can't Go By That" married breathtaking balladry with rollicking dance rhythms. Ricochet's overall style, however,often defied description and was characterized by it's contemporary, country, folk, dance, and melodic ballad approach, presented in a vigorously energetic style. Chris Rimlinger of CountryWeekly described Blink of an Eye as, "Fresh, featuring songs that look at common scenarios from slightly out of the ordinary perspective."
After the release of Blink of an Eye in June of 1997, 24,000 country music fans flocked to seethe band at the 26th Annual Country Music Fan Fair event held in Nashville, Tennessee. The group was the biggest selling act for the second consecutive year at the Fan Fair, and their second release outsold projects by country music notables such as George Strait and Tim McGraw.
Another key to the band's success and ability is their cohesiveness and shared musical perspective. The Bryant brothers were raised in a small town in Texas, where their father was a keyboardist who once worked with Roy Orbison, and their mother was a bass guitar player. Junior Bryant's influences were Vassar Clements, Bob Wills, Roy Rogers, and Jean-Luc Ponty. Jeff Bryant was influenced by Tex-Mex music, 4/4 shuffles, and rhythm-and-blues. Teddy Carrwas raised in Lafayette, Tennessee, and worked with Clay Walker, Little Jimmy Dickens, andJack Greene. He was inspired by Chet Atkins. Multi-talented Eddie Kilgallon was raised in East Greenbush, New York, and is a self-described "glissando freak." Wright and Cook were childhood friends in their hometown of Vian, Oklahoma, and offer inventive guitar and bass interchanges. Cook was influenced by Johnny Cash's guitarist Luther Perkins and by Don Rich,who played with Buck Owens.
The kinship the six band members share provides the ultimate strength of Ricochet. The bandmembers view music as a shared adventure and a joy, and it is this enthusiastic perspective that can take an audience by surprise. Sony Nashville senior vice president of sales and marketing,Mike Kraski, told Billboard's Deborah Evans Price, "They are, in my mind, the best band in country music today. I just don't know that it could get any better than to have that depth of talent, that kind of work ethic, and that kind of personality and charm all in one mix of ingredients."
by B. Kimberly Taylor
Band formed in 1993; signed a development deal with Columbia Records in 1994;signed a record deal with Columbia Records, 1995; toured the U.S. as a supporting act for MerleHaggard, DougStone, and Charlie Daniels, 1995; released Ricochet, 1996; signed with SonyMusic, released Blink of an Eye, 1997.
Academy of Country Music[s Top New Vocal Group of the Year award for1996, Group of the Year by the Radio & Records readers poll in 1996, Country Weeklymagazine]s Favorite New Group Award at the magazine[s Golden Pick Awards in 1997.
- Billboard, , May 3, 1997.
- Country Weekly , July 29, 1997.
- The Courant , Febuary 25, 1997.
- http://184.108.40.206/cg/amg.exe]sql=2PIDP///182058 (All-Music guide)
- www.imusic.com (CDNOW)
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