Ric Zweig is an unusual artist within the music industry, having put his music career on hold many years ago to pursue a career as a successful lawyer and circuit court judge in southern Florida. Now retired, Ric reignited his music career a little over a decade ago, receiving many accolades along the way. Deeply imbued with a sense of wisdom, nostalgia, and Epicurean philosophy, the music is at once memorable and familiar. Ric handles lead & harmony vocals along with guitar. His band goes by the name Fresh Air and consist of Alex Mallet on lead guitar, Ricky Risquez on bass, and Miguel Cruz on drums. Songwriting is primarily handled by Ric, though band members also contribute to lyrics & music. The latest album More Ric Zweig & Fresh Air features 10 songs that will bring to mind the feeling of having a cold beer on a warm summer day, life’s problems far from mind (if you’ve never experienced that, I highly recommend it). It also is one of the finest records released in 2017 thus far.

The Stranger starts out with an intriguingly ominous acoustic guitar refrain before Ric’s world-weary vocals come in. “you’re looking down a lonely road / wondering where it goes / nobody knows”. Wiser words have never been written. The band is tight and Zweig puts his voice to good use. Here Comes the Rain appears on this album in a few different versions. Each version is simply stunning and Zweig was wise to showcase this song. Carefree, nostalgic, and maybe just a hint of regret bleeding through. That feeling of the rain coming down, awash in memories and a new path forward? This song invokes all of that, and then some. Fittingly, the song fades out with the words “…the ocean”. The Dark Light has an urgency to it that shines a light on the rhythm section. “I’m still walking down the ancient highway…”. That line caught my attention. Funky yet soulful, this another highlight on an album full of them.

You can follow the latest from Ric on the world wide web here. The album can be purchased by following that link. All proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society. At $5 a pop, who can argue with that? Ric Zweig & the Fresh Air tour Florida and make it up to New Orleans on occasion. Consider it on my “bucket list” if I get down to that section of the country again (it has been a long, long time). What I like about Ric’s music is the sense of honesty – it is breezy, melodic, and sticks with you long after the music has faded away. If an album can take the troubles of the world away for 45 minutes, well – what more can you ask for?

Verdict: Perfect Summer Album

For Fans of: Neil Young, James Taylor, Kings of Convenience, The Beatles, America, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash

Tracks:

  1. Rescue Me
  2. The Stranger
  3. Here Comes The Rain Revisited
  4. Reincarnation
  5. The Dark Light
  6. Gotta Have Hope
  7. Questions
  8. Here Comes the Rain
  9. Reincarnation – Instrumental Version
  10. Here Comes The Rain w/ Tony Colella & Angelo Caruso
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