Rick “Rico” Cicalo is a bass player that has performed with a multitude of notable Iowa artists for over 30 years.
Rico picked up the bass at the age of 13 and has been playing the instrument for 40 years now, beginning with church and school dances, eventually graduating to Latin and Soul bands, even performing in Harlem. His biggest influences early on were Louis Armstrong, Count Basie (with the great Walter Page on bass), and the Blues of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Sonny Boy Williamson.
He handled the bass duties for the Mother Blues Band (which also included Joe Price, Patrick Hazell, Bo Ramsey and longtime rhythm section partner Steve Hayes) from 1975 to 1983. With Mother Blues, he had the distinct pleasure of opening for Muddy Waters. He was able to meet and hang out with Blues legends Willie Dixon, John Mayall, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, and Lightnin’ Hopkins.
He joined Joe Price after that with the Moon Rockers for a couple years, and also played with the Rhythm Rockers for about 5 years.
Some of the more notable artists that he has contributed his talents to on recordings, and/or on tour, include Bo Ramsey, Dave Zollo, Dave Moore, Greg Brown, Kevin Gordon, Jeffrey Foucault, and Pieta Brown.
Cicalo’s travels have led him to many of the finest venues in the Midwest and also to the prestigious Wolf Trap and Ram’s Head venues in Virginia. He has also performed on public radio and television.
Last year, he was called upon to play bass on both Greg Brown’s The Evening Call and Bo Ramsey’s Stranger Blues album.
In addition to being inducted into the IBHOF, Cicalo will have the honor of being inducted into the Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with the Mother Blues Band in 2007.
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