Press Release: Nina Ricci’s Designs On Me Dec. 5, 2017
By Michael C. Gabriele
Nina Ricci has embarked on a voyage as a modern folksinger
from Nashville, Tennessee, sharing her artistic soul and
pilgrim spirit for all to enjoy.
While being active on the Nashville-area music scene, she
received thoughtful advice from fellow performers who said
that a recording of her music would serve as her “calling
card” for future creative endeavors.
Artists recognize heightened moments of awareness—when to
create, when to pause and reflect, when to change direction.
Sometimes the moment is a single burst of inspiration; other
times it’s a quiet, intuitive process. Beginning in early 2016
Nina found herself writing music and lyrics—poetic elements
of her imagination—all of which culminated in 7 songs she
calls Designs On Me. She knew in her heart that this was the
right time; this was her moment to make a statement.
Nina’s dad, the late Robert James (Bob) Ricci, provided an
inviting musical environment during her formative years, an
eclectic mix of albums by Greenwich Village folksingers, the
Beach Boys and the Beatles. In her teen years, the gritty
Americana tracks of Bruce Springsteen’s “Seeger Sessions”
grabbed her attention, but by contrast, the soaring vocal
arrangements of the British pop band Queen fascinated her.
“I’m a story teller,” she declared. “Each song on Designs On
Me tells its own story. Telling stories is part of what it means
to be a folk singer. I appreciate a good moral to a story. I like
songs that capture the beauty of innocent love.” She’s also
attuned to the sound and shape of lyrics—how they sustain a
musical narrative and convey the intentions of the composer.
Throughout her journey, Nina’s mom, Teresa, a skillful
photographer, has been her steadfast companion, confidant,
and artistic adviser. Born in Atlanta, Nina has lived in the
Nashville area most of her life, and graduated from Boston’s
Berklee College of Music in August 2014. Berklee instructors
pushed Nina to expand her musical boundaries. She has said,
“I learned my limitations, but I also found my strengths. I
found my sound.”
With each step on her musical pilgrimage, Nina said she’s
following the leadership of the Lord. “The timing is in His
Hands.” A poem titled “Hands,” written by Nina, offers a
glimpse of her inner spiritual workings. The following is an
When my life is naught but bad dreams loose seams and unraveling schemes
His Hands are in the starry sky
I may see them on moonbeams
And my hands are young
My fingers, long, supple and strong
But I know not how my own strength will last, nor how long
I only hope God will grant me grace and give my fingers strength
To hold another’s hand
And to fold my hands in thanks
Since the early years of the 20th century, there have been
various American folk music revivals. It’s likely that, decades
from now, scholars, music lovers, journalists and performers
will look back on these early years of the 21st century and
recognize that this period is yet another important milestone
in the revival of folk music. This current revival builds upon
all that has come before it and moves confidently in new
directions, with diverse sounds from independent singer/
songwriters who demonstrate a fervent appreciation of
musical traditions from throughout the United States.
American folk music revivals also are sparked by distinct,
heroic voices that capture the spirit of the times and people
who make up the American mosaic. Nina Ricci is one of those
voices. She has chosen a musical path that will enrich the
lives of others.
Michael C. Gabriele is a freelance writer based in New Jersey
and the author of three books on the Garden State’s history,
all published by The History Press, the most recent of which is
“New Jersey Folk Revival Music – History and Tradition,”
which was released in December 2016.
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