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Blues trio 'Richiman and Groove Nice' to rock southeastern CT this weekend

The Blues is an inherently American music genre, but over the decades it’s become an international phenomenon. In the 1960s groups like Cream, The Yardbirds and The Animals introduced the world to British Blues, an infusion of rock and blues.

Today, blues music continues to influence bands in the U.S. and around the world. Since 2000, the Memphis-based Blues Foundation has hosted the International Blues Challenge, which brings acclaimed blues bands from around the world together to compete against each other.

In 2022, one of the bands to make it into the finals was Richiman and Groove Nice – a trio of South Korean musicians who perform in Norwich on Saturday.

The trio formed in 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. Richiman, the group’s lead singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter, told KBS World Radio that when they started out, blues shows were few and far between in Seoul, but that’s all changed.

“Now we have the Korean Blues Society, and that opened a lot of doors,” said Richiman. “There are blues shows every month, every week. The blues music scene in Seoul is growing up.”

Richiman said he caught the blues bug in his teens.

“When I was 18, I listened to a Blind Willie Johnson song,” said Richiman, referring to the influential early 20th century singer and guitarist. “It is called ‘Dark is the Night, Cold is the Ground.’ There are no lyrics, it's just humming and his slide guitar. Then I decided I had to play the blues. I just fell in love with the blues.”

Currently the band is touring the U.S. and working on their first full-length studio album. The songs are being recorded at the famed Royal Recording Studio in Memphis.

Richiman and Groove Nice perform Saturday, Aug. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the Norwich Arts Center as part of its Blues on Broadway Series.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.

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