Nina Ricci, a singer and songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee, creates music relevant to current times and keeps her footing in folk revival music in her debut album Designs On Me. Born in Atlanta, Nina has lived in the Nashville area most of her life and has been active on the local music circuit. She declares, “I’m a storyteller,” “Each song on this album tells its own story.” The seven selections reflect poetic elements of her imagination. Nina tells her stories and demonstrates a range of artistic sensibilities and influences. She also carefully reveals her sentimental side as an artist in the album’s title track, singing along with a smooth mix of violins, accordion and pedal steel sounds: “We’ve traded looks that lock in place, that light up in the other’s face, the kind that keeps you twined for life, the everloving mystery.” In “Folk City,” she speaks with an open heart about a visit to Greenwich Village, NYC, where her dad lived in the 1970’s. Nina sketches dream-like images of what the hip scene was like in the late 1950s and early 1960’s as she follows “the embers of fallen footsteps.” She draws upon long-lost rhythms of the Village’s hallowed grounds; maybe it’s the staccato movement of curious passersby on a Saturday night at the intersection of MacDougal and Bleecker streets. “I stop on the sidewalk and watch the sway of ghostly teenagers of yesterday.” The composition, “If I Wear Blue,” begins with a lilting Klezmer violin playing in three/four time, as she ponders the fallout behind the spectrum of color she feels and wears—especially blue. “I’ve always had a pattern or odd combinations of hues and of dyes, yellow, magenta and blue.” But instead of providing vivid clarity, this swirl of colors becomes a baffling kaleidoscope of complicated emotions. “I hate spinning circles in the same direction.” Nina confesses that her album is a mixture of many colors and emotions, but she says, “there was a peace all along that it was going to come out as it should be. There’s nothing like getting an education and then implementing what you’ve learned in living color.” In the process, Nina found her “sound and strength” as a musician. With this album, and with all the colors it contains, she embarks on a musical journey to share her voice with others.
—Michael C. Gabriele, author of New Jersey Folk Revival Music: History & Tradition