The work of Canadian singer/songwriter Ricasso usually falls into two distinct styles: folk-esque acoustic rock or electric-charged hard rock. His discography meanders back and forth between these styles like the work of a true Gemini (Ricasso was born on June 18th), but at the heart of it all, solid, durable songwriting and melodies that stick in your head. His latest effort Overgrown is no exception. A departure from the straight ahead rock format of his previous two albums, Overgrown is a return to the more folky style evident on his debut release, Disgraceland. The album showcases Ricasso's songwriting diversity, pitting introspective ballads against powerful, dark rockers; feel-good pop against longing alternative country. It also boasts a great guest line-up, including Kenny Greer (Red Rider) on pedal steel and Jason Fowler (John McDermott, Amy Sky) on guitar. Over the years Ricasso's songwriting has earned critical recognition by the industry, acknowledgement by the press, as well as air-play on commercial radio and campus stations across Canada. He is the two-time winner of ROCK102's Radiostar National Songwriting Competition at Canada Music Week, he has had his songs covered by other artists and been included on numerous compilation albums. He has also produced several albums for other artists most notably Dancing with Angels, the award-winning debut album by Eileen Laverty. Ricasso started his first band at the age of 15, but it wasn't until he gave up drumming and focused on songwriting that things started to happen. Playing with local bands on weekends and designing posters, T-shirts and album covers for fellow musicians during the week, Ricasso scraped together enough money to record. His debut album, Disgraceland, received glowing reviews from the nation's music press. Chart Magazine claimed "[it] could dominate the airwaves" and that there was ''not a weak song" on the album. In 2003, Ricasso returned to the studio to deliver his second album, Pollution. This diverse collection of guitar driven rock took aim at our media-saturated society with a self-effacing, tongue-in-cheek attitude. It also landed him at Canada Music Week when the song 'Bipolar', earned him his first songwriting award. The album went on to garner air-play on commercial radio and chart across Canada at college stations. After a healthy regiment of nightclubs, one-nighters and festivals promoting Pollution, Ricasso returned to the studio with the Trash Icons, his 2004/2005 touring outfit. The resulting album, Suck It Up (2006), was a straight-ahead rock attack, recorded mostly 'off the floor.' Although the album contained some covers from Ricasso's live show, it was again his songwriting that won accolades. Ricasso is currently touring in support of Overgrown, but you can be guaranteed his pen and song notebook won't be far away.
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