“Radiator” Rick Asherson is a multi-instrumentalist who blows a mean harp, plays honky-tonk piano with hints of Louisiana swamp, sings and co-writes on all their tunes. A decade ago, Debbie met Rick by way of the late, great bluesman Willie King . . . and their relationship soon developed into a romantic and musical partnership.
Rick first heard the blues in his native city of London, England, where he began to play the harmonica, guitar and piano in the '60s. Fast forward to 2001 and Rick was exploring the back roads of the blues trail through Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama when he connected with Willie King at his Freedom Creek Festival. Rick soon joined Willie’s band, playing keyboards and harmonica. As his association King deepened, he also arranged three European tours, co-produced King's last two CDs and helped present the Freedom Creek Festival. Willie died too soon, in 2009, but his spirit lives on.
As a blues activist and educator with the Alabama blue project, Rick dug in and soon grew some deep Southern roots, becoming a regular teaching artist with the Alabama Blues Project's award-winning after-school blues programs and artist residencies. With Debbie Bond, he helped in the creation and development of the Alabama Blues Project's educational programs, curricula and traveling exhibitions.
Since moving to Alabama in 2001, Rick has performed and played keyboards and harmonica for several other Alabama blues greats, including Little Jimmy Reed, Shar Baby, B. J. Miller, Carroline Shines and Eddie Kirkland.
He married singer/guitar player Debbie Bond in 2003 and they continue to be regulars on the Southern club and festival circuit. Their close musical collaboration includes writing and producing three, critically acclaimed CDs, Hearts are Wild, That Thing Called Love and Enjoy the Ride. Their most recent album, Blues Without Borders, was released in 2021.