BY PETER DORFMAN
The performing duo of Jason Fickel and Ginger Curry came together in classic blues fashion. “We met at a bar,” Curry recalls. It was at an open mic event at the now-defunct Cellar Lounge. Fickel and Curry played together that night, liked the sound, and began performing as Jason & Ginger in 2010.
It was a meeting of two distinctly different musical paths. Kansas-born Fickel, 48, had been a devoted bluesman. Though he’d grown up listening mostly to country music, he got hooked on the blues as a teenager, went to college in Mississippi, and found mentors among traditional blues musicians like James “Son” Thomas.
As for Curry, 46, “I didn’t sing blues until I met Jason,” she says. “I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, singing gospel. I went to the University of Louisville and have a music education degree. When Jason and I met, I sang in a bluegrass band.”
Jason & Ginger developed their own eclectic sound. They recorded their first album, Jokerville, in 2011, and later that year were semi-finalists at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Fast-forward to 2016, and the duo are regulars on the Midwestern blues and folk circuits. They released their third album, Some Kind of Love, in August.
“It was the second most-played album on WFHB for a couple of weeks,” Fickel says. “It was gratifying to have that local support.”
They are based in Bloomington, having found their way here through their spouses. “My wife is a professor at Indiana University, and we moved here for her job,” Fickel explains. Curry’s husband works at Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, and she moved up from Louisville when they were married.
Jason & Ginger play at local venues like The Players Pub and Oliver Winery. Both are involved with WFHB’s Firehouse Follies, a quarterly live radio revue. Fickel is the show’s band leader; Curry sings with a group called the Gospel Gurlz.
In March 2017, the duo will perform at an annual festival in Lisle, Illinois, an event that pays tribute to the women of the blues, whose music inspired their 2013 second album, A Good Man Is Hard to Find: Celebrating the Women of the Blues.
To learn more, visit jasonandginger.com or visit JasonAndGinger on Facebook.