Rik Blanz: Guitar Player-Song Writer-Producer: "WELCOME HOME"
Growing up in Jacksonville, FL, the birth place of Southern Rock, Rik Blanz couldn't help being influenced by some of the legends of the genre. Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Johnny Van Zant Band, and Molly Hatchet were just some of the "local bands" that would stop in and jam with his band, Asylum.
After playing locally for a few years, Rik was selected by Bobby Ingram (formerly of The Danny Joe Brown Band) to play guitar in his solo effort, The Bobby Ingram Project. After years of intense writing and perfecting a stage show, they were signed by a CBS affiliated label PARC records and recorded an album as China Sky in 1988.
In 1990, Rik joined Molly Hatchet and toured extensively in the United States, Europe and Canada, and was able to share the stage with such legends as Pat Travers, Foghat, The Outlaws, and Savoy Brown. Eventually, singer Danny Joe Brown's battle with diabetes took its toll on the band's ability to tour and Rik was forced to make a choice of continuing with an uncertain future with Hatchet or making a living doing the only other thing he knew... construction.
He chose the latter. Rik moved to Maryland, married the love of his life Laura, and worked in Washington, DC as a foreman for a construction company in 1992. He played music for fun with Bad Monkey until 2004, when he was offered a job as a superintendent for Actus Lend Lease building homes for our military heroes and their families at Fort Campbell, KY.
While living in nearby Clarksville, TN, he started a band called Broken Toy with long time friend Abe Rutherford, and was inspired to start writing music again. In 2007 Rik transferred with Actus to Camp Lejeune, NC, where he set up his home studio and started exploring the art of engineering and producing.
While living in Jacksonville, NC he met retired Navy Corpsman, Shannon Book; the two have since collaborated on a wide range of music from Modern Rock to Modern Country. "I've been fortunate to perform and tour with some of my childhood idols over the years, but I've never felt so inspired and honored to create such great music as with Shannon Book, a true American hero," says Rik.
They are currently writing and producing their own CD with two other talented military heroes, drummer HMC Jeff Jarrett (Navy Corpsman) and bass player Sgt. Josh Brown (U.S. Marine Corps.) under the name Deliberately Broken.