NTERVIEW: Rick Devin
by Cyrus Rhodes
School 2 by Rick Devin proves where there is smoke there is
fire. It’s an impressive collection of 12 classic hits you won't
soon forget and deliver a bone crushing line-up of players and
musicians only a veteran like Rick Devin can deliver.
IMD What do you want fans to take from your music, this CD?
RD It's been a great honor for all of us involved, to reintroduce these great songs to the new generations and listeners of today. Like Michael Bublé and Rod Stewart who ‘covered’ the Hits of 30s & 40s, we have tried to present a slightly new twist on many of our favorite songs from the 60s & 70s, while also trying to maintain the integrity of the originals.
IMD Who are some of your top musical influences growing up?
RD I was born in 1960 outside of Boston, Massachusetts and started singing & playing guitar at age nine. My earliest musical influences were the popular bands of that time, such as The Beatles, The Animals, Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, The Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, etc. During my teen years, during the 1970s, my repertoire grew to include songs by bands such as America, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joe Walsh, Eric Clapton, The Eagles, Willie Nelson and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. I guess I’d have to say that my ‘sound’, instrumentally and vocally, is an amalgamation of all of the above.
IMD What’s the first concert you have ever performed at?
RD "House of the Rising Sun" (The Animals’ version) was my first on-stage performance in 1972. I had bought a Fender Stratocaster and Fender Amp that same year with money that I had earned from my paper-route and from mowing lawns… The first album that I ever bought was Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, which to this day, I believe, influenced my ‘engineering ear’ to the limitless possibilities of sound recording.
IMD How did this amazing Project OLD SCHOOL come together?
RD In March of 2010, during the Guns N' Roses' "Chinese Democracy" World Tour, band members Chris Pitman, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal & Frank Ferrer stopped by my home on Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We listened to my first "Old School: Hits of the 60s & 70s" CD and conversations started right then about recording a 'sequel' / 'follow up' CD. The question I would ask each Guest Musician is, "If you could actually choose... What would be a 'Classic Rock Song' (from the 60s & 70s) that you've always dreamed of recording, but never got a chance to?"... Chris Pitman wanted to record some Beatles' songs, “Bumblefoot” a tune from ZZ Top, Chris Pinnick some Clapton, etc., etc... You see Cyrus, many of these guys are touring or recording what 'Band Management' tells them to record, so for me to ask them, 'What do YOU wish YOU could record?', put a nice twist on things. I of course needed to like their song selections (which was super easy) and in most cases the songs were already within my Repertoire anyway. Chet McCracken (who has toured & recorded with The Doobie Brothers, Joe Walsh, America, Stevie Nicks, etc.) and Chris Pinnick (who has toured & recorded with Chicago, Chuck Negron, Herb Alpert, etc.) both worked with me on the first "Old School" CD. They're both incredible musicians and it was great to be working with both of them again. In May 2011, in a Pub in Tipperary, Ireland, I met Philip Donnelly (who has toured & recorded with Johnny Cash, John Prine, Townes Van Zandt, Donovan, Gary Moore, etc.) & Stuart Lawrence (who has toured & recorded with Donovan). We performed a few songs together and agreed to work together on my Old School 2: Rock Hits of the 60s & 70s. Their choice was a tune written by Slim Harpo that had been covered by The Yardbirds.
"It's been a great honor for all of us involved, to reintroduce these great songs to the new generations and listeners of today."
- Rick Devin -
IMD Tell us about your latest CD Old School 2?
RD Old School 2: Rock Hits of the 60s & 70s is my ninth and latest full length solo album. It is a follow-up to my 2008 venture Old School: Hits of the 60s & 70s and it has been one of my greatest collaborative adventures yet - featuring many veteran sidemen. This second chapter of my intended musical trilogy of the hits of the 60s & 70s is more ‘classic rock’ based than the first project was.
IMD What’s it best and worst things about being an artist from your locale?
RD This project was recorded in 9 different Recording Studios on 3 different Continents!! From Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Tipperary, Ireland; and from California to North Carolina to New Jersey... For myself, it’s been an honor and a privilege to collaborate with some of the finest veteran musicians in the world on this Old School 2 project.
IMD Is there one track that stands out on your latest release that stands out as being your personal favorite?
RD Actually Cyrus, each and every song has a special place in my heart. Perhaps it’s a memory of first singing along to a particular song, or first learning to play it decades ago, or the first time dancing to it with a sweetheart. Each song is filled with distant memories for each of us involved, and through the recording process we were transported back in time to those memories. It really was fun putting it all together.
IMD What’s the best thing about performing live?
RD Audience Participation - Involuntary toe tapping, followed by boisterous sing-a-longs which usually leads to uncontrollable dancing, ha-ha.
IMD Any touring scheduled to support?
RD It would be nearly impossible for all of us to do a supporting tour. We live on three different continents and many of the guest musicians are currently touring with other bands. We are however, honored to have you and your Indie Music Media helping to share the music and the love. Thanks from all of us!!
IMD What’s next for Mr. Devin?
RD I don’t want to ever stop learning, so I’d like to attend some more classes at Berklee Music in the near future… Also, Old School 3: Acoustic Hits of the 60s & 70s is in the very beginning stages…Finally I’d like to take a chance to thank our listeners, anyone who’s bought a CD / Download, or come to one of our shows, thank you very much because we wouldn’t be able to do this without you. Cheers, you guys rock!!
interview conducted by Cyrus Rhodes. Property of Indie Music Media LLC.
Copyright © 2013
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