So, how does a 60 something year old dude get to here? After all, what’s wrong with watching TV and Bingo?
Well, now, that’s a long story. Born in the ‘Steeltown’ of Hamilton, Ontario and ‘raised up’ in the suburban world of Burlington, Ontario Ric has been hanging his hat in the town of Canmore, Alberta for the past 35+ years. What started out as a month of spring skiing has turned into becoming almost “a local” in this most excellent mountain town. During this time Ric has tried his hand at what we would call “a lot of stuff” including work in the construction industry, newspaper reporter, house-husband, home based travel consultant and gravedigger.
Beginning with his portrayal of Prince Charming at age six (no one else but Ric wanted to kiss the Princess!), Ric has been on and around the stage his entire life. Ric has been very prominent in the local arts scene, including a 24 year engagement with the Banff Television Festival, being a Founding Member of the Canmore Folk Festival and a 34 year association with The Pine Tree Players, Canmore’s community theatre company. Ric was also the Festival Director for the Canmore artsPeak Arts Festival for 5 years.
A couple of other passions for Ric have been baseball, (he was the Founding President of the Bow Valley Little League), hockey, (Ric coached and managed teams here with Canmore Minor Hockey for 13 years) and basketball too! In 2010 while looking to occupy his time, Ric assumed the role of Event Manager for Canmore’s unique winter community activity, The Ski Track on Main Street. In his spare time he loves to golf and sing, but never at the same time!
While no stranger to the stage and screen, Ric kept his talents as a singer/songwriter well hidden until the spring of 2007 when he began playing at local open stages and to work on realizing his lifelong dream. In June of 2008, his dream came true with the release of his debut album, Since We Were Young. This CD, recorded at Bakerstreet Studios in North Vancouver, contains eight original songs.
Since the release of Since We Were Young, Ric along with Joan Voyce have been active promoting their music at various engagements including The Canmore Folk Festival, Canmore Canada Day, Cochrane Arts Festival, Beaumont Blues Festival and the Winterfolk Festival in Toronto as well as appearances at several venues in Canmore, The GTA, Salt Spring Island and beyond. Ric is a member of SOCAN and AMIA
About the CD Since We Were Young
About 13 years ago, I began working on realizing my life-long dream of bringing my hidden musical talents ‘outta the closet’ and onto the stage. Funny how you know that you have something to offer but good old self doubt just keeps you down. Anyhow, I decided that it was time and I spent a lot of time going back to songs I had written along the way and in developing new works. Like so many others, I spent a lot of nights in the basement singing when no one was around and battling that most formidable opponent called self doubt. I kept going with it, but, honestly, it was hard to get over that nasty little voice that kept saying, ‘hey, stupid, you’re 55 years old! You can’t say you’re a songwriter now!’, but, I just said well, whatever, I’m just some old fool then, and, I played on.
In the Winter of 06/07 I started tuning up at some local Jam Sessions playing a few tunes here and there. I can tell you, I was scared shitless! Even though I have been on stage most of my life, this was really the first time I had said out loud ‘uh, hey folks, you know, I have some songs I can sing” Well, generally, the songs were well received which was certainly encouraging, but, the real turning point came in early Spring of 07 at Zona’s Bistro when I let loose one night with my version of “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”. The crowd really liked it and this guy, a really big guy, comes up to me and says ‘” Hey, you know that song Misunderstood …(long towering pause) … well, I really hate that song’” so I figured like I was going to get thumped real good, but then he says ‘’Well, I use to hate it, but after hearing you sing it I’ll never hate it again, you outta record that.’’
Well, that was really the turning point for me and from then on I started hanging out in the basement a whole lot more. Practicing and working on tunes. Then one night I told Joan that I wanted her to hear what I had been doing and she sat down and listened to the 10 songs that I felt were ready. It was dumb, I was just so completely nervous, ‘because playing for the one you love, well, that’s the toughest test. At the end Joan gave me a such an indescribable smile, and, that moment, that was the birth of what became my CD – Since We Were Young
Since We Were Young was released in June of 2008. The CD was Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Paul Baker at Bakerstreet Studios, North Vancouver, assisted by David Meszaros and with arrangements by Robbie Steininger.
This album contains 8 original songs written over the years but which are just now being brought to the light of day. There is a mixture of Blues, Folk, Rock n’ Roll and Country Rock. At the end of the day, something for everyone, I guess. One of the songs – “Spotlight” – is well over 30 years old, while a couple of others were written just last Spring so it’s an interesting retrospective. SINCE WE WERE YOUNG also includes what I believe are unique covers of the classic hits; “If I were A Carpenter” and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”
I would like to acknowledge Paul Baker and Robbie Steininger for their most unbelievable contributions to this CD. Unfortunately, Paul passed onto the ‘great tour on the other side’ in the Fall of 2010. I hold him in my thoughts with profound gratitude.