Recently James Lowe from Kickacts Magazine sat down with one of the very exciting artists on the scene. The following is a written interview we conducted with the artist while they were working on their next CD and Tour. First off I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us here today, as i know our readers have been requesting us get you in here somehow some way. You folks have been described by your fans as internet sensations in this interview we will attempt to figure out how this artist became such a great performer and what they have going forward.
1. Welcome to Kick Acts. Tell us a little about yourself and your band and were you can be found at on the web.
Rick Devin (RD): Thanks guys, it’s an honor to be here. Well let’s see, I’ve been playing guitar & singing for over 4 decades, have performed on thousands of stages worldwide with some of music’s biggest names, have been nominated or won dozens of music awards and now we just released my ninth solo album, “Old School 2: Rock Hits of the 60s& 70s”. It’s a collection of 12 of our favorite classic rock songs, featuring keyboardist/vocalist Chris Pitman (Guns N’ Roses), drummer Chet McCracken (Doobie Brothers, Joe Walsh, America, Stevie Nicks), guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns N’ Roses), guitarist Chris Pinnick (Chicago, Chuck Negron, Herb Alpert), guitarist Philip Donnelly (Donovan, Johnny Cash, Townes Van Zandt, Everly Brothers, John Prine, Gary Moore), drummer Stuart Lawrence (Donovan), saxophonist Beto Saroldi (Gilberto Gil) and vocalists Maria Ricart, Manoel Pires and Rosa Lucena and my brother Sean Devin… All of the online music websites have our music; here are just a few with their direct links: rickdevin.com | Apple iTunes | Amazon.com | CD Baby
2. Who are your musical heroes, influences & why?
RD: I was born in 1960 outside of Boston, Massachusetts and started 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.
3. Do you have any advice for someone just getting started in playing music? Any pitfalls they should avoid?
RD: Have fun, don’t give up and just stick to it!! Learn to make music from your heart, practice until your fingers bleed and share your music with your family & friends – eventually if you follow your heart, you’ll be recording albums and performing in front of thousands of fans.
4. Do you have a greatest gig story you’d like to share?
RD: I have had the honor of performing on stage with many of music’s biggest names, but for me the best part is audience participation – with everyone just singing along, dancing and having a good time.
5. On the same token as the above question. How about a “worse gig” ever story.
RD: A very ‘challenging gig’ I had was when I dislocated my left shoulder just prior to walking on stage in Colorado to perform with country music star Michael Martin Murphey (Wildfire, Geronimo’s Cadillac, What’s Forever For)… I performed the 45 minute set, with my guitar slid to the right so that my left arm could reach the guitar neck. No one in the audience even knew I was playing with a dislocated shoulder, ha-ha… “The Show Must Go On”, right? I got off the stage and went straight to the Hospital Emergency Room, Ha-ha…
6. Do you have any other hobbies other than playing music? Collect stamps? Collect hats from off the side of the road? Draw pictures of boobs?
RD: Music Business for Independent Recording Artists never really ends, so I’m pretty much face down most of the time…but when I do get a chance, I enjoy traveling, skiing, mountaineering and genealogy.
7. What do you think about the present music scene or lack of? Care to address that?
RD: For me the biggest change in the music industry has been in recording techniques… I first started recording with a ‘compact cassette recorder’ in the mid-70s using only one microphone to pick up the entire audio sound, ha-ha. Whereas on this recent studio release, we recorded up to thirty different tracks, in nine different studios, on three different continents, and shared all of the audio files via yousendit.com. Wow, we’ve come a long way baby.
8. Tell us something about each of your band members that we wouldn’t expect to hear… Like their hobbies or something like that…
RD: How about if I tell you about how we all came together as a band to create this recording and what inspired it? You see it started in March of 2010, during the Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy World Tour, GN’R band members Chris Pitman, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal & Frank Ferrer stopped by my home on Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro. 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, 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?’, puts 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 and Chris Pinnick 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 & Stuart Lawrence. 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.
9. Hypothetical situation. You’re stranded on Gilligan’s island and you get to hook up with only one of the girls… Is it Ginger, Mary Ann or Mrs. Howell and why?
RD: Mary Ann… I guess I’ve always been more smitten with the girl next door charms…
10. # 10 is called “Shout It Out Loud”. It’s were you get to talk about whatever you want to talk about. So go ahead and “SHOUT IT OUT LOUD”!
RD: 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!