Following on from the success of their album “California Dreaming,” acclaimed singer songwriters Rick Price and Jack Jones have announced they’ll embark on a national tour in May 2018 to celebrate this amazing songbook! Amnplify’s Pauli Dee spoke to Rick Price about the album, the tour & the good old 90’s!
Pauli: Congratulations on the success of your latest album with Jack Jones, CALIFORNIA DREAMING.
How did the concept for this album come about?
Rick: Well we were both invited to record this album by our label & Jack and I had been wanting to record something together for a long time, so we just jumped at the opportunity.
Where these songs you listened to in your younger years? Or songs that you discovered later in life?
Oh yes. These songs were all iconic in my younger years. I grew up with The Mamas and the Papas & The Doors, The Byrds & Joni Mitchell. By the time the 70’s rolled around, I was already a musician & was already quite influenced by these singer/song writers. Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Neil Young and of course The Eagles. I just loved all that music when I was a teenager & that’s how I learnt to play. I bought those records & learnt those songs, you know figured out the chords, how to sing them, worked out the harmonies & did my best with them.
Did you record any songs that didn’t make it onto the album?
Not really. We whittled down from a big long, solid list. We went through & picked our favourite artists from that period and that west coast area & then picked our favourite songs from those artists. You know we said “Ok, James Taylor’s got to be in there, what’s our favourite song by James Taylor?” and we circled back to “Fire and Rain” & then Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold,” so it was a combination of finding the artists that were prominent for that time & then our favourite songs of theirs & then the final trim-down selection came from sort of looking at it from a live point of view. If we were going to put on a concert, we need up-tempo songs & some ballads, so we took that into consideration as well.
Have you worked with Jack (Jones) before?
Yes, I have. We had never recorded together before this album, so that was a great thrill & something we both wanted to do for many years, but we had toured together quite a lot in the 90’s. We used to go out on acoustic tours together, just the two of us. We’d open a show together, then one of us would play a set, then bring the other one back on for a few songs, then the other one would play a few songs before we’d finish the show together, it was really a lot of fun.
So you’ve toured with him, and now recorded with him. Have you written together?
We’ve touched on it a little bit while we were making the “California Dreaming” album, you know we sat and jammed a bit on some original ideas with the thought of “let’s revisit this when we have more time to come back around and write together on this,” so yeah I think that’s a strong possibility.
You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that you got some of the musicians that worked on some of the original tracks to work on this album. Who were they & how was that?
Yes. Well the stand out guy was Dan Dugmore, who played pedal steel in James Taylor’s band. He played with Neil Young & with Linda Ronstad for many years & he was the original pedal steel player on Linda Ronstad’s version of Blu Bayou & that solo is quite famous, so it was quite a thrill when he came in and replicated that solo that he put on Linda’s version. It was honestly a great thrill.
Did the album take long to put together?
Not really. Once we had whittled down the list of songs to the twelve that we knew we were going to record, it happened pretty quickly from there. Jack came down from New York & we got started right away on the arrangements & who was going to sing what. Then once we started recording, it probably took about a month to finish it off.
You’ve announced that you’ll be bringing this tour to life on an Australian Tour in May next year.
You still make it to Australia fairly frequently, don’t you?
I do mate. I probably spend about three or four months of the year down there, so it’s really nice. I get home quite regularly.
You’ll obviously be playing songs from the new album on this tour. Will we also be hearing some of your much-loved classics from the 90’s?
Yeah most definitely. We will be playing “Not a day goes by,” “Heaven knows,” “Walk away Renee,” & obviously “Heart in danger,” & “Hold me in your arms,” some of the big songs from Southern Sons will definitely be in there as well.
You’ve been playing some of those songs for a long time. Do you feel a need to reinvent them? Or do you try to stay true to their original format more?
Good question! I sort of feel like those songs have developed a little bit of a life of their own & they do slightly evolve & change over the years. Obviously the melody stays the same… I don’t know, it’s funny, when I perform those songs, they feel like they have a life of their own, it’s sometimes like I’m playing a cover! Hahaha It’s really weird, but I just feel really comfortable playing those songs, I still really enjoy them.
Apart from some of the songs, how is this tour going to be different to when you and Jack toured together in the 90’s?
Well we’ll have a full band this time, so it will be somewhat different. We’ll have a full band and a full production, whereas the tours we did together in the 90’s was always acoustic; just the two of us with two guitars and our voices. This time I’ll also be playing piano as well as guitar, Jack will be playing his electric guitar & we’ll have the back up of a full band, so that will be the major point of difference.
So with a live band would come some rehearsals, I’m presuming. Have you done any rehearsals yet?
Yeah we’ll rehearse in April. Jack’s in New York at the moment & I’m in Nashville, so we’ll reconvene in Australia in April & prepare for the May tour then.
I’ve gotta ask; Why Nashville? What drew you to that part of the world?
Well I’m good friends with Tommy Emmanuel & he’s been living here for quite a few years.
He invited me on tour some years ago & I came to America & a long story short; I just decided to stay! It’s really that simple. I’ve always loved Nashville. I used to come here in the 90’s. I made a lot of my first album “Heaven Knows” in Los Angeles, so I’ve been coming to America for many years. I also had a few friends in Nashville, so I never felt estranged & I love the music community here. I’m making a lot of music here and I’m recording a lot & I get to work with some great musicians here, so that’s a big draw-card for me.
You’ve worked with some amazing musicians in your time. Tina Arena, Tommy Emmanuel, Marcia Hines to name just a few. Is there an Aussie artist you HAVEN’T worked with yet that you’d really like to?
I’ve always really admired Paul Kelly. I love his songs & he’s probably one of the most honest singers that I’ve ever heard. I really admire his work, but there are many great Australian artists, he’s just one of my favorites.
You’ll have to see if you can get him on board your next project!
Oh even just to sit in a room and listen to him play would be good enough for me. He’s fantastic.
California Dreaming is your 9th studio album, which is quite an accomplishment.
To finish up our chat, what advice would you have for someone that wants to succeed in the music industry?
Well… for many things that I’ve tried to plan or orchestrate quite often haven’t come to fruition, but the one thing that I always try & encourage people to do is write & record as much as possible because that’s what it’s about; just engaging creatively & doing what you love. In the end, I’ve done a lot of things in my years with music. Some of those things, I’ve really loved & some I haven’t & I can pretty much say that the things I’ve really enjoyed & put my heart into are the things that I’ve had the best response to & done really well, so don’t try to second-guess yourself or write songs to fit radio format or whatever. Don’t plan it out too much, let the spirit of music just pour out of you because it really is a phenomenon. It’s something that none of us really understand how this music comes out of a thought or a feeling of some kind & how it ends up as a song & a recording. It’s an amazing process.
Connect with Rick
- Pauli Dee
CALIFORNIA DREAMING TOUR 2018
Tickets on sale NOW
Thurs 3 May The Concert Hall, Brisbane
Thurs 10 May
Anita’s Theatre, Wollongong
Fri 11 May
Tamworth Entertainment Centre, Tamworth
Sat 12 May
Narrabri Crossing Theatre, Narrabri
Thurs 17 May
AEC Theatre, Adelaide
Fri 18 May
Geelong Arena, Geelong
Sat 19 May
Hamer Hall, Melbourne
Thu 24 May
Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Fri 25 May
Star Theatre, Gold Coast
Sat 26 May
Royal Theatre, Canberra
Sun 27 May
Newcastle Civic Theatre