Smoke & Mirrors
REVIEWS FOR SMOKE AND MIRRORS ROCK 'N' REEL REVIEW. Jul/Aug 2008 'The irresistible melody-rich immediacy of Whispers and Screams' and country tones of 'You'll Never leave Me' contrast with the compelling acoustic pop-rock of 'A Red Rose' and the reflective acoustics of the harrowing 'A Song for Muktar' on an album brimming with unpolished gems. MAVERICK MAGAZINE.Sep 2008 '... authentic outlaw spirit... balances a robust roots framework with delicacy and wistfulness where it really counts.' Helen Carney. Rick's tradition is that of the singer/songwriter and storyteller; as well as being a musician he is a writer and is the author of three best-selling fantasy novels entitled 'The Faradawn Trilogy'. His musical influences can be detected in his songs and his playing and his musical influences seem to mesh together with a timelessness beyond fashion like the blues, folk and country music that he loves so much. Rick's songs are steeped in the wild beauty of the hills, valleys and moorlands around his remote home in the Peak District countryside; at once simple, raw and earthy and yet at the same time filled with an indefinable sense of yearning. Though some of Rick's songs are heartbreaking in their unflinching honesty, the insight he brings into his portrayal of the human condition is riveting. Rick plays and sings in the pubs and clubs around North Staffordshire in the U.K., either on his own or with various other musicians including Kelly Pointon on accompanying vocals, Tim Mundy on mandolin and Ian Woolley on dobro, all of whom appear on Rick's new CD, 'Smoke and Mirrors.'He also plays in 'The Sons of the Light Crust Doughboys' with JohnPaul Hill on accordion and guitars and Steve Giddings on slide and other guitars.