Welcome to the website for Rick Drost, a Singer/Songwriter based in Cambridge, MA.  Here you'll find
- Schedule information, 
- Recent tunes with lyrics,  
- Photos -both of performances that kind folks have contributed, and some that I try to collect whenever I go someplace to sing.
- There's Biographical information, Contact Information, A mailing list if you're interested.
- I'll try to post infrequent musings on various subjects in the blog.

Mostly, enjoy the tunes - i write slowly; hopefully the tunes reward repeated listening.
Thanks for dropping by.

For Valentine's Day - From Public Garden Swans to All Lovers 

A while ago the Boston Globe published a story on the swans in the Public Garden.  It turns out that the swans, known the world over as Romeo and Juliet,  are in fact two females, and even hetero swan couples trade off on the normal gender-related roles.   I went down to meet the swans, fell in love with their easy tranquility and their exquisite surroundings. I visited them morning, noon, and evening, (it was summer) and wrote them this valentine, Juli and Romy.

Here's the MP3 Turning the World, released last year.

Juli and Romy from "Turning the World"; John Shain production; Kaitlin Grady Cello

 Happy Valentine's day, all!



Dad Built us a Freezer 

My father Wilfred passed on on Feb 11 at 96, in a nursing home in Atlanta where he was well cared for.  Many of the family sang songs at his Memorial service, but there was more to this man than love of music. This note started in one of my "daily writings" a year ago; I'm hoping it captures some of Dad's character, his positive problem-solving character and love of life and family.

Dad Built us a Freezer 

What can you do in 1953 with Oak and Masonite and Aluminum Sheeting and Cork and Copper Tubing and an old used compressor and a lot of know-how? 
Build a freezer for your family in your basement. 

My father was an engineer, a  master of know-how. For work he designed and built equipment to implement chemical processes - processes as diverse as fabricating star sapphires and rubies to making little beads of treated clay that keep your refrigerator coolant dry and your double pane windows clear. Dad worked for Linde Air Products, which got its start cooling, liquefying  and separating air into its components. Freezers of all sizes abounded there, as well as good people to learn from. 

Since family came first, here's my guess about how this started in his mind. "Wow, this refrigeration equipment is actually pretty simple. Just an insulated box with cooling coils and a compressor. If I could build one in for the basement Mom could put up food from the garden and local orchards that we love in the summer, and we could buy food in bulk too and keep it in there, and have it all winter." 
So he built from scratch a home freezer (we called it a deep freeze) which ran in the basement from about 1954 until they moved to Alabama in 1968.  So for the forty days and forty nights of the snowy Buffalo winter we (Mom, Dad, Paul, Rickey, Martha, Barbie, and later Ellen) had strawberries, steaks, venison, quick frozen fish, green beens, even corn on the cob from that freezer. I have no idea what the people who bought the house thought of it. It certainly didn't look like anything Betty Furness would have advertised. 

It was a large box, in cubits, roughly 5 long by 3 high by 2.5 deep. (maybe 8' by 4.5' by 3.5' ), Masonite painted white on the outside on a frame of varnished oak. I remember him showing us when he placed the dark, creosote-y smelling cork blocks inside for insulation; he even let me put one in. Then it was lined with aluminum sheeting. Then copper cooling coils, all around inside, about halfway up, and a copper quick-freeze plate on the left end.  I don't remember where the coils were fabricated. He probably had a friend from the lab make them to spec in HIS home workshop; he might have done it all while we were sleeping, at least assembling it from parts.  He could handle all kinds of torches to at least do finish fitting on the coils. Rubber gaskets sealed it all around the frame at the top.  The top was the same composition as the box itself, Hinged, not spring loaded at all.   There was a big cast iron ring in the center of the top.  It took us two boys to open it - one would start lifting it with the ring, standing on the step of 2x8 that he'd built running the length of the box, the other caught it and lifted from the top of the basement steps to push the top to the back wall.   Same way back down. Always with care.  The compressor was a huge thing looking like it might have come from Carl von Linde's workshop.  It was outboard of the box under the back basement stairs, with a trap door cut in the top platform for maintenance access. I only remember one time we had to maintain that compressor.  They don't make anything like they used to. The steps of the stairs were also all hinged to make storage for all the kids' winter boots and skates. 

Elementary and Junior high summers, then, the boys had a popsicle business out of the freezer. Dad had found moulds, showed us how to mix Koolaid, cut and smooth sticks from dowels and tongue depressors. At peak times we'd set the alarm for 1am, go down there to wrap one batch and reload the moulds, getting up early so we could repeat the exercise before school. We sold them on our bikes around the neighborhood for 2c and 3c for the larger ones. Bought Koolaid and raw materials for sticks with the proceeds. Dad estimated what we would have to pay for the electric to get the freezing done, but I don't think we ever paid but once. Or made any real money. But the goodwill of the business might have kept us out of some neighborhood water balloon wars. 

There were other do-it-yourself projects that yielded things that kept us kids occupied and amused - the little boats for the boys made from 50 gallon oil drum cut in half. The pump and pump house down by the creek, with buried lines with which we kept the garden and the flowers watered, the Cable Car strung down the hill between the big oaks, which let us send rocks and other materials down the hill to the creek and garden level in a wheelbarrow harness, and gave us rides sometimes, the tow rope hanging from the big oak down by the creek which we could swing on, the archery butt against the hill behind the house. 

All these things he showed us gave us confidence we could figure out how to do things and find help getting them done that could improve our lives.  Dad didn't do it expecting praise. He never stood on a hilltop saying "I built a freezer", "I made star sapphires", "I can play Claire de Lune". He just continued producing things of utility and beauty to improve the lives of people around him, and  enjoying every moment of it all that he could take in.

Turning the World: CD
  • Turning the World: CD

Turning the World: CD

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Turning the World, Rick Drost's debut solo album, represents a lifetime of Rick's songwriting and storytelling. The songs deal with jilted lovers, an iconic swan couple in Boston's Public Garden, leftover lobsters, home & family, and hope.

Produced by Jon Shain and engineered by FJ Ventre, (Durham, NC) who add guitars and basses to Rick's

Turning the World, Rick Drost's debut solo album, represents a lifetime of Rick's songwriting and storytelling. The songs deal with jilted lovers, an iconic swan couple in Boston's Public Garden, leftover lobsters, home & family, and hope.

Produced by Jon Shain and engineered by FJ Ventre, (Durham, NC) who add guitars and basses to Rick's fingerpicked guitar and vocals on most tracks; Guest musicians include Kaitlin Grady (cello), Ed Butler (percussion), pianist and composer Doug Hammer (piano), Chris Frank (accordion,soprano sax) and Bill Newton (harmonica) Turning the World - Tracks

(Rick: Guitar and Vocals, all tracks; FJ Ventre Basses, all tracks) 1. Don't Remember Train (3:37) - started in a dream; Rick hasn't awakened yet; percussion; 2. Turning the World (4:52) - Starts in the Australian outback, comes around the world and back home; a song for peace, and listening to each other; cello. 3. Old Player Piano (4:26) - dedication to playing music; nostalgia and beyond. Piano, Accordion 4. Wyethstown (4:39) - from the standpoint of a woman coming of age in the Boston valley area of Western New York, ca. 1850; cello 5. Got a Little Corner (3:35) - faux-country song from a jilted lover to his rival. Harmonica; FJ and Jon Vocal backup 6. Pictures on the Wall (4:37) - a song of letting go, or not. guitars, bass, piano 7. Revendon (4:30) - an ode to misspent youth; bowed bass, piano 8. Lucky Lobster Rag (4:00) - Celebration of Whole Foods' (imagined) treatment of live lobsters they decided it was immoral to sell. Soprano Sax; percussion; Jon and FJ the "lobster chorus" 9. Juli and Romy (4:37) - Valentine to the pair of female swans in the Boston Public Garden, known the world over as Romeo and Juliet. cello; accordion 10. Still Point (5:01) - an ode to meditation - where it comes from, how it starts, how useful it is. Piano, Bass 11. Buffalo (3:01) - semiautobiographical rocker, with Jon: Guitar, Doug:Piano; Ed: percussion 12. Seasons Search 5:38 - Rick's Saga Song; Jon: mood guitar, Kaitlin: cello; FJ: bass and keyboards

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Previous events



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Black Mountain Retreat, Black Mountain NC

SERFA is In-Person This year. This has been a go-to event for me for the last few years, especially when it is near Asheville. I have registered; hoping to be able to make the trip and catch up with NC friends. The new "Get off My Lawn" group of songwriters has a showcase room Thursday Night and Saturday Night. I'm sure to be there.

Showcase Slots

11.45 PM Friday Mike Holliday - Joe Virga Room 12.40 AM Saturday (sun am) - hosting and singing in Get Off My Lawn Room 1.30 AM Staurday *sun am) - in David Hakan's Gypsy Wagon room


Stormin Norman Zamcheck at Lilypad Inman

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Lilypad Inman, 1353 Cambridge St , Cambridge MA

College friend and sometime bandmate Norm Zamcheck - aka Stormin Norman - returns to town with "Selections from a Lifetime of Songwriting" . Come hear old and new selections of heartfelt and rollicking piano and songwriting.. Norm has asked me to play a couple of songs. Other local guests will perform as well.


Songwriters in the Round at Drifter's Tale - Cambridge

Drifter's Tale, 1281 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA

I have a slot in the second round at Drifter's Tale. Jay Psaros organizes and curates these songwriter rounds. Drifters Tale is a comfortable new bistro in Inman Square.

Hosted by the estimable Molly O'Leary! Songwriters sing in rounds of 3, singing about 4 songs apiece in each 1 hour round.

PB&J PRESENTS: Songwriters in the Round LIVE at Drifters Tale! Featuring: Grace O'Shea Abby Rose Dayes Rick Drost Jayden Westland Jared Torchetti Brian Montanaro Dann Russo With Special Guest Cassie Soares Hosted by Molly O'Leary


open mic slot at Drifters Tale Inman Square - LIVE

Drifter's Tale, 1281 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA

Jay Psaros and Carlin Tripp have arranged an open mic at this new Gastropub in Inman Square. Pleased to be at the inaugural open mic and hope to continue with songwriter showcases in the future. show starts at 7.30 Ten minute Set at 9.20. many friends already signed up.

Loop at the Armory March show

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The Loop is a showcase of singer-songwriters in the Boston area. It is held each month on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Four Performers play a 30 minutes - the show is now online until further notice . The Loop is a great stepping stone from Open Mics for those looking for more performance time and interested in developing their stage skills. The Loop is a good venue for developing/practicing your solo skills as a singer/songwriter. We encourage performers to present their original music to our listening audience.

show will appear on the Loop at the armory group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/605186336292335

and be carried on the Loop at the armory YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5pvJk8sAPpjQxys0nb9bHQ

The lineup will be:

Bernie Drury, Budd Lake NJ Erin Ash Sullivan, Harvard, MA Bett Padgett, Raleigh, NC Rick Drost, Cambridge MA

Here is some information about the players

Bernie Drury Singer/Songwriter Bernie Drury lives in Budd Lake, NJ. Music became a big part of his life in 1976 when he spent nearly a year busking through France and Italy playing at outdoor cafes, the Paris metro, night clubs and colleges. His song writing spans most genres from the blues, to country, rock and some jazz influenced tunes but regardless of the style, the story is the most important piece. Bernie is a proud member of Skylands Songwriters Guild in Morris County and co-hosts “The Song Writer’s Gig” podcast. His first EP “Tools of a Songwriter” was released in July 2018. A full length CD is coming later in 2022. https://www.facebook.com/berniedrurysongwriter berniejdrury@gmail.com

Bett Padgett Bett Padgett hails from Raleigh North Carolina where she has taught, promoted and written music for more than four decades. She uses music to express her thoughts about today’s social, political and environmental climate. Her thoughtful and carefully crafted songs shine through with a vision of a world we want to live in. She released her tenth album, TURNING OVER STONES in November 2021 where it reached #6 on the Folk DJ charts. A multi-instrumentalist, she accompanies herself using innovative guitar techniques, clawhammer banjo, mandolin, piano and harp in styles that cross the borders of Celtic, Old-time, Folk and New Age. Learn more at bett@bettpadgett.com.

Erin Ash Sullivan Erin Ash Sullivan is a Massachusetts-based singer-songwriter whose deeply personal songs harness the power of story to build connection. After a long hiatus to focus on her family and her career as an educator, she recently returned to writing and performing. In May 2021, she released her first solo album, We Can Hear Each Other, which reached #10 on the Folk Alliance International Chart, and she was named a finalist in the 2021 Rose Garden Performing Songwriter Competition. You can learn more about Erin at www.erinashsullivan.com.

Rick Drost Rick writes and sings songs with depth and heart- songs that repay repeated listening and convey a long love of classical music, natural wonders, poetry. His songs treat life from a varied angles - Jilted lovers, swans in the Public Garden, leftover lobsters, and meditations on meditation. Longtime inspiration came from Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen; Originally from Western New York, Rick travels from Cambridge, MA to sing at coffeehouses, house concerts, small festivals and Folk Alliance Events from New England, to Colorado to the Southeast. His 2017 album “Turning the World” still gets occasional radio airplay See www.rickdrostsongs.com for tunes, videos, etc.

Slot on Open Mic America - virtual show

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Pleased to be coming back to this Califoronia-based virtual show produced and hosted by Dave Williams. First, second and Third Sundays. Selected songwriters sing 10 minute sets, Then the hosts interview the performers. I've enjoyed listening all evening to several of these - various styles, performers from all around the country. I always hear old friends and hear new performers that I like.

Lineup : See photo below.

Go to openmicamerica.com and click the link for the show (youtube) on the website.


"Still Point" on Hootenanny Cafe radio show

Pleased that my song "Still Point" will be one of the songs included on this week's Hootenanny Cafe Radio show, presented by Jon Stein on WTBQ 93.5 FM and WGHT 98.3FM and on WTBQ.COM (Hudson Valley and New Jersey) My friend Linda Marks is performing the min-concert, and Jon has selected songs from submissions, along the theme SONGS OF INSPIRATION and HEALING"

Each week the Hootenanny Cafe presents a particular "featured artist" (or group) on the Mini Concert. The artists program their own mini concert (song selections and order of songplay). In addition, they choose a particular theme for The Singer Songwriter Showcase segments, which encourages, and presents, singer songwriters from around the world, to send in songs based on that week's theme. The Hootenanny Cafe is truly a home for songs that may otherwise, not be heard elsewhere.

Listen Weekly Sunday for this series on WTBQ.com or, in the Hudson Valley and North Jersey on WTBQ 93.5 FM and WGHT 98.3FM.

More info on the series at http://talentconnections.com/radioshow.shtml


Singing Together Visually - NRCC, Jerusalem

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Online - North Reading Community Coffeehouse FB Page

Art Grossman Has assembled a Joint Coffeehouse with Jerusalem Folk Music Evenings in Jerusalem. Several NRCC performers, and several performers in Jerusalem will alternate 10 minute slots.

Online 1pm facebook/nrcoffeehouse.com

Order of Performers representing North Reading Community Coffeehouse - please let me know if you need to change your slot. Remember the group from Jerusalem Folk Music Evenings will be alternating with you. (This is the ideal, but we might vary either way 10 mins or so) - The times are Boston times:

  1. The Fretbenders (Bob and Diane Kordas) - 1:10

  2. Tony Barrett- 1:30 (6:30 PM for you Tony)

  3. Rick Drost - 1:50

  4. Anne Sandstrom - 2:10

  5. John Loretz - 2:30

  6. Mary Anne McAllister - 2:50

  7. David Buckman - 3:10

  8. Mark Bishop Evans 3:30 (12:30 PM for you Mark)


Songwriters in the Round - Union Brewhouse Weymouth -Live

Union Brewhouse - Weymouth, 550 Washington St, Weymouth, MA

PBJ Songwriters nights and Carlin Tripp present another evening of Songwriters in the Round at Union Brewhouse Weymouth Usually 3 rounds of 3 soungwriters. great food, great company, great songs

Here's who is playing:PB&J PRESENTS: Songwriters in the Round LIVE at Union Brewhouse! Featuring: Molly O'Leary Crit Harmon Gerry Hailer Kate Hardly Rick Drost Billy Thompson Erin Ash Sullivan Jim Palana Dann Russo


Slot on Open Mic America

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Pleased to be included in this California-based online show produced and hosted by Dave Williams. First Second and Third Sundays Selected songwriters sing ten minute sets, The hosts Dave and Daphna interview the songwriters. Last couple of shows have been fun watching for me. My slot will be late in the show. around 10.40 Eastern.

Youtube link for listers is on the homepage: OpenMicAmerica.com

Performers: Mike Simpson - Saratoga, CA Ann Gray - Norfolk, VA Clancy - Vancouver, WA Steve Andersen - Alameda, CA Stacy Cake - Corvallis, OR Max, Berkeley - CA Ciarán Mac Gowan - San Francisco, CA Ben James - Santa Cruz, CA Robin Greene - Jacobs Eugene, OR Rick Drost - Cambridge, MA



Songwriter Showcase at Lilypad Inman

LilyPad Inman, 1353 cambridge st, Cambridge, MA

John O'Leary is producing another live songwriter showcase at the Lilypad. Vaxxed and Masked per city requirements. So far, performers are John O'Leary and Abigail Arndt Colin McGovern Rick Drost

Lily pad offers great sound system, light beverage service.


ITR set at Loretta's Last Call - By PB&Jay

Loretta's Last Call, 1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA

Pleaed to be able sing live with Jay Psaros and Friends at Loretta's

PB&J PRESENTS: Songwriters in the Round LIVE at Loretta's Last Call Featuring: Mike Cavanaugh Dann Russo Adam Davis Marcus Fakler Jay Psaros John Fiander Rick Drost Matt Frank Chris Dagnese Jared Torchetti Aksel Allouch Forest Romm


Dallas Songwriter Showcase slot (online) with "Get Off My Lawn!"

online, Dallas TX

Thanks to Harley Hewitt of DSA and Michael Roth of "Get Off My Lawn" a new group for mature songwriters,
There will be an online showcase with many of the GOML bunch -
all friends from FAR-West, FARM, and NERFA - We'll all do one song apiece; expect an interesting a varied show from great songwriters.

Here's the performer list
Brant Miller
Kerry Kean
Peter Lehndorff
Rick Drost
Kim Ware
Cheryl Cawood
Tina Ross
Kirby Heard
Michael & Nell

More details and Url as they Appear.. Certainly FB Live on https://www.facebook.com/dallassongwriters/


Songwriter Showcase (Live) at One Broadway

One Broadway Collaborative, 1 Broadway, Lawrence, MA

Please to be performing in Aaron Tornberg's new community oriented Music and Arts center in Lawrence. Linda Marks, Rick Drost, Zoe Levitt, and dean Stevens will do ~ 30 minute sets.

Vaccine and Masks required.


NERFA Virtual appearances

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NERFA (Northeast Regional Folk Alliance) is Online this year with a great run of events and performances. buy a ticket (20-40 dollars) at nerfa2021.com
My Guerilla Showcase Performances:

Thursday Nov 11 10 PM - Get Off My Lawn Showcase (my 15 min slot at 11:45)
Michael Roth has assembled friends from FAR-West and FARM and NERFA for a showcase with seasoned performers.

Here is Michael's description, and the cast and schedule: A Showcase for Late Bloomers at the 2021 NERFA Conference November 11, 2021 10:00 p.m. Eastern

Featuring: 10:00 Cheryl Cawood https://cherylcawood.com
10:15 Peter Lehndorff https://lehndorff.com/music/
10:30 Tina Ross https://tinarossmusic.com/
10:45 Michael and Nell https://www.michaelandnell.com
11:00 Kerry Kean https://www.kerrykean.com/
11:15 Amy Dixon-Kolar
11:30 Penelope Salinger
11:45 Rick Drost https://www.rickdrostsongs.com/
12:00 Michael R.J. Roth https://easyheroes.com
(All times Eastern Standard Time)

A rag-tag group of irregulars who got together at FARM to fight the establishment. Or at least sing to it.

Sat 1:00 AM Eastern Decent Exposure showcase - half hour in the Round with Tina Ross and Terra Spencer . Thanks to Sam Edelston, Mandolin King, for setting this up


FARM Virtual Appearances

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This is Folk Alliance Regional Midwest Conference; This year it's all virtual. Register at Farmfolk.org. Presentations and workshops during the day, Music afternoon, evening and late. All times are Eastern.

Two appearances Wed Oct 27 Performance Lane 1 - 6:50-70 PM 10 minutes

Friday Oct 29 Petty Chavez Private showcase - 10:30 PM - 20 minutes

Online Loop at the Armory October Show

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Online at The Loop at the Armory FB page, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA

The October Loop Show is Online, and will feature Tina Ross Erin Ash Sullivan Eric Gulliksen (Snake) Rick Drost

This will be online at The Loop at the Armory FB page It will also be livestreamed at the loop at the armory Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5pvJk8sAPpjQxys0nb9bHQ

We'll each do 30-35 min sets from our homes, no breaks, since it's online Tips appreciated.

Loop shows restarted in September 2021, are on third Thursdays. Thanks John Mark for founding this, and Linda Marks an the other volunteers, and the Armory for keeping this series going. FB group for Loop at the Armory is https://www.facebook.com/groups/605186336292335 Thanks Dan Senie for all the tech support setting up the live streaming.