Welcome

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

Nov10

NERFA Appearances

 —  —

NERFA Conference , Asbury Park, NJ

Returning to NERFA to catch up with folks, sing a little, Help out at RISA private Showcase

Appearances Rhode Trip Private Showcase - Terry Kitchen - Fri Evening 12.30 am 15 minutes Songs at the Heart of our Times - Linda Marks - Saturday Evening 10.30-11pm ITR Dan and Faith,, Aimee Van Dyne, Rick Drost One Broadway Private showcase (Aaron Tornberg Host) - Sat Evening 11.20 20 min

Oct24

Interview with Sandro, George and the OG Online

Facebook - Sandro, George and the OG

Interview. Sandro, George and the OG

Tues, October 24 7 PM EDT

George Mallas has invited me to appear on his Online show (FB Live and Youtube) “Sandro, George and the OG Show”

https://www.facebook.com/livefrompawling or https://www.youtube.com/@sgatog

We sing, chat about songwriting and usually upcoming Hudson Valley events

Loop at the Armory Online Songwriter Showcase

 — (EDT, UTC-04) — (EDT, UTC-04)

Online - Loop at the Armory FB page and Youtube channel

Four New England Songwriters sing half hour sets ONLINE in this Monthly Third Thursday Event October Performers: Volkert Volkersz Dublin NH Facebook https://www.facebook.com/volkertvolkerszmusic Ilene Springer Weymouth MA https://www.youtube.com/IleneSpringer Cathy Main Bedford NH Instagram CathyMain9 Rick Drost Cambridge MA www.rickdrostsongs.com Hosted by Rick Drost ; Tech co Host Mark Abare We use Streamyard for the broadcast so the show appears on “The Loop at the Armory” group page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/605186336292335 and on “The Loop at the Armory” YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/@theloopatthearmory1898/featured and be archived in both places. Before leaving a comment, please grant StreamYard permission to see your name at streamyard.com/facebook

Oct11

FAR-West appearances

 —  —

Warner Center Marriott - Woodland Hills, CA, Woodland Hills CA

Happily to finally be returning to FAR-West in person. . Looking forward to hearing and meeting and catching up with folks I've only met virtually over the last three years. Workshops and concerts and Palm Trees, Oh My!

Showcases Steve and Kristi Nebel - 11.30 PM Thursday evening .Salon A
Thurs Eve 12.1230AM campfire hosted by Deb Ewing.
ITR W Diane Hubka, Kevin Kelso
Tom Hubbard - Fri Evening Salon C 12.30AM
ITR w Aspen Jacobsen, Garrett Swayne

Campfire with Deb Ewing

Open Mic America appearance

(EDT, UTC-04) (EDT, UTC-04)

Online - openmicamerica.com

Pleased to be returning to Dave Williams' excellent curated "open mic: show - nine songwriters sing short sets and chat with interviewers about songwriting. More details soon. Show always available on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyYlQjLEZLXEiRG162w20Jw
Performers Tim Young Dave Jarrod Thomas Perry Rick Drost Nancy Ketel Hank Stone Brian Cassidy Stubak Charles Absher

lineup at http://openmicamerica.com/lineup.html

Any Sunday Songwriter's Showcase - Online

 — (EDT, UTC-04) — (EDT, UTC-04)

Jan Seides' Zoom and FB pages

Austin-based Jan Seides has been running her Any Sunday Songwriter Series on Zoom for a while now; I get to sing at one on Sept 3

Jan and the invited songwriters sing one song at a time. The songs and writing are always great and the chat is always lively

Singing and chatting in the round will be: Jan Seides, Austin TX , janseides.com, FB Jan Seides Peter LaQuerre, Nashua NH, peterlaquerre.com, FB Peter LaQuerre

The show is available on Zoom and FB Live; Link will be an Jan Seides' FB page

Loop Online Songwriter Showcase

ONLINE - Loop at the Armory FB page and Youtube channel

Happy to host (and sing) at this ongoing Third Thursday online showcase with four songwriters singing half hour sets. Co-hosted and Tech-ed by Mark Abare. 7PM Online show on Loop At the Armory FB page AND youtube channel

Bill Anderson, Milton, MA, andersonacousticguitars.com
Louise Adams, Plymouth, MA , tupelohoneymusic.com/louise-adams
Woody Carpinella, Marlborough, MA. FB: facebook.com/wd.carpinella, Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@cabaniac
Rick Drost, Cambridge, MA , rickdrostsongs.com

The Loop is a showcase of singer-songwriters from the Boston area and beyond. It is normally held each month on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Four Performers play 30 minute sets . Formerly held at Arts at the armory in Somerville, the show is now Online until further notice . We encourage performers to present their original music to our listening audience. The monthly shows are run in turn by Linda Marks and Rick Drost, and other volunteers. Mark Abare is massively helpful with tech issues, monitoring, and chats during the event.
 On show nights we arrive at 6.30, do final sound checks etc. We go live at 7. We do the four sets, and usually say a brief group goodbye to the audience and to each other at the end. I’ll Host. Mark Abare of the Hearing Room, now WWHR - Internet Media fame will cohost , working the tech magic

I use Streamyard for the broadcast so the show appears on “The Loop at the Armory” group page:
 https://www.facebook.com/groups/605186336292335 and on “The Loop at the Armory” YouTube channel
 https://www.youtube.com/@theloopatthearmory1898/featured and be archived in both places.

Some bios of the performers:


Bill Anderson

Singer/songwriter, guitarist, luthier, oboist and more, Bill T. Anderson has worn a lot of hats and tuxes in his long musical journey! From beginnings in the youth orchestras of Boston, to Symphony Hall in Chicago, to singing at coffee houses and folk shows around the country, he continues his musical tradition, performing original songs of observation, humor and grit. His songs paint movie-like images across the psyche, with music that sets the mood and atmosphere, to back up the lyrics. You may shed a tear listening, but you will always leave his shows tired from smiling.

andersonacousticguitars.com

Louise Adams Louise Adams is a singer/songwriter based in Plymouth, Massachusetts. She loves playing in the south shore area with the band,Tupelo Honey, and Louise Adams Acoustic Duo.  Louise also recently released her first album of original songs, Come Dance With Me.

tupelohoneymusic.com/louise-adams

Woody Carpinella

Marlborough-based Woody played full time for most of the 70s and 80s on and off the road. Woody worked a traditional job while raising a family. Once the kids were all grown and on their own, he slowly started to ease himself back into music mostly as a soloist, also doing band work, recording and pit work. Woody plays whatever music speaks to him, no matter what the genre, not expecting to make a living at it.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wd.carpinella Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@cabaniac

Rick Drost

Cambridge-based Rick Drost writes and sings songs with depth and heart, songs that repay repeated listening and convey a long love of classical music, natural wonders, poetry. He sings with a storytelling style likened to Tom Rush and John Sebastian. Now retired as an engineer, he loves to travel around the country singing small festivals, house concerts, and open mics. His debut solo album “Turning the World” was released in 2017

www.rickdrostsongs.com

Aug15

Showcase with Nick Carter - Sandro, George + the OG

ONLINE -facebook.com/livefrompawling

Songwriter, Host, Interviewer George Mallas has invited me with CT songwriter friend Nick Carter to swap songs and thoughts on his online show based in Pawling NY. Nick and I will appear virtually. Show at 7PM on FB Live and Youtube.

FB "Sandro, George and the OG" facebook.com/livefrompawling youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@sgatog

Audio will be available on WBXO Sunday 8/20 at 8pm. http://www.wbxoclassicrock.com

Aug6

Song School 2023

 —  —

Planet Bluegrass, Lyons Co

Happy to be returning after a long hiatus to the PB ranch for Song School this year. Week long gathering of the tribe - workshops with great instructors, song circles, fellowship on the St. Vrain. More details as they emerge. just managed to get my tickets.which go fast.

Rick Drost

 — (EDT, UTC-04) — (EDT, UTC-04)

Open Mic America (online show)

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.

Jul10

Dar Williams Retreat - Chester CT

 —  —

The Guest House - Chester CT

Returning for the July version of Dar Williams' "Many stars that Guide Us" Songwriting retreat in Chester CT.

Dar and the instructors and the participant analyze songs, provide songwriting tips and sing in Song Circles. Always a vibrant crew of folks from all over the country.

If interested go to darwilliamsretreat.com

Winsmith Mill Market Open Studios and Art Show

(EDT, UTC-04) (EDT, UTC-04)

Winsmith Mill Market Studio 54, 61 Endicott St Bldg 24, Norwood, MA

Deb Aufiero has invited me to sing a set here, in this festival/open studios in Norwood Complex and studios open at 10AM Music starts at 12PM in Bldg 24

Winsmith Market/open studios Lineup

61 Endicott St Bldg 24, Norwood Ma

12:00 Lisa Belsky
12:30 Natalie Rose
1:00 Rick Drost
1:30 Ambar Cassidy
2:00 Charlie Ward
2:30 Jennifer Tefft
3:00 Sam Newcomer
3:30 Scott Woodin
4:00 Deb Aufiero

Loop Online Songwriter Showcase

Online - Loop at the Armory FB page and Youtube channel

The Loop is a showcase of singer-songwriters from the Boston area and beyond. It is normally held each month on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Four Performers play 30 minute sets . Formerly held at Arts at the armory in Somerville, the show is now Online until further notice . We encourage performers to present their original music to our listening audience. The monthly shows are run in turn by Linda Marks and Rick Drost, and other volunteers. Mark Abare is massively helpful with tech issues, monitoring, and chats during the event.
 On show nights we arrive at 6.30, do final sound checks etc. We go live at 7. We do the four sets, and usually say a brief group goodbye to the audience and to each other at the end. I’ll Host. Mark Abare of the Hearing Room, now WWHR - Internet Media fame will cohost , working the tech magic

I use Streamyard for the broadcast so the show appears on “The Loop at the Armory” group page:
 https://www.facebook.com/groups/605186336292335 and on “The Loop at the Armory” YouTube channel
 https://www.youtube.com/@theloopatthearmory1898/featured and be archived in both places.

Happy to host again (and sing) at this ongoing Third Thursday online showcase with four songwriters singing half hour sets. Here's who's playing::

Deb Seymour - debseymourmusic.com - Seattle WA
Ronnee Stolzberg - RI - Ronneesongs.com
Mowesby - mowesby.com - Leominster, MA
Rick Drost - rickdrostsongs.com - Cambridge, MA

Mark Abare cohosts and helps with the tech;

Details on the performers:

Deb Seymour

Hitch-hiking chickens? Tango-dancing Martians? Colonoscopies? Seattle singer-songwriter Deb Seymour sings about them all!  Her whimsical, off-beat subjects, clever turns of phrase, and consummate guitar picking will tickle your funny bone and pull the heartstrings, keeping the audience touched by wit and wisdom.

Deb plays locally at festivals, cafes, and wineries in Washington State. She also tours nationally 3-5 months a year, playing Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Arizona, California and Utah in 2022   Seymour has four CDs of original work out on the Herkimer Productions label.  She also simulcasts her popular livestream, "Brunch W/ Deb" on her Facebook and YouTube channels every Sunday, whether on the road or not.  Her fans call themselves "Deb-Heads" and tune in from USA , Canada, UK, Germany, Israel and Australia

Website: debseymourmusic.com

Ronnee Stolzberg

Self-taught at age sixteen, singer/songwriter Ronnee Stolzberg sat at the back of her high school guitar class, picking out chords to the current pop tunes while the rest of her classmates were still learning how to tune the instrument. Under the guidance of some close friends, she soon found herself writing original songs and performing onstage within the first year of picking up the guitar. Growing up with a transistor radio as her constant companion, Ronnee began learning to play the music she knew best. Songs by artists such as America, Paul Simon, The Beatles, Harry Chapin and The Eagles quickly began to fill out her repertoire, and by her early college years her performances on campus drew the attention of students and other local musicians who enjoyed her easy-going style and voice. As a member of the university's music club she participated in the recording and production of the school's annual album release, fascinated with the experience of working in a professional recording studio for the first time. After college, Ronnee began performing the local folk clubs and coffeehouses, first at Open Mike events and later as the featured artist. Her original compositions, "Without A Dime" and "Mama Don't Sing No More", won her a place as the sole musical performer at a local art gallery's exhibit opening entitled "Homes and Homelessness". During this time, Ronnee also pursued a day-time career working for major music-industry manufacturers, including Guild Guitars, Celestion Speakers, and Kaman Music Corporation (makers of Ovation and Takamine acoustic guitars). Her experience working for acoustic guitar manufacturers has given her insight and a first-hand understanding of the instrument from the expert craftsmen who build them. Having spent several years living in nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut, Ronnee returned to her native Rhode Island to emerge once again on the local music scene. She has continued performing in clubs and coffeehouses throughout the southern New England area for more than 20 years, playing "Classic Rock" covers and originals, including those from her self-produced CD, “Spirit of the Heart”. Ronnee's upbeat “acoustic-rock” style and choice of material continue to draw her audiences' praise and applause.

Contact Ronnee at ronneesongs.com

Mowesby

Mowesby (the pen name of singer-songwriter Matt Sowersby) creates thoughtful, genuine, contemporary folk songs. He has been playing guitar since he was 9 years old and studied classical guitar in college. Inspired by indie folk, post rock, and prog rock giants like Bon Iver, Sigur Ros, and Pink Floyd, Mowesby’s music transports listeners into a world where syncopated rhythms weave through emotive vocals, creating a sense of intimacy and engagement between the artist and his audience. The way Mowesby holds emotion and intention in his earnest, layered vocals and stripped-down instrumentation will also remind some listeners of connections to contemporary folk artists like José Gonzalez, Novo Amor, and even some early Death Cab for Cutie records. A skilled multi-instrumentalist, Sowersby’s recordings often combine varied sonic textures, incorporating acoustic and electronic elements to create his characteristic layered, dynamic sound.  In January 2020, just before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Sowersby released his first album Go Forward, which has been described as a “soul-searching journey” both “atmospheric and poppy” by J.J. Thayer of Divide and Conquer. The album was recorded at home by Sowersby himself and touches on topics like love, depression, our impact on the world, and the process of confronting fear. The tracks comprising Go Forward were written over the course of more than a decade, bringing Sowersby’s teenage self into conversation with his adult self, now navigating his early 30s.   Sowersby currently resides in Leominster, MA, with his wife and two cats, Simon and Garfunkel. Mowesby’s music can be found streaming on Spotify and all major platforms. Website: https://linktr.ee/mowesby Rick Drost Rick Drost 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.
Website: www.rickdrostsongs.com

Jun10

Music Matters Online Showcase on Zoom

Music Matters online showcase

Happy to grab a slot among old friends and new friends on Joe Isaacs' Music Matters showcase online We go around 3 times each musician doing 1 song per pass (3 total over the course of the event). Lots of opportunity for conversation.

On zoom if you are so equipped: Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9654842819?pwd=dklvVXhMZXVaNjdiaExwODdrTkNQUT09 Meeting ID: 965 484 2819 Passcode: 4Hj01V

Saturday June 10th 7:30 PM Tom Maynard, Angela Masciale,
Steve Cutts, Robert Bertinelli, Jan Seides, Lindsay Bass, David Duan, Rick Drost

Also on zoom at