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
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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 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


Loop at the Armory Show - Cancelled

Arts at the Armory, Highland Ave, Somerville, MA

Armory is closed through May, anyway. Thanks to the armory for all the shows.

My turn to run this monthly event at the Armory Cafe, singing a set. Details TBD. I'm inviting Ken Dunn, a touring artist and friend from British Columbia

artsatthearmory.org for other shows


Wilcox Weekend - Cancelled

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Kanuga, Kanuga Chapel Drive, Hendersonville, NC

Returning for like the eighth time to this annual retreat for creative people of all stripes - so sorry I missed last year. There are workshops, songfests, song swapping, sports, games, canoeing, hikes. Find out more at Davidwilcox.com

So sorry this gathering is cancelled this year - was looking forward to a trip South this spring to catch up with all these wonderful folks.


The Animals in Our Lives Showcase - Cancelled

Burren, 247 Elm St, Somerville, MA

Cancelled due to Coronavirus

Our animal companions have inspired songs by many in the Boston singer-songwriter community. This show is a tribute to the animals in our live, cats and dogs, of course, and also turtles, fish, goats, sheep, horses and even lobsters! Performing will be AJ Capowski, Mary Crowe, Rick Drost, CiCi Eberle, Mark Bishop Evans, Mel Green, Linda Marks, Wanda Metcalf, Colette O'Connor, Sandra Waddock, Rob Siegel, Craig Sonnenfeld, Erin Ash Sullivan and Dan Tappan. The performers will be donating their proceeds to Buddy Dog Humane Society.

Linda has asked me to sing Lucky Lobster Rag. This will be a gala event.

Tix $20 in advance. https://24hourconcerts.showare.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=669 discount code 24HOUR

https://www.facebook.com/events/644915196260495/ is FB event


Songwriter Showcase at Middle East (Corner) (CANCELLED)

Middle East, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge, Ma

This event is CANCELLED

Carlin Tripp is bringing 3 local songwriters in to the Middle East in Central Square for the evening. Pleased to be able to sing a long set on my birthday

9:00 - 10:00 Mike Cavanaugh 10:15 - 11:00 Rick Drost 11:15 - 12:00 David Rabinowicz


Feature Set at Catbird open mic

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Catbird Cafe, NE Wildlife Ctr., 500 Columbian St., S. Weymouth

Sadly this event is cancelled. Love the Catbird; caution is the right move, at this point. Let's all keep singing.

Pleased to be featuring again, hearing friends at this long running fave South Shore open mic. Thanks Stephen Martin and Kathe Donlan, Snake and all the volunteers for keeping this event going these many years. A South Shore Fave.

Signup 4.30, music At 5. Come play or just listen. Maybe the Easter Bunny will be there. Or one of his family at least.


Songwriter Showcase at the Craic

Craic, 536 Washington St, Quincy, MA

Amanda Adams is hosting another showcase at the Craic in Quincy - three one-hour rounds of four songwriters each These are always fun - I always meet great new singers and have fun singing in the round.

More details as they emerge


Feature At Mews open mike

Mews Restaurant, 429 Commercial st, Provincetown

Peter Donnelly invited me to feature again at this popular PTown event. Signup 6.30. Open mic-era start at 7 . My set about 8.15 Come Have dinner and enjoy some great music all evening. Lots of talent on the Cape.


Interview with Bob Weiser on WOMR

WOMR 92.1 Provincetown, Provincetown, MA

This is always fun - Bob Weiser will interview me on his Old Songs Home Radio Show before my feature at the Mews later that night. I'll get to do some songs, and maybe talk a little about where they came from. 11 AM - 92.1 FM on the cape or at womr.org.


Natalie Joly, Rick Drost, John O'Leary at Lilypad

Lilypad Inman, 1353 cambridge st, Cambridge, Ma

John O'Leary is organizing a songwriter showcase at the Lilypad, a comfy venue in Inman Square. Natalie Joly Rick Drost John O'Leary

Will perform. Beeer, Wine, Soda Available. Lots of restaurants around Inman Square. $10 at the door


Zeitgeist House Concert/Open Mic Feature

67 Hammond St, Acton, MA

Pleased to be invited to sing in this lovely room in Acton, run by Karen and Alan, founders of Zeitgeist in Cambridge

Zeitgeist concerts hosts musical events in their home . The evening consists usually of a 30-45 minute set by a local performer and an open mic for the rest of the evening. I love this format - not only do I get so sing, but I always enjoy hearing everybody who comes to the open mic. Lovely room! doors at 7.30, my set at 8, open mic thereafter. Come on out to listen and sing.


Set at Music for Humanity concert

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Noble Roasters, 3020 Rte 207, Campbell Hall, NY

Every third Saturday (this month, the fourth beacause of snow) Barry Adelman of Music for Humanity assembles a few songwriters for a benefit concert for Music for Humanity- Concert is often in this coffeehouse in the Catskills to sing half hour sets. I'll be joined by Billy Tanglewood from NJ, and Darian Rivera from Hyde Park.

Pleased to be returning to the Hudson Valley area. Show at 7.30. Barry advises "come early, doors at 7, to get a good seat" https://www.facebook.com/btanglewood/timeline?lst=1386901380%3A100005148934543%3A1579746416 https://www.reverbnation.com/darianrivera

Proceeds benefit Music for Humanity www.musicforhumanity.org www.nobleroasters.com

Check out music for humanity, dedicated to helping people share music.


Let's Do Lunch at the Burren

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Burren, 247 Elm St, Davis Square, Somerville

Tickled to be playing brunch with three of my fave local songwriters, as part of Burren's new "Let's do Lunch" series. Burren has great food and sound. Come have some brunch and listen Craig Sonnenfeld Linda Marks Mark Bishop Evans Rick Drost

Tickets $10 in advance, $15 at door. Use Link below. Use Discount Code 24HOUR for online sales

Details on Performers Craig Sonnenfeld is a southern New Jersey born singer-songwriter-guitarist, known for his finger-picking guitar style. He has studied guitar with blues legends Philadelphia Jerry Ricks and Paul Rishell.

Craig's original songs are influenced by classic country, pre-war blues, and old folk ballads. His songs have been played on many radio stations in the United States and other countries including Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. https://craigsonnenfeld.net/

Linda Marks a piano-playing singer-songerwriter who integrates elements of jazz with contemporary folk. Linda is known for her heart-to-heart style, crossing over into many genres, in what she writes and arranges. A graduate of Yale University with a degree in Music with Honors and Distinction, Linda has played in most all of Boston's major rooms (Scullers Jazz Club, Club Passim, The Burren, City Winery, Club Cafe) and her songs have been written up in the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine and covered on NPR. Linda's new In Grace album is her 7th release. She is at work on her 2020 album, The Piano. Linda is the co-founder of artist-alliance group, #WIMG Women In Music Gathering, intimate house concert series The Music Salon, and is a LadyLake Artist. https://www.lindamarksmusic.com/

Rick Drost sings songs with depth and heart, songs that repay repeated listening and convey a long love of classical music, natural wonders, poetry. A “storytelling songwriter”, 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; recent influences include Vance Gilbert and David Wilcox, who covers Drost's song "Turning the World" in live performances. Drost's latest CD "Turning the World", produced by Jon Shain (Durham, NC) continues to get airplay from Europe across America to New Zealand. Originally from Western New York, Rick travels from Cambridge, MA to sing at coffeehouses, house concerts, small festivals and Folk Alliance Events around the country. http://www.rickdrostsongs.com/

Mark Bishop Evans - Mark grew up in southern California where his major musical influences outside of church were Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, Paul Simon, the Beach Boys and pretty much any folk, folk rock or beach music. Listening and playing the folk and protest music of the 60's inspired him to begin writing his own songs. Mark has a way with words and melodies, bringing them together in pleasant and poignant combinations that make you want to tap your feet and sing along. His music is an intriguing blend of Folk, folk rock and ballads, lyrically rich in emotional content and melodically comfortable like a favorite jacket, like a close friend you want to sing along with. Mark relocated north of Boston, Massachusetts in the early 90's and today considers himself and "Noreasta". www.markbishopevans.net


Woodshed Podcast Interview from The Hearing Room

Hearing Room Podcast, Lowell

Aaron Tornberg does an in-depth interview of songwriters at the Hearing Room in Lowell. Sometimes recorded, sometimes live. I had a lot of fun recording this interview, we talk about how I got into singing, and I sing several songs, some old, some new. This will be posted at 7PM tonight; you can listen at http://www.hearingroom.net/thewoodshedpodcast This will be available in the archive along with interviews with a fine cast of characters from the music scene. Check it out! Find on FB at The Woodshed Podcast with Aaron Tornberg


Six Songwriters at Dedham Square Coffeehouse

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Dedham Square Coffeehouse, 565 High St , Dedham, MA

Thrilled to be one of the songwriters sharing the stage at Dedham Square with all these Friends! It's comfortable listening room right in the square with Teas/wine/good sandwiches. Here's what Linda Marks says about the show:

The time between Christmas and New Year's is a great time to celebrate the Dedham Square Coffeehouse and all it provides. Ali Kooshan has created and sustained a wonderful, welcoming listening room featuring many of Boston's top singer-songwriters.

Let's show our appreciation and support for all he has given and continues to give to our community, as singer-songwriters Rick Drost, Mark Bishop Evans, Roberta Lamb, Linda Marks, Kenny Selcer and Craig Sonnenfeld perform a special show as their share their original songs, including songs in the style of Carole King and James Taylor.


WOMR Holiday Show

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WOMR Studios , 494 Commercial St, Provincetown MA

Bob Weiser of WOMR Provincetown is again hosting this festive event where local performers and friends sing Christmas songs live in the studio. This has been a tradition for me the last few years. Looking forward to seeing and playing with Cape-Based friends

Outermost Radio FM 92.1, 91.3 on the Cape (womr.org)


Songs at EBASS Christmas Bonanza

Burren, Davis sq, Somerville

Lindsey Sampson organized a festive holiday event. Many of your favorite local songwriters will each do a Holiday oriented cover. This should be a festive event.

Winter Potpourri at Linden Tree Coffeehouse

Linden Tree Coffeehouse, UU Church, 326 Main St , Wakefield, MA

Each year the Linden Tree hosts an event where 8 (randomly selected) local songwriters sing 2 songs each, trying to win a slot at the Linden Tree the following year. In past years I've heard great people that I hadn't heard yet; this year I'll actually get to sing two songs among all these friends. Peter Lehndorff will feature. $5 suggested minimum contribution. Thanks Liz Freeman and Kirsten Manville and all the volunteers for this gala annual event. Details below

Hosted by Kirsten Manville

Wild Maple Rick Drost Kathleen Healy Mark Bishop Evans

INTERMISSION Feature: Peter Lehndorff

Julie Charland Bill Anderson Roberta Lamb with Kenny Selcer John Ferullo Finale with ALL


Festival of Trees

Wright Museum of WWII, 77 Center St, Wolfeboro, NH

Returning to this community Festival in Wolfeboro, NH . I'll sing for about an hour amid the beautifully decorated trees (and the Sherman tank). Community groups donate the trees. Theres music from noon to 5 .Admission $5. Proceeds benefit a local charity.

Thanks Linda and Lew Williams for inviting me up some years ago, and keeping the tradition going.



Dozen songwriter Showcase

Hennessy's, Boston

Carlin Tripp is assembling 12 songwriters for a showcase at Hennesys. Details TBA.


Voices of Poetry- Thanks for the Giving IV

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UU Meeting House, 819 Main St, Chatham, MA

Neil Silberblatt is again assembling this benefit for the Lower Cape Outreach Council. Honored to be among the many fine poets and musicians who will perform