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
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$15.00

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

Nov8

NERFA Appearances

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Crowne Plaza Stamford, Stamford CT

Returning to NERFA in Stamford; I'll be hanging around the Lilfest rooms Helping Nancy Emrich, and the RISA room. Appearances at Guerilla Showcases :
Thurs 12:15 AM for :30 in More LilFest 2069
Friday afternoon 3:30 for :30 in LilFest 2068
Friday Night - RISA - 1.50- 2am in 2043
Fri Night - access Film - 12-12.30 ITR Bev Grant, Kim Moberg - 2105
Sat Afternoon 2:30 for :30 in LilFest 2068
Sat Night
11:45 for :15 in LilFest 2068
-12.30 -1 Access Film - ITR w CM Jones, Bernie Drury - 2105
1-1.30 -2043- Somerville Songwriter Showcase - 2043- ITR w Emily White and Terry Klein 1.30 for :15 in Trespass - 2063

Nov7

Feature on Mary Rewired

Valley Free Radio, 140 Pine St, Florence, MA

Mary Wheelan has invited me to feature on her new one-hour show on valleyfreeradio.org at the Studio at 3pm Nov 7. We'll have songs and discussion, much like the episodes of The Song from the last couple of years. WXOJ-LP 103.3FM and Facebook, Valley Free Radio.

Nov2

RISA Songwriters Showcase

Sandywoods Center for the Arts, Muse Way, Tiverton, RI

I'll be one for the four songwriters presenting at Sandywoods for this semiannual RISA event. David Sardinha Ric Allendorf Kathleen Healy Rick Drost Doors open at 6:30 Show starts at 7:30 Four Artists, 30 minute solo sets $15 at the door

Oct26

House Concert, Macrobiotic Dinner

Auburndale, MA

This will be an interesting evening - I rarely get to sing and discuss songs with the audience; Delicious macrobiotic dinner; Host and chef discuss macrobiotics with guests. I'll feature with some short sets of songs from many points of view, and discussion with guests at a Macrobiotic Dinner meetup that's been going on for 15 years. Macrobiotic dinner and evening of song and discussion - $25 (with sliding scale) Here's the meetup link:
https://www.meetup.com/Whole-Health-Dinners-Gatherings-and-Presentations/events/255409871/

Feature at Mix "N' Music Open Mike

Somethin's Brewin', 241 Main St, Lakeville, MA

Returning to Kimberly Hill's Open Mic on the South Shore in Cranberry Country to feature along with the trio Sinner's Pie .Always fine performers; love to sing in this Cafe in a redone Library. doors 6, signup starts open mic 6.30 Features at 7 and 8 Open mic until 9.30 30 minute set around 730-8

Music Salon w Ric Allendorf, Colette O'Connor

Linda Marks' Music Salon, Waltham, MA

Linda Marks as invited the three of us to be the feature at her monthly Music Salon in October. There's a potluck, a presentation by a local video artist, and then a musical presentation in the living room. Ric, Colette, and I will share the evening. Linda and Terry will open the show.

Oct14

Hearing Room Benefit Showcase

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The Hearing Room, 119 Chelmsford St, Lowell, MA

Pleased to be part of this fantastic lineup at the Hearing Room, one of my face NorthShore music spots Here's the lineup Aaron Tornberg Colette O'Connor Rachel Marie Rick Drost Ralph DeFlorio Diane Battistello Jane Fallon Andy and Judy Daigle Mark Stepakoff Ric Allendorf Michael Gutierrez May David Hardwick Hannah Verre Hana Kahn Mike Rydock Snake Chuck Williams Folkapotamus Kathleen Healy Terry Kitchen Mark Aleo Peg Espinola Amanda Maffei

Great chance to hear all these fine folks and catch up with friends (who are usually singing somewhere else than where I am).

Oct12

SESSIONS open mike feature

UU Church of Marlboro and Hudson, 80 Main St, Hudson, MA

Happy to Feature at Lorenzo Fine's Open mike in Hudson. This one's always a gathering of the tribe. Starts at 7; feature between 8 and 9.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/firstsundayjam/

Details from Lorenzo: SESSIONS is an Open Mic, Songwriters Round Table, Invitational JAM and Occasional CoffeeHaus.

We welcome your Music, Spoken Word and other Art Performances.

SESSIONS occur at The Unitarian Church of Marlboro and Hudson, 80 Main Street (corner of Church and Main), Hudson, Massachusetts 01749 in the Subterranean Union Hall on SECOND Fridays from 7:00 till - - - ?

Please use the Main Street ground level entrance.

Friends of all ages welcome.

Contact Lorenzo at 978-562-9223 and lorenzonine@gmail.com for confirmation, early sign up, information and comments.

Suggested donation, $5.00

Linda Marks, Terry Smith, Rick Drost

Dedham Square Coffeehouse, 565 High Street, Dedham, MA

Returning to split tthe evening at Dedham Square with the Linda Marks/Terry Smith Duo - Linda is a singer/songwriter/pianist; Terry is a fingerstyle guitar player. Dedham Square Coffehouse features, coffee, food, beer and wine in a congenial room overlooking dedham square.

https://www.facebook.com/DedhamSquareCoffeehouse/ www.lindamarksmusic.com www.rickdrostsongs.com

Sep30

Feature on Twilight ShowCase, WATD FM

Twilight Showcase Studio, 95.9 FM WATD and www.959watd.com, Plymouth MA

Thrilled to be invited to feature on WATD's popular Twilight Showcase show. Show runs from 8-9 Sunday nights, live from the studio. Sandy Tannenbaum Streid and Keith James host the show; there will be discussion; I'll play songs Live from my album Turning the World. There's a 7.15 "preview/soundcheck" and discussion which is also featured on Facebook Live, sand some onus tracks on FB live as well. Been having fun coming down to the South Shore.

Linda Marks CD release, (opener)

Passim, 47 Palmer St, Cambridge, MA

Linda Marks is releasing her newest of many CDs this summer, with a Cambridge party at Club Passim. Honored to be opening for Linda at this storied venue. Linda will have her full band - Dave Birkin (Saxophone and flute) Jackie Damsky (violin) Doug Hammer (piano) Miki Matsuki (drums) Terry Smith (Guitar) Valerie Thompson (cello) Dave Zox (Bass)

Honored that Linda has asked me to open for her at this storied venue.

Clubpassim.org LindaMarksmusic.com

Sep23

Concert Across America to end Gun Violence

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Sussex county fairgrounds, Augusta NJ

Bluesandrootsradio host Joe Pszonek a NJ instance of this national event. Skylands Songwriteres Guild in North Jersey is a local sponsor. Great roster,lots of Friends. I'll sing Price of Fear and Last Fire Featuring original songs by local artists - Jenai Huff, Judy Kass, Efrat, Loretta Hagen, Nico Padden, Lisa Jeannette Mike Herz, Mike Vrabel, Carol Ann Solebello, Carol Crittenden, Banjo Nickaru & the Western Scooches and friends, Folkapotamus.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1929851000369950/

Sep12

Sets at Tom's Burned Down Cafe

Tom's Burned Down Cafe, 534 Middle St, La Pointe, WI

I'll bring some songs to Lake Superior this evening, playing for tips at Tom's Burned Down Cafe in La Pointe , WI, on Madeline Island. This storied venue has risen from the ashes and serves island folk "Food, Drink, Music and Fun". I haven't sung to Lake Superior since 1971 when I camped on Old Mother Bay, so this trip is a real treat for me.

Thanks, college friend Pat Peterson and Tom Nelson for setting this up for me. I'm making the trip in remembrance of the late Joel Peterson, Pat's late husband, and my great college friend in philosophy and song.

FB: Tom's Burned Down Cafe!

Sep4

Set at BeBop Songwriter Series

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The BeBop, 1116 Boylston St, Boston, MA

John Guinan is continuing the BeBop Songwriter Series near Berklee on Boylston St. Tonight Kaylee Federmann and myself will jion him. We'll all do 40 minute sets. Food and music always great here.

Sep2

Brunch at Serendipity Cafe

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Serendipity Cafe, 1 Nason St, Maynard, MA

Laura and Johnny have asked me back to sing brunch. This was delightful last time - great fresh made food, treats, coffee in a wonderful room looking out on Main and Nason.

Aug29

BBC Open Mic

British Beer Club, 6 Middle Street, Plymouth, MA

Dr. Tex (Ken Teixera) has taken over the BBC Open Mic, and will host it going forward. Music runs from 9-11; signup 8:30. There will not be a feature so as to give more folks a chance to play.

This is happening weekly; Thanks Ken; Check Ken's Facebook page for events.

I'll probably head down there this night to sing and catch up with folks.