” I clearly remember walking out of a UMAF venue during year one, turning to my wife and saying, “This is so cool! I can’t just TAKE from this scene, I have to GIVE to it.” So, I sought out the founders and stepped up. So glad I did. It literally changed my life.” ~Rick Short on being part of the UMAF organizing team, year 2
Utica Rocks! We know, cause Rick Short has been telling us for years! Maybe some of us already knew that, but the world at large has been getting this message for quite some time now by Rick’s firm support and furtherance of the campaign on Twitter and other social media to alert to unravel our secret. All the juicy inside information like that has to be shared. He bangs the drum loudly for our area and he supports the ideas of others in his community. That isn’t all Rick Short does for Utica, and he heaps some more right on to that pile this coming weekend with the debut of his brand new project, The Rick Short Band! Live and in full effect at the Utica Music and Arts Festival!
Rick compiled this band deliberately and systematically. “Throughout 2010 and 2011 I wrote a collection of about 30 pop songs and recorded them as demos so I could share them with other musicians. As much as I liked these pop songs, they just weren’t rock. So, I sat back down and wrote some more. This time I allowed myself to write only songs that were fast, hard driving, muscular rock. I recorded these songs as very spartan demos, using only one vocal track, one guitar track, one bass track, and drums. I worked under the guidance of Bob Acquaviva, an incredible recording engineer, song writer, and performer. He really guided my process well. Then, I searched for musicians who had the seasoned skills, as well as the energy to channel hard-driving rock music. One by one we all came together, and here we are, debuting at the 2011 Utica Music Fest. I specifically aimed at kicking things off at the UMAF because I really believe in it – so much that I served on the organizing team during year 2.” Yes, Rick is Fest Family! The cream that ultimately rose to the top of his musician pile include Caitlin Carparelli on vocals and percussion, Nolan Snyder on lead guitar, Jim Morgan on bass, and Claude Schuyler on drums. ”These artists are really talented, supportive, warm, mature, and energetic. These musicians are 100% positive, constructive, and focused on the song and the audience. I am blessed to know these fine people.” That’s a glowing endorsement if I’ve ever heard one!
Muscular, fast, hard driving rock. I hate to rip Rick off shamelessly like that, but it’s a pretty apt description. If a bus carrying the Rolling Stones were to freakishly careen off course at the moment it were passing a bus carrying Vertical Horizon and collide head on, a van full of The Rick Short Band might magically pop out either side. American rock music with deliberate lyrics, a drive, some soul and a little bit of the blues you tend to get as you make your way through life. That is what is in store for audience members at the UMAF with this group. In Rick’s words, “Be ready to go.” He also tips us off to keeping an ear tuned to Caitlin’s vocals which he glowingly praised. “She is a star.”
Rick’s got some great advice for musicians coming to the festival from his experience as a performer and behind the scenes. ”I recommend to everyone that they LEARN from every facet of the event. Learn from every sound team that you perform with or listen to. Each set-up is different, and each soundman is different. The engineers are very approachable – and eager to share. This variety of talent, all available in a compressed time frame, is an excellent school to attend. Don’t skip this one! I also recommend striking up conversations with every band member you can find. Learn how they book gigs, promote themselves, use social media, etc. Learn about other fests that are out there and find out how to get yourself booked there. There are a ton of skills that we all need, but it is damn hard to acquire them on our own. By sharing info, stories, and techniques, we make each of us better. My band tip: RAWSON! When I first saw them, my jaw dropped. I literally ran out of the bar, onto Varick Street, and started telling strangers that they HAD to get inside to experience this. I’ve seen them tons since and I am still stoked about their groove. We’re all now friends. Because of past Utica Music Fests, I am now friends with many song writers, performers, and engineers that I didn’t know one, two, or three years ago. These new friendships have provided me with tremendous insight and knowledge. I not only get to enjoy these people’s music, but I can ask them how they create it, play it, perform it, record it, promote it, and more. As friends, there are no holds barred. I’ve now got UMAF friends asking about cutting tracks on my songs, sharing info on various guitar tunings, discussing details of our guitar rigs, etc. I encourage everyone to tune in to the acts that really ring true with you, to reach out your hand, and to make some new friends.” Wise words from Mr. Short!
“I am amazed (and I don’t use the word lightly) at the number of artists in Utica. Literally EVERY weekend I encounter someone new and interesting. We have a very broad community of talent. I am a product of the Utica, NY area. I am proud that Joe Sweet, Zee Donaldson, and Damon Call, started the Utica Music Fest in our home town. The Utica Music Fest, and its entire cast of organizers, performers, venues, and fans inspired me to write my new songs and put The Rick Short Band together. My original intent was to debut at this event, an event that has given me so much. And now … here it is! Here we are!”
Rick’s got t-shirts and stickers for fans at the festival! Make sure you get one of the shows The Rick Short Band is playing! Catch them on Friday, September 16th at The Electric Company at 4:30-5:30 p.m. and again on Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 3:15-4:00 pm at Sickenberger Lane. You can also catch TRSB at The Tramontane Cafe on Thursday night. It’s not a UMAF show, but it’s something I think they’d like you to know about!
A handy link for purchasing weekend passes to TRSB gigs and all of the other incredible things happening in Utica fest weekend!