RICK PRICE – Up Close and Personal as he kicks off the first night of his National Tour at Bar Ciccone!

Australian music royalty Rick Price kicked off the first night of his Australian Tour at Melbourne’s Bar Ciccone in Macleod on Tuesday evening to a small and intimate crowd, Rick will play a few more Melbourne venue’s this week before heading to regional towns including Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong and then Rick says, “ I’m going to the Central Coast I have a show in Gosford and then I’m heading to Western Australia and then returning to Queensland to play in Brisbane, Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast. I’m really playing all over the country.”

Rick Price now resides in Nashville the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and home to Country Music performers. Rick says, “I love the music scene there, I now write and produce for other artists, no famous country artists or anything, but mostly work with people starting off. You may not know who they are, but hopefully one day you will hear of them.

There are a lot of great musicians living there and even though I play a lot of instruments myself, occasionally I need strings and horns and specialty players.”

Rick for those that don’t know also plays the piano, drums, and bass. Rick says, “ I grew up in the country we had a family band with kids, and it wasn’t unusual to jump on the drums, so you know I didn’t play the piano much when I was a little kid that came later. I learned from my uncles, aunty, and my older brother who taught me as well.”

Rick’s favourite song he’s ever written, he says, “I don’t have a favourite song, but let me see it may be ‘Heaven Knows’; that particular song for me, personally came to me on the road and then I co-wrote it with my friend Heather Field, it’s probably the best structure of a song that I’ve ever written, it’s a classic melody and the melody is timeless.”

I asked Rick does he believe that the key to having a great song is to have a good melody? Rick says, “100%, and that was the key to ‘Heaven Knows’ it sort of just struck me as a very strong and obvious melody. When I think about it, I don’t think gee, I should change that melody, it’s a song that’s stayed solid over the years.”

The song, ‘Just walk away Renee’ is a very catchy song and the one that I always remember, “yes, yeah that’s a song that I covered it was written back in the ’60s by a group called the Left Bank, it’s a very different version to the original but yes, it’s another classic melody. It’s very catchy and to me, that’s what a good pop song does, you just want to whistle it, you want to sing it, and you don’t have to think about it, you remember the melody, and it makes you feel good!”

Rick goes on to talk about this current tour in which you can expect to hear all of the old songs, some new songs that I haven’t recorded yet, and of course songs from the ‘Soulville’ album, including Midnight Owl, Sitting on the Dock of the Bay and Stand by me.

Rick is looking at recording his new album next year and then will come back for a new Tour. You’ll get to hear some of his new work during his current tour. The songs are heartfelt and about love. I can say, after having just seen this latest show, that it is truly memorable. As I sat in the audience his vocal talent and guitar work left me feeling full of emotion, and in some way, I could relate to the story that each song told. Rick Price has the voice and heart of an angel and it’s evident that his love for his family and country upbringing has played a huge role in who he is today and what he loves to write about.

I ask Rick about life in Nashville, does he bump into Keith Urban, and Nicole Kidman and he tells me, “Every once in a while, sometimes at the grocery store. The great thing about living in Nashville is it’s very relaxed, there’s no paparazzi, like Keith and Nicole walk down the street nobody bothers them, they go to the grocery store, and no one cares because stars are walking around everywhere.”

Finally, Rick tells me why he loves coming home to Australia. “Firstly, my family, I have a lot of family spread all over the country, mostly from Queensland and NSW. That’s my favourite thing and then of course playing shows, catching up with my Australian friends. Australian audiences are fantastic to play too and so familiar to me, so that’s the other thing the fans, I love the fans.”

I’ve seen many performers and concerts in my life, but I can’t ever remember one as touching like this, every song is a heartfelt story, with songs about his father, grandfather, living on the farm, his mother, and his sister who both sadly passed so young at the age of 47. Rick tells us about the songs and who they were written for and why. He would sing with his sister in church growing up with his Aunty playing the organ and has fond memories of his sister squeezing his arm, saying “you sing this part”.

Therefore, this is why we love Rick Price; he is raw, down-to-earth, and represents Australian Music so well. His voice will honestly leave you wishing the show never ended.

Interview by Melinda Sullivan and words by Rick Price.

Photography Toby Sullivan

Thanks to Frank and Helen Ciccone and Michael Stangle.