Time To Give Back: New Album by Rick Lockwood will Benefit Heroes in Transition
By: T.M. Murphy, August 28, 2014
In 1988 I was a senior at Falmouth High School flunking math and science and counted the minutes (probably out of order, considering my skills) until class ended so I could go to my sanctuary, that safe haven that always reminded me I was good at something - my lunch table. It always felt like I was stepping on the set of my own little talk show. Friends gathered to drink chocolate milk and listen intently to my stories of those miserable math teachers or my observations of last night’s episode of Alf.
I lead the round table discussion and was respected, maybe even loved, for my insight but the spotlight shifted the day Rick Lockwood (a junior no less) put his tray on my table. He decided he was going to be my co-host.
His quick-witted sarcasm took over and as I laughed along I was inwardly screaming, “Cut to commercial. Who is this guy?”
Everyone loved Rick and to top it off, he also played guitar. Of course he did, right? Well, we never bonded. I went on to somehow graduate from FHS and eventually I also graduated from my teenage insecurities.
I was reunited with “Lockwood” as we like to call him, a few years after college. A mutual friend (for some unknown reason) decided to bring him to my family’s Christmas party. This time the jokes between Lockwood and me batted back and forth like tennis balls from World Class players. They’ve never stopped. I now consider him to be one of my best friends.
I have to admit, his latest venture recording an instrumental album and donating the proceeds to Heroes In Transition makes me actually proud of him. So while I’m no longer jealous of his humor, I will always be jealous of how he plays the guitar.
1. Okay, I often wonder why every father doesn’t put a guitar in his son’s crib. When did you start playing guitar?
Well, my family is very much into music. My sister Joy plays piano, my mom sings, and my dad plays a little bit of trumpet. My mom could fool around on the guitar, and back when I was a kid always had one lying around. I’d look at it but I played trumpet for a few years. It was in the fifth grade when I picked up that guitar and realized it was way cooler than the trumpet. No offense, Dad. There was no turning back for me.
2. Who were your musical influences growing up?
The first guy I tried to play and sound like was Robert Cray even before the Claptons, the Santanas, Yes, and Rush. It was Robert Cray’s album Strong Persuader. I hadn’t heard a guy rip it up with a clean tone and no distortion and rock, and then I heard that. He was killing it on guitar and it was relatively clean, and it just turned me right there.
3. I know you sing, so why make an instrumental album?
I had a few instrumentals I wrote that I really liked and already had on the shelf, and I just kept writing stuff that to me didn’t seem to need lyrics. Then I just flipped the switch and decided I was going to write an instrumental album. Talk about a bucket list. That is one of them. I never thought I would have the chops or the studio, but I became friends with Joe Clapp and it all came together. Joe engineered, mixed and mastered the album. I also had an old band mate, Jim Beauchaine, play drums, cymbals and percussion. I’m grateful to them both.
4. Your album doesn’t reflect the military in its music yet you picked Heroes In Transition (http://heroesintransition.org/) to be the beneficiary. Why?
I wanted my album be more than ‘buy my album ‘cause I made an album.’ My uncle is retired from the Army and my Grandfather served in WW2, Vietmam and Korea, but ironically I’m not from a big military family. I’m also in the funeral business. I work for Chapman, Cole & Gleason. And well, I wanted to do something for the military. I’ve seen that terrible day quite a bit over the last nine years, far too often. It’s hit me. Also when the vets come back the real work begins. They can be totally screwed with no help so I did some research and found Heroes in Transition. They get it. They do unbelievably great work for the men and women who return.
The organization was started and is run by Ken and Cindy Jones of Mashpee. They lost their only son, Captain Eric A. Jones, a Marine pilot in Afghanistan. The funeral home I work for did Captain Jones’s service but I wasn’t working that day. Ironically, it was only when I did research on what charity to get involved with that I learned that. That was one reason but the other was that I wanted to help locals. After meeting Ken and Cindy, I walked out with even more of a level of commitment. Such impressive people, such an impressive cause. The organization does all sorts of things. They modify homes, they train dogs who can sense PTSD, which are like $20,000 animals, they do equine therapy. The list goes on. So they can always use help. The best part is 92 cents of every dollar that is donated goes to doing all of those things. You don’t often get that in an organization. So I’m using what I’m good at to help out a bit. My slogan is, “It’s time to give back.”
5. Back to the music. You have a song “Sunday Brunch.” For me, your album welcome to the now has that Sunday Brunch feel to it but at times also has that “I want to go on the highway and move into the fast lane.” How would you describe your album?
That’s a great question because it really is a hard one to answer. I do have some cruising music but there are eight different songs that somehow come together. That’s the tough part of mastering it because they all are really different songs. Part of mastering is making it all become a collection. Making everything sound like the same kick drum, the same bass, yet still sound different. The last song “Slapback” is like a rockabilly kind of ragtime fun little song. So it was a little bit challenging that way, but it does all work. And the two covers “Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix and “And I love Her” by The Beatles do work. God, at least I think so. People can buy the album and judge for themselves. I hope they come to Silver Shores Shanty on Sunday but if they can’t make it they can always download the album on www.ricklockwoodmusic.com/
- t.m. murphy
Versatile Musician Rick Lockwood Performs August 30
When you ask musicians how they got started the answers are usually, “My mom or dad played,” “I started in church,” or “I heard this one band and knew that was what I wanted to do.”
When you ask musicians why they stopped playing, the answers are along the lines of career demands, kids, mortgages, sleep and spare time.
When you ask musicians why they keep playing you may be greeted by a moment of silence. Once it’s confirmed you aren’t asking the question to be dismissive of their passion but out of genuine curiosity, things get interesting.
It’s a small slice of players who make their entire living with music. It takes sacrifice and determination, but for musicians in it for the long haul it isn’t a choice.
Playing is just a part of their makeup. Michael Corleone said it best in “The Godfather III”: “Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.” Substitute playing and singing for racketeering and murder and…okay, admittedly not a perfect comparison, but you get the idea.
I recently spoke to singer/songwriter Rick Lockwood of Bourne. Mr. Lockwood is a bit of a renaissance man who has played in bands on both coasts. He recently released an instrumental rock/fusion album and you can see him play live at the Silver Shores Shanty in Falmouth Heights Sunday, August 30, from 4 to 7 PM.
Since elementary school Mr. Lockwood has been playing music, first trumpet then guitar. Although his life has taken him in different directions, like currently running his own swimming pool company in the summer and working in a funeral home in the off-season, music is a constant. He has taken breaks from it, but never for too long.
Growing up, the Lockwood house was filled with musicians. Dad played trumpet, Mom sang and played piano, and his sister played and studied classical piano. Mr. Lockwood took guitar lessons for about six months in fifth grade, long enough to learn bar chords and blues scales. Once he had the basic tools he was off on his own. The first lick he remembers learning was “867-5309/Jenny” by Tommy Tutone.
“I always had a pretty good ear,” he recalled. “I remember learning some Cars songs early on, too.”
Throughout high school he played guitar with friends and while attending college in San Bernardino, California, he started a band. This was the early 1990s and the band played the hits of the era by groups like Pearl Jam and Counting Crows. They played bars and parties, “mostly for beer money,” Mr. Lockwood said with a laugh.
After college he found himself back on the Cape. He gave music lessons which he found made him a better musician because, as he put it, “If you don’t have the answer to something you have to learn it for the next week.” He also played guitar and sang harmony in a rock band called Earthbound Misfits. The band played the Cape/Plymouth area, gigging up to three nights a week during the busy season.
In 2006 the band self-released an album titled “Undercover Hero.” The album was filled with poppy rock tunes inspired by bands like The Beatles and Grateful Dead. While teaching and regular gigging he opened a guitar shop in North Falmouth. After a while the uncertainty of gigging, teaching and running a small music shop in the era of online behemoths like Amazon drove him to take a three-year hiatus from music.
Just when he thought he was out…his passion for music drove him back to the studio. This time he recorded an instrumental rock fusion album titled “Welcome To The Now.” He took his time on the album, playing many of the instruments himself. Wanting to help out with what he saw as a serious issue, 100 percent of the proceeds of the album sales go directly to Heroes in Transition, a charity dedicated to helping returning military veterans.
“When the album was done I had something to promote,” Mr. Lockwood said of his decision to start playing live again, this time as a solo acoustic act. Although he always thought of himself as a guitar player he now enjoys singing.
“I pick songs I feel comfortable singing. There is nowhere to hide when you’re up there by yourself. It’s a little scary but I like it,” he said.
Although he wishes the Cape had more venues tailored for strictly live music with in-house stages, lights and sound, he has a great appreciation for the diverse venues the region offers.
“There are some great restaurants that feature live music. You can find everything from solo acoustic acts to six-piece rock bands. Even though some have had a hard time with noise complaints and licensing they still support live entertainment,” he said.
Mr. Lockwood is currently practicing with a rock trio and looks forward to booking some full band shows in the fall. In the meantime the Silver Shores Shanty is a great place to enjoy outdoor eating/drinking and hear Mr. Lockwood perform. He may put the guitar down, but never for long; it’s just who he is.
cut: Musician Rick Lockwood will perform at the Silver Shores Shanty Sunday, August 30, from 4 to 7 PM. Proceeds from Mr. Lockwood's latest album benefit the charity Heroes in Transition.
- Luke Vose