Rick Lockwood is a musician who’s been playing the Cape Cod circuit and self-releasing albums and singles for years. As well as teaching and repairing instruments, he also ran the last local music shop I remember.
Like all musicians he’s currently unable to perform publicly and is unsure when he will be able to again, so he’s bringing his music to where the people are and performing a livestream concert on his Facebook page.
“Live from The Cellar” will be performed on Sunday, April 19, beginning at 7 PM. Mr. Lockwood will be playing with his trio, which and includes Pete Childs on bass and vocals, and Rich McGrann on drums and cymbals.
He will be accepting donations for Heroes in Transition, a nonprofit benefiting veterans and military families. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Heroes in Transition has been helping veterans, military families, military spouses and military couples remain connected via virtual gatherings online, as well as providing financial assistance to those in need in the community.
As a musician, Mr. Lockwood said, he’s been passing his time in quarantine by playing and trying to keep in shape vocally. The trio has a run of shows at the Pearl in Wellfleet beginning Thursday, June 11, plus some acoustic shows. “I’m just rehearsing as if everything is still on. Fingers crossed,” he said
Mr. Lockwood said he got involved with Heroes in Transition in 2014. “I was finishing up my instrumental album ‘Welcome to the Now’ and wanted to donate all the sales/downloads to a cause that focused on helping veterans when they came home. I did some research and came across Heroes in Transition. I reached out and had dinner with the founders, Cyndy and Ken Jones. I basically ran it by them and have been affiliated ever since,” he said.
The Sunday concert will be Mr. Lockwood’s first livestream. “It’s definitely different from a traditional gig. I don’t want to overthink it too much. We want to make sure it’s visually appealing and the audio quality is the best it can be. I’ve had to order some gear to make it happen—signal converter box, cables, etcetera. All in all we’ll keep it simple and have fun,” he said.
Rather than original songs, the trio will be playing covers for the Sunday show.
“We tossed around the idea of just doing Grateful Dead tunes but we all like so many different styles of music. It’ll be better to just play what we normally play. Probably throw in an instrumental or two in there as well,” Mr. Lockwood said.
While he appreciates the chance to livestream a concert, he expects the experience to be very different from playing live gigs. “Creating live music for other people and the interaction between fellow musicians is definitely an itch that has to be scratched,” he said.
Since 2014 when he released his first album “Welcome to the Now” and donated all the proceeds to Heroes In Transition (HIT), Rick Lockwood has found a way to support the Mashpee-based nonprofit.
He will do so once again this Sunday at 7 pm when he joins fellow bandmates Pete Childs and Rich McGrann in a Facebook live performance from "the cellar". The Rick Lockwood Trio will use the virtual concert to raise awareness and funds for the work HIT is doing to support veterans, active duty military, and military families.
“We are so grateful for all that Rick has done for Heroes over the years. He has been selfless in his support of our organization and used his creative talents to strengthen our work,” HIT Executive Director Nicole Spencer said. “We’re excited to see him continue those efforts online this Sunday. At a time when we are all isolated at home, it is wonderful to know there are artists like Rick who are bringing us together through the power of music and social media.”
Born and raised in Falmouth, Lockwood has been playing music since he first picked up a guitar at the age of eight. “Just like that it was an instant love affair,” he said. “I really haven’t put it down since.”
Upon the release of his first album six years ago, Rick wanted to use it as a vehicle to give back to a nonprofit that was making a positive impact in our region. He chose Heroes In Transition because of the work they were doing to assist those who have served our country. “I really liked that their focus was on helping our military heal and reconnect to society after they came back from their tours,” he said.
Lockwood’s connection to the military also played a role in his decision to align with Heroes. His grandfather Roger Wilson served in the Navy, his uncle Robert Wilson served in the Army, and his cousin Brandi Guest currently serves in the Marines.
Over the past six years, Lockwood has deepened his relationship to Heroes, performing at several of its events including last year’s Ruck4HIT finish line at Dino’s Sports Bar in Mashpee and its Fall Couples Retreat in 2017 at the Red Jacket Beach Resort in South Yarmouth.
When he performs solo shows throughout the year, he also put out a tip jar, donating that money to Heroes In Transition.
As to why he has maintained his commitment to the agency, he said a lot has to do with its founders Cyndy and the late Kenneth Jones as well as Nicole Spencer. “They are just great. I would like to always be affiliated with them on some level,” he said.
He expressed excitement for having the opportunity to continue that support virtually this weekend.
It will also be a chance for his band to perform amidst the uncertainty of whether several of their summer gigs will even happen. “We can’t wait. We’re ready to go,” Lockwood said. “We’ll light up the basement and it will be like a live jukebox that people can actively watch or have us playing in the background.”
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.
Mr. Lockwood will perform a solo acoustic show at the Silver Shores Shanty Sunday, August 30, from 4 to 7 PM.