News: February 25, 2021


RICK & THE ALL-STAR RAMBLERS WESTERN SWING BAND NEWS

        Greetings from snow-covered Rambler Ranch. The Good News – we are less than a week away from March. The Bad News – another couple of months of slowly ebbing Winter temps. We are looking at a balmy 40 degree temperature spike in a day or two. That’s a welcome harbinger of the beginning of Maple Sugaring Season here in Vermont. And that’s a sweet respite from the 16 below zero air we choked down a few days ago.

    “PRESS PASS” COLLECTION UPDATE

Press Pass Photos by Rick Norcross in Hardwick Gazette.

    More good news about our “Press Pass” project. My hometown newspaper, The Hardwick Gazette,” ran an excellent review a couple of Wednesdays ago. Gazette writer Sandy Atkins told the “Press Pass” story, chapter and verse and even ran a couple of my photos, Elvis and Merle Haggard, to enhance the tale. Back in the early ‘70s, I was one of three finalists in line to purchase the weekly and for a time, I was editor of the Hardwick Gazette. Thank You for the review, Sandy Atkins. Hometown coverage is the best!

Press Pass photo of by Rick Norcross as seen in Seven Days Vermont.
Seven Days – Press Pass by Chris Farnsworth

And Vermont’s finest and largest weekly newspaper, Seven Days, ran a Q&A feature on me and  “Press Pass” in their most recent edition, out last Wednesday. Chris Farnsworth asked the questions and I stumbled through the answers. If you were not one of their 35,000 regular Seven Days readers who enjoyed Chris’s story, you can still go to their web site at sevendaysvt.com and read all about it in the digital edition. It’s not often that I get a two and a half page story in Seven Days with three of my photos blown up LARGE. There’s Robert Plant of Led Zep, taken on May 6, 1973 in front of 63,000 rabid fans at Tampa Stadium, and then there is Tina Turner, raving at Curtis Hixon Hall in Tampa on October 9, 1971 and standing just to the right on the page, B.B. King at Tampa Stadium on June 17, 1973. Thanks for the visit, Chris Farnsworth. Chris is a musician himself, guitar player, and wrote a great review of our Green Mountan Standard Time CD when it was released.

    A special Thank You to the many people who went to our web site and ordered a copy of the “Press Pass” collection for your very own. I had lots of northern Vermont interest and even a couple of orders from over in New Hampshire. All of the photographs on “Press Pass” are also available for sale and I have had over a dozen orders for prints, mostly  of Elvis, Janis Joplin and Jerry Garcia. Go to our web site, rickandtheallstarramblers.com, where our Duchess of Digits, Cheryl Michaels of East Hardwick, has updated the site with prices and sizes for any photos you may be interested in purchasing. I turn these prints and thumb drives around instantly so you can order “Press Pass” and enjoy rare images of those magic music makers of 1969 to 1974 in the intimacy of your own home. Have a look!

“PRESS PASS” BROADCAST MEDIA RECAP    

    Ace reporter Joe Carroll featured me on his WCAX “Super Seniors” Series on Thursday, January 28th. We had 99 visits to our web site, rickandtheallstarramblers.com, immediately following the broadcast, a record number of new friends. If you somehow missed the episode, you can enjoy the “Press Pass” story and the tour of Rambler Ranch again and again on WCAX video at https://www.wcax.com/video/2021/01/29/super-senior-rick-norcross/. You’ll learn all about “Press Pass” and hear some of the stories about how these shots were taken. 

    Over the past few weeks, “Press Pass” has been featured on Vermont radio and television intervews. Ric Sengeri invited me for a full hour long visit on his “Vermont Viewpoint” show on WDEV Radio Vermont on January 20th. The hour sped by and we had a couple of calls come in from old friends in the radio audience. 

    Here’s an unsolicited review from Tammy from Underhill who bought three “Press Passes” and a print of Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan:

    I am finally carving out time to delve into this Press Pass!   Wow!   I am blown away.  I wish you were here to bask in my elation!   Elton’s butt!  Just for starters!   So many candid ‘in the moment’ images…   I hear the music in my head.  Wow.  Oh, how I wish I could have been there like you were.  It’s still scrolling across my screen as I write this….   I have several friends for whom this would make the greatest gift, so I dare say I will be back to order more.  Kindly alert before availability ends – if it might.  

Rick – thanks so much for putting this out.  It really deserves to be a bound memoir.  

Best wishes 

Tammy.

    Thank You all for reading this post. Warm Wishes to You and Your Family. Spring is on the WAY. Honest! Stay Safe and Be Well, my friends! – 

Ta Ta. Rick

Meet Rick & The All-Star Ramblers Western Swing Band:

Rick Norcross – Vocals/Rhythm Guitar • Taryn Noelle – Vocals • Charlie MacFadyen – Piano/Accordion/Lap Steel • Dono Schabner –  Lead Guitar • Doug Reid – Fiddle • Dave Rowell – Vocals/Bass • Ian Koeller – Drums

DUE TO THE ONGOING CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC, WE HAVE NO UPCOMING RICK & THE ALL-STAR RAMBLERS SHOWS 

 RICK’S UPCOMING SOLO SHOWS: 

• Saturday, July 17th, 2021. Sheldon Old Home Days. Free Afternoon Show. Performance part of an every-five-year town celebration produced by the Sheldon Historical Society in Sheldon, Vermont, just a stone’s throw from the Canadian border. I had a ball playing there five years ago, fueled by Bill Wetherbee’s terrific BBQ Chicken.

PRESS PASS ANNOUNCEMENT

Greetings Rambler Pals

Eric Clapton
photo by Rick Norcross

A quick note to let you all know that Ric Sengeri has invited me to join him as his special guest live tomorrow morning (Wednesday, 1/20) on his Vermont Viewpoint show on WDEV Radio Vermont. I’ll be featured for the whole first hour, from 9 to 10 am, talking about my “Press Pass” collection of Rock & Roll and Country superstar photogrphs that I shot between 1969 and 1974. Looking forward to talking about pictures on a radio show. Ric is very enthusiastic after reviewing the collection, and as he knows a great deal about and deeply loves music, I’m looking forward to this opportunity to chatting with an excellent interviewer and an all around nice guy, about my latest project.

Leon Russell
photo by Rick Norcross

    I sent a notice around last week to my Rambler Fan Face Book list our and email tree to announce the release of Press Pass this coming week and I want to thank everybody who jumped on board and ordered one right away. Press Passes went out to London, England, Austin, TX and all over the northern reaches of Vermont. I’ll attach a couple of more sample images with this post for your amusement.

    Please tune in tomorrow morning if you can, to hear more about Press Pass and to hear some of the stories about how these shots were taken. If you are unable to listen to the broadcast live, simply go to WDEV.com and go to the Vermont Viewpoint page and listen to the show anytime at your convenence. It will be posted as a blog. Thank you to the Vermont Viewpoint host, Ric Sengeri!

    Here’s another quote, this one from longtime Rambler tour sponsor Dan Dubonnet after his encounter with Press Pass:

    “No one can really argue that the best rock music was created between 1969 and 1974! That’s why it’s still played on the radio as the Classic Rock format in many cities. So when you see the black and white photos of the music greats captured in action by then Tampa Times photographer and music writer Rick Norcross, it brings you right back to that time. You can almost hear the music when you view the pictures! Check out the PRESS PASS collection and relive those great memories!”

     … Dan Dubonnet, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Hall Communications, WOKO/WKOL/WJOY/WIZN/WBTZ

    On a personal note, a dear friend, Mary Gusha, from my hometown of East Hardwick, passed away a couple of weeks ago. Mary was the beloved matriarch of the Cook family (my cousins) and frequently came to our Rick & The All-Star Ramblers shows and brought her huge smile along with her every time. Mary’s obituary was printed in the latest issue of The Hardwick Gazette and I was stunned to see us referenced. It read, “Mary loved the time that she spent with her family and listening to country music, especially Rick and the Ramblers and Elvis Presley.” Thank You, Mary and the Cook Family for sharing that love. Deepest condolences from me and the entire Rambler band to a warm and wonderful soul. RIP, Mary Gusha.

    Thanks for reading this post. Warm Wishes to You and Your Family. Stay Safe and Be Well, My friends! (And tune in to WDEV tomorrow mornng for a pictoral visit)

 

Press Pass is now available to purchase on our web site at https://rickandtheallstarramblers.com/press-pass/.

God Bless The Mighty Pickle

Rick And the All Star Ramblers Western Swing, God Bless the Mighty Pickle CD Cover
God Bless The Mighty Pickle!

What would you do if, when the time came to sell your beloved tour bus after 22 years of faithful service, an angel steps forward, buys “The Mighty Pickle” and donates her to Marty Stuart’s Congress of Country Music Museum in Philadelphia, Mississippi? You write a heartfelt tribute song, record a new album dedicated to “The Mighty Pickle” and share this amazing story with the world. That’s what you do! And that’s exactly what Rick Norcross did after Dave and Boots Wright from Ocala, Florida, purchased the Rick & The All-Star Ramblers Western Swing Band’s tour bus, “The Mighty Pickle” in October.

The fact that Marty Stuart is one of Rick’s most beloved country music artists of all, makes the story even more poignant. The title track, “God Bless The Mighty Pickle,” tells the history of this extremly rare 1957 raised-roof Flxible Strainer, chapter and verse. Many Country Music stars of the 40s, 50s and 60s bought Flxible coaches with which they toured extensively, including Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys, Hank Snow, Flatt & Scruggs, Roy Acuff, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Doc & Chickie Williams and many other popular artists of the day. As a young performer and band member, Marty Stuart spent untold hours touring America in Flxible coaches and has enthusiastically welcomed “The Mighty Pickle” into his family. These days, Country Music stars don’t own their multi-million dollar tour buses, they are all leased, unlike the days of “The Mighty Pickle.” This song documents the 22 years this bus traveled through the hills of old Vermont, never failing to reach a show on time. You can even hear the air horns from The Mighty Pickle a couple of times featured within the song.

In addition, there are three new songs by Rick Norcross, “Out In The Cold,” a Vermont Winter weather report, “They Go Faster,” a song about speeders on the Interstate, and “Help Us Find Our Song,” recounting a romantic search for the perfect song for a couple in love.

Rambler songbird Taryn Noelle delivers a stunning vocal performance on the Western Swing smash hit, “Shame On You,” written and recorded by Spade Cooley & His Orchestra. “Shame On You,” was released nationally on Okeh Records on January 15, 1945, and quickly rose to Number One, spent 31 weeks on the Billboard charts and became Spade Cooley’s signature song. Taryn Noelle, accompanied vocally by The Blue Gardenias, breathes new life into this classic song with a terrific instrumental arrangement by Rambler Charlie MacFadyen.

Special guest vocalists, The Blue Gardenias, an acclaimed Vermont jazz trio consisting of Amber deLaurentis, Juliet McVicker and our own Taryn Noelle, make a triumphant and harmonious return visit delivering masterful backup vocals to “Shame On You,” “Out In The Cold” and the title track, “God Bless The Mighty Pickle.” The Blue Gardenias last joined the All-Star Ramblers in the studio on sessions for the “I Rode The Ti” CD, released in 2008.

The decision was made to release the first five songs in February in EP format as a taste to whet Rambler fan’s appetites in anticipation of the upcoming full length album which will be released at the end of May. Rick is heading to Tampa for a month to write the rest of the songs for “God Bless The Mighty Pickle” and upon his return, The Ramblers will finish the CD.

Ramblings – October 27, 2019

THE SIXTH ANNUAL LAST ROUNDUP AT THE HOTEL VERMONT

A week ago today, we celebrated the end of our 2019 Vermont outdoor perfomance season with our sixth-year-in-a-row sold out show at the Hotel Vermont’s Juniper Hall. It’s our annual “Thank You Show” for our treasured Rambler Pals and our family of Corporate Sponsors. This year, we honored our regional radio DJs for playing our Rambler records for so many years. Barb Heller, longtime host of “String Fever” on North Country Public Radio, came all the way over to Burlington from Canton, NY, Jack Donovan from WDEV’s “Outlaw Saturday Morning Show,” Dan Dubonnet, VP and Sr. Vice President of Hall Broadcasting (WOKO) did the intros, Joel Najman, from Vermont Public Radio’s “My Place” and WDEV’s “The Great American Music Hall” was on hand as was Roland Lajoie, Station Manager and host of his “Vermont Country Morning Show” on WLVB in Morrisville. There was a whole section of “kids” from my grade school days in Shelburne, including Mary Lou Coleman who came up from Miami for the show, and another gang from my high school days in East Hardwick. The Addison Country contingent came in full force, including Larry Simino, the former Director of the Vermont State Parks system who booked the Ramblers for 59 State Park concerts over a 10 year period. So, as you can see, by scheduling this concert at 4 pm on a Sunday afternoon, we front-loaded this show with Rambler Pals who really wanted to be there for our end of the year performance. AND everybody went home with a free Ramblers CD to keep them warm over the winter! The All-Star Ramblers and I had a blast Sunday and deeply appreciate everyone coming out for the blessed event. 

You shouldda heard how hot The Ramblers were! What an honor to stand tall with this amazing band: Taryn Noelle from Stowe (dubbed in March the Academy of Western Artists Female Vocalist of the Year) on vocals; Dono Schabner from Morrisville on scorching hot lead guitar; fiddle-wizard Doug Reid from Wheelock, “draggin’ the bow;” Charlie MacFadgen of Burlington on piano, accordian, lap steel and masterful song arrangements; Dave Rowell, the mayor of East Craftsbury, on the super-smooth vocals and bass guitar and second generation Rambler, Ian Koeller from Starksboro, on the rock-steady drum kit. All-Stars ALL.

THE VERMONT COMMUNIITY LIBRARY “STORIES & SONGS” SERIES

On a personal note, I had a wonderful experience playing my “Stories & Songs” solo program in six Vermont Community Libraries since the first of the year. Here’s the list along with a heartfelt Thank You to all these libraries for their incredibly warm hospitality (and their baked goods refreshments):

Lanpher Library, in Hyde Park

Carpenter-Carse Library in Hinesburg

Snow Farm Winery in South Hero (raised $1,000 to benefit the South Hero Library)

Fletcher Free Library in Burlington

Richmond Free Library in Richmond

Morristown Centennial Library in Morrisville

I also had the extreme pleasure of playing in my hometown of East Hardwick in early June for a “Homecoming Concert” which was also a benefit for the fledgling East Hardwick Neighborhood Organization. It was a sold-out show (most of my cousins came) held in a “piece of history” pristine 1913 Grange Hall, complete with pounded tin walls and ceiling. We raised over $1,000 at that benefit too. See the photo. I want to recognize and profusely thank Dan Dubonnet and WOKO (who have graciously sponsored our tours & CD projects for 34 years) for purchasing a Bose L1 compact PA system for me to use on the library dates.

NEWS ABOUT THE NEXT RICK & THE ALL-STAR RAMBLERS CD

We are now planning to record a brand new Rick & The All-Star Ramblers CD over the next few months which will be released in the Spring to support next Summer’s tour of Vermont and the region. Here’s the list of my songs written so far for the project: “Help Us Find Our Song,” “They Go Paster,” “Out In The Cold,” “Broke Again” and “God Bless The Mighty Pickle.” Cover song? Yep, the Spade Cooley hit tune, “Shame, Shame On You.” I can’t get that melody out of my head! More titles to come. Stay tuned.

MUSIC TO GO TO THE DUMP BY

The warmest Thank You to Kenley Dean Squier, grand pooh-bah of Radio Vermont (and a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame) for having me on his classic WDEV Radio show, “Music To Go To The Dump By” two Saturdays ago. I figured he’d have me on for maybe 10 minutes and that would be it. But noooo. Kenley had me on the air for the entire hour of his show, played four of our songs off the ”Welcome To OUR Vermont” CD and he had me sing on his hymn of the day, ”Dropkick Me Jesus” with Kenley, Farmer Dave and Jack Donovan. What a thrill! Thanks, Kenley Dean Squier!

THANK YOU TO OUR RICK & THE ALL-STAR RAMLERS  FAMILY OF SPONSORS

 I know this is a dreadfully LONG Social Media post, but now that our 2019 seaon is in the rear view mirror, I need to recognize and thank our longtime family of Corporate Sponsors so that you all know who has made it possible for us to keep this wonderful band rolling through the (once – Fall is here) green mountains of our Vermont for so many years. Let me list them and encourage you to do business with them when you can and to share with them how much you apprciate their supporting our Vermont Music. They are NorthCountry Federal Credit Union, WOKO Radio, REM Development, The Hotel Vermont, The Courtyard Marriot, The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Dona’s Car Store/Hardwick and The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. Great Rambler Pals, each and every one!

What a Week!

RICK’S UPCOMING SOLO SHOWS: 

    • Sunday, November 24th, Great Vermont Barn Dance TV Show Taping w/ Rik 

      Palieri, Hinesburg Town Hall, 1 pm. Free Show

    • Sunday, November 24th, Folk Talk TV Show Taping w/ Rik Palieri, 4 pm, WBTV

NOW BOOKING RICK & THE ALL-STAR RAMBLERS FOR 2020 SUMMER & FALL DATES 

    Call (802)355-3531 or email at rick.norcross@gmail.com for Availability & Booking details for Rick & The All-Star Ramblers Western Swing Band or for Rick Norcross solo appearances for your special event.