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. 

October 3, 2019 UPDATE

Rick & The All-Star Ramblers Western Swing Band UPDATE
Greetings, Rambler Pals! This weekend is the height of our Leaf Peeping Season. Vermont enjoys two extra seasons beyond the four everyone else has. We have Mud Season in the Spring when the snow melts, and this weekend’s Leaf Peeping Season. This is Leaf Peeping’s busiest weekend. Our highways and byways are teeming with slow-moving carloads of Leaf Peepers, staring intently off the road and into the hills and mountains to take in Vermont’s most glorious display of blazing red, orange and golden leaves in a spectacular display of brilliance. And it’s not just touristas from out of state haunting our roads, it’s a Vermont tradition to take in the world-class scenery of Leaf Peeper Season ourselves. So I encourage everyone to come out on Saturday (the weather will be sunny) and enjoy the spectacle. And please be kind to the slow driving Leaf Peepers. 

STORIES & SONGS AT THE MORRISTOWN CENTENNIAL LIBRARY 
I’ll be performing a solo “Stories & Songs” program on Saturday, October 5th (why, that’s the day after tomorrow!) at the Morristown Centennial Library, a free show commencing at 7pm. I am looking forward to bringing my songs to Morrisville, a scant 20 miles down the road from my ancestral home in East Hardwick. I have played my Stories & Songs program in Vermont Community Libraries all over the region and I sincerely enjoy the intimate audience settings that Libraries provide. I play many of the songs I have written for our Rick & The All-Star Ramblers recordings and share the back stories behind the songs, frequently taken from historic Vermont people and places. 

I’ll be introducing several new songs and playing many familiar tunes that our good friends at WLVB there in Morrisville have been playing on-air for many years. Roland Lajoie had me on his “Vermont Country Morning Show” this morning on WLVB for a warm and (I am sure) interesting visit talking about Saturday’s Morrisville show. I’ll attach my view of Roland in the WLVB studio this morning. It’s always good fun to visit with Roland who claims he’ll be there in person Saturday evening at 7 pm for my show. The Morristown Centennial Library is located, at 7 Richmond Street in downtown Morrisville – (802)888-3853. 

REMINDER: THE SIXTH ANNUAL LAST ROUNDUP AT THE HOTEL VERMONT
Rick & The All-Star Ramblers will be playing our 6th Annual “Last Roundup” concert in Juniper Hall at the magnificent Hotel Vermont in downtown Burlington on Sunday, October 20th at 4 pm. This is our last Ramblers show of the “2019 Taryn Noelle Female Vocalist of the Year Victory Lap Tour of Vermont” concert season. Presently, there are only 20-odd seats available for this up close and personal show which will sell out for the sixth year in a row. We’ll be singing our most requested songs and introducing several new songs I have written for an upcoming CD project.

We have invited and will introduce our regional radio pals who regularly spin our records over the airwaves… and there’ll be special guests to help celebrate this concert many consider our best show of the year. There are always lots of Door Prizes generously donated by our tour sponsors. Advance tickets are $15 each ($20 at the door if there is room) and, as always, everyone gets a free Ramblers CD with each ticket. Call (802)864-6674 for advance tickets to The Last Roundup. 

UPDATE: THE 2019 BIG E SETS AN ALL-TIME ATTENDANCE RECORD
I mentioned in last week’s Rambler post that on Vermont Day, Big E CEO, Gene Cassidy shared with me that, if the weather held, the 2019 overall attendance of this year’s fair was looking like it may best last year’s 1.6 million record. Even with last weekend’s rainy Sunday, the Big E broke the 102 year attendance record with a total of 1,629,527 people through the gates over the 17 day exposition. The Vermont Day record of crowd of 176,544 certainly helped to push the numbers over the top.

Stay Tuned, Keep Listening and come see Rick & The All Star Ramblers’ Last Roundup… and be sure to come up and say Hello. 

RICK’S UPCOMING SOLO SHOWS: 
• Saturday, October 5th, Morrisville Centennial Library, 7 Richmond Street, 
Morrisville, VT, 7 pm. Free Show
• Sunday, November 24th, Great Vermont Barn Dance TV Show Taping w/ Rik Palieri, Hinesburg Town Hall, 1 pm. Free Show
• Monday, December 31st, First Night North, St. Johnsbury, VT, Performance Location & Time – TBA

RICK & THE ALL-STAR RAMBLERS FULL BAND UPCOMING SHOWS: 
• Sunday, October 20th, The 6th Annual Last Roundup, Hotel Vermont, Juniper Hall, 4 pm, Advance Tickets – $15 – includes a free Rick & The All-Star Ramblers CD – $20 at the door, if available. Door Prizes and special guests. The Hotel Vermont is located at 41 Cherry Street in downtown Burlington. Parking on Sunday, October 20th is free on the street and in the adjacent city parking garage.

Call (802)864-6674 for further details regarding any of these shows, advance tickets for “The Last Roundup” (20-ish tickets left) or to book Rick & The All-Star Ramblers Western Swing Band or Rick Norcross solo for your special event. Please Note: Our Ramblers web site, rickandtheramblers.com, is currently off-line while undergoing a massive redesign and update. Our site will be back shortly with current information, news and upcoming concert dates with the Ramblers.

Oct 11, 2019 UPDATE

Rick & The All-Star Ramblers Western Swing Band

Greetings, Rambler Pals! Here I thought that last weekend was the peak of our Leaf Peeping Season. But Noooo. As it turns out, thanks to a mild Fall, THIS coming weekend is Leaf Peeping’s peakiest three days. Our highways and byways are indeed teeming with slow-moving carloads of Leaf Peepers, staring intently off the road and into the hills and mountains to marvel at Vermont’s most glorious display of blazing red, orange and golden leaves in a spectacular display of brilliance. And the most patient of “We Vermonters” are also taking in the world-class scenery of Leaf Peeper Season. So I encourage everyone in Vermont to get out this weekend to experience the best of Autumn because very soon it will be Winter… and you know what that means. 

CATCH “MUSIC TO GO TO THE DUMP BY” TOMORROW MORNING ON WDEV 
This past Saturday morning, Kenley Dean Squier, longtime host of one of Vermont’s most treasured radio shows, WDEV’s “Music To Go To The Dump By,” played our one foliage song, “Paint It Like A Cow,” a tune off our historic “Can’t Catch A Rambler” CD released way back in 1994. It’s a song that cronicles the Holstein cow art craze that swept gift shops statewide back then. Vermont artist Woody Jackson came up with the black and white cow design that was splashed over everything that “moo-ved.” Well, Ken got so excited about the wacky factor of the song that he called me earlier in the week and invited me to come onto the Dump Show as his guest tomorrow morning. 

So I’ll be on the air (somewhat) live tomorrow on “Music To Go To The Dump By” sometime between 9 & 10 am, Eastern Standard Time. Tune in or stream WDEV on your computer or smart speaker and hear our Vermont foliage tribute song. And Thank You, Kenley Dean Squier, for the invitation to join you and sidekick Jack Donovan on WDEV’s “Music To Go To The Dump By.” It’s always great fun!

NEXT WEEKEND: THE SIXTH ANNUAL “LAST ROUNDUP” AT THE HOTEL VERMONT
Rick & The All-Star Ramblers (that’s US!) will be playing our 6th Annual “Last Roundup” concert in Juniper Hall at the magnificent Hotel Vermont in downtown Burlington next Sunday, October 20th at 4 pm. This is our last Ramblers show of the “2019 Taryn Noelle Female Vocalist of the Year Victory Lap Tour of Vermont” concert season. There are now only 10 seats available for this up close and personal show which will sell out for the sixth year in a row. We’ll be warbling our most requested songs and introducing several new songs written for our upcoming CD project.

We have invited and will introduce our regional radio pals who regularly spin our records over the airwaves… and there’ll be special guests to help celebrate this concert many consider our best show of the year. Door Prizes? We got ‘em! Lots of very tasty dinner gift certificates and Ramblers merch, donated by our tour sponsors and the band. Advance tickets are $15 each ($20 at the door if there is room) and, as always, everyone gets a free Ramblers CD with each ticket. Call (802)864-6674 for advance tickets to The Last Roundup. 

UPDATE ON STORIES & SONGS AT THE MORRISTOWN CENTENNIAL LIBRARY 
Just wanted to thank all the wonderful folks who turned out last Saturday evening for my “Stories & Songs” program at the stunningly beautiful Morristown Centennial Library. This is one of the Carnegie-donated Libraries built in 1913. I got to set up and perform in the Great Room, the first room as you enter the library, complete with four indoor columns, a large, ornate fireplace and fine woodwork you rarely see these days. 

Library Director Gizelle Guyette and her team, the Friends of the Library, rolled out the red carpet and made me feel welcome from the second I arrived until the last bit of equipment was loaded into my car at the end of the visit. And I want to say, Standing Ovations just never get old. I had a ball playing my tunes for a totally new audience of avid listeners. 

On a side note, I have played in 19 Libraries over the past three years and no other Library ever provided such an amazing array of homemade baked goods, cheeses, fruit and fresh apple cider and lemonade for the audience. I mean serious handmade cookies, breads, turnovers, and even healthy snacks. And yes, Gizelle sent me home with a BIG plate full of goodies. 

On a second side note, you Vermonters may remember that last Saturday was clear and pretty darned chilly? After I got loaded up and ready to leave, Gizelle and I were outside the door when she noticed some neighborhood teenagers. She immediately invited them into the warm library for some of the leftover cookies and they immediately
flocked inside. That gesture spoke volumes to me about Gizelle’s big heart and her commitment to community. Thank You, Gizelle for the invitation and for sharing your Library with me.

Stay Tuned, Keep Listening and come see Rick & The All Star Ramblers’ Last Roundup… and be sure to come up and say Hello. 

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
• Monday, December 31st, First Night North, St. Johnsbury, VT, 
Performance Location & Time – TBA

RICK & THE ALL-STAR RAMBLERS FULL BAND UPCOMING SHOWS: 
• Sunday, October 20th, The 6th Annual Last Roundup, Hotel Vermont, Juniper Hall, 4 pm, Advance Tickets – $15 – includes a free Rick & The All-Star Ramblers CD – $20 at the door, if available. Door Prizes and special guests. The Hotel 
Vermont is located at 41 Cherry Street in downtown Burlington. Parking on Sunday, October 20th is free on the street and in the adjacent city parking garage.

Call (802)864-6674 for further details regarding any of these shows, advance tickets for “The Last Roundup” (10-ish tickets left) or to book Rick & The All-Star Ramblers Western Swing Band or Rick Norcross solo for your special event. Please Note: Our Ramblers web site, rickandtheramblers.com, is currently off-line while undergoing a massive redesign and update. Our site will be back shortly with current information, news and upcoming concert dates with the Ramblers.