Rik Emmett fans, rejoice!
Your former Triumph frontman and guitar hero is counting the days until he takes the stage at the newly-minted Mavrick’s Music Hall in Barrie on Friday, April 7.
And what’s more, Emmett tells BarrieToday, he’s here to give back.
“I like that the show has a charitable purpose (with proceeds going to the Canadian Mental Health Association). I have played the venue before. I can't wait to hear the riffs coming off the walls.”
For Emmett, the city has a personal connection. “I have family who live in Barrie now and I played there at the arts awards last year, as well as a club date. It's a happening town. I'm looking forward to the gig.”
And Barrie fans should be anticipating the strong band Rik’s bringing with him, a collection of seasoned musicians known as RESolution 9. His bandmates lend Rik what he calls “conscientious maturity. Paul DeLong goes back to his Kim Mitchell band days and has a facility for progressive fusion. When it comes to music, he's a committed workaholic cat, with great chops.
“Dave Dunlop played in Full Nine and has the dark rocker blood running in his veins, an intense jock mentality that I relate well to. Steve Skingley is like the resident professor/engineer, but is the longest serving 'sideman' in the Emmett camp. Great ears, great perspective.”
Emmett was asked about the key points from his days with Triumph and his post-Triumph.
“The Spiral Notebook CD in 1995 was my first step off the path of chasing mainstream hard-rock radio. Although that had changed drastically post-Nirvana, Seattle grunge through the early 90's anyways, leaving classic rock guys like me behind.”
And then there’s that mischievous things called Life, which changes how the music sounds.
“My brother's death in 2007 changed my music. My pal Dave Dunlop says my songwriting is deeper and richer than it ever was before, because it comes from a place that has more pain and darkness in it. And I remain fairly eclectic, which is consistently different. I've been a professional musician for 46 years. Now, I'm older and wiser, more of a tortoise than a hare.”
Nor is the tortoise offended about having his voice likened to that of Rush’s Geddy Lee. “My voice has been shallowly likened to all of the high tenors . . . Geddy, Robert Plant, Steve Perry (Journey), Jon Anderson (Yes), Tommy Shaw (Styx). I like them all and admire their very different approaches. I also love Lou Gramm, Mickey Thomas (Starship), and Sting”
Rik had his indie period, as well as wailing with a band called Strung Out Troubadors, but his experience is that in playing live, the Triumph songs will always get the most requests.
“Some folks ask for Lay It, or Hold On, or Magic Power, or Fight, depending on where they grew up. (Or) people will shout out for Blinding Light Show, off the first Triumph album. Or else, and this is a biggie, people ask for ballad after ballad after ballad: Let Me Be The One off of Spiral gets a lot of requests, because it was a big wedding song.”
Folks at the April 7 show will also hear the Triumph greatest hits package with a few RES 9 songs in there for good measure.
“If you're in the mood for classic rock licks on a Les Paul, I promise you I'll give 'er my best shot”
Mavrick’s Music Hall is located at 46 Dunlop Street East in Barrie.
Find more information about the show here.