ABOUT RICK LANDERS & HEARTLAND
I was born in Michigan, downriver of Detroit and soon found myself on the road with our nomadic family moving from one Navy base to another. By the time I was ten I'd travelled to most of the States. We lived in trailer parks, a Navy-owned row house, even half of a WWII Quonset hut, as well as a small basement apartment we called, "The Dungeon".
As a kid, I sang on a local radio station in Milton, Florida, and found early rock 'n' roll and pop music fascinating, and I'd sing along. Later, as a young teen I'd learn guitar and join a garage band in the Detroit area. We once snuck into Cobo Hall to see Terry Knight and the Pack and I'd frequent Detroit's old Grande Ballroom and other venues to see Cream, The Frost, Savage Grace, Vanilla Fudge, Del Shannon, the Psychedelic Stooges, Bob Seger, the MC5, the Blues Magoos and other remarkable groups.
During college in Michigan and England I'd poke around by myself on my own or a borrowed acoustic, then later busk in the D.C. area of Georgetown, and played a few D.C. clubs in the Adams Morgan area. I still have my 1975 Guild D-25M, that I bought new.
When young, jobs I held included driving a 1951 Ford tractor at a Cadillac plant, scrubbing dishes, pots and pans as a dishwasher at a Ford plant, box kicker at a government storage activity, envelope stuffer at a printing plant, baling hay, bending razor sharp aluminum for ductwork, unloading railroad cars by hand for Ford's largest warehouse and as an 11-year old, selling TV guides door-to-door at Navy enlisted housing....
Once married, I settled into playing for my wife, cats, and dogs.
Occasionally, I'd write a song.
Living in Virginia, I worked a regular federal government job where I started out stuffing envelopes as a wage grade employee, and retired as a strategic planner, ethics program manager, senior business analyst, and communications executive.
I've enjoyed serving on the W&OD Trails (FOWOD) Board of Directors, founding its Trail Ambassador Program (TAP), as a member of the W&OD Trail Patrol, as well as serving on Reston's Pedestrian & Bicycling Advisory Committee (PBAC) and its Multimodal Transportation Advisory Committee. I've biked extensively, including biking RAGBRAI, a self-contained solo ride from Pittsburgh to Reston, and several century rides.
In 2018, ten years after retiring, I played an open mic as a singer-songwriter and was asked to be the venue's first open mic featured performer. Since then I've played house concerts, farmers' markets, festivals and special events, such as the Republic of South Africa embassy (D.C.), five holiday gigs for The Reston Town Center, the 2019 Herndon Festival, Reston's Founder's Day celebration, the W&OD Trail Family Festival, and more.
I have also published Guitar International magazine (2004 - 2022), where I interviewed such luminaries as: Les Paul, Jimmy Webb, Slash, Judy Collins, Buddy Guy, Tommy Emmanuel, Richie Havens, Cindy Cashdollar, all the members of The Immediate Family (Sklar, Kunkel, Wachtel, Kortchmar & Postell) and many, many more. Friends and contributors also weighed in to interview legends of the music of our day.
Most recently, I was asked to serve as a judge in the world-wide Songwriters' Association of Washington (SAW) songwriters' contest where I judged in the Country and Contemporary Folk categories for 2020, and two award categories for 2021.
I tend to favor musicians we all know, but also lesser known artists, such as Tim Buckley, Nick Drake, Judee Sill, John Martyn, Rob Thomas, Father John Misty, Roy Harper, Jimmie Spheeris and more.
I've been honored to be interviewed by a few notable folks, including Dr. Matthew Warnock from Tuscon, AZ - https://podtail.com/podcast/guitar-life-whatever/episode-51-rick-landers HERE.
Five new scratch tracks were recently added to the Tracks & Info, below: "Maria," "Red," "Leviathan," London After Michigan," and my award winning, "Angel on the Wing". More scratch tracks will be added soon. And, I have around fifteen new songs in the works!
Two of the array of tracks below were studio recordings, with all others being iPhone or basement recordings; all awaiting studio production.
On August 16, 2021, I was honored to front and debut with a fine group of award winning musicians to add some great accompaniment. They are: Ron Goad (percussion), Jim Nagle (dobro/guitar), and John Werntz (stand up bass). They are known as "Heartland."
I'll soon be working with Les Thompson, a co-founder of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band with Jackson Browne, in his Cabin Studios, to lay down tracks for my debut album. Les and I have agreed to write some songs together, and we've begun.
On Friday (11/12/21)) in the early morning, I grabbed my recently acquired 1950 Gibson CF-100 ("Joy" named after Joy Lundy who was gifted the guitar in 1949 by her father, Everett (Fiddling Buck" Lundy.) and "we" wrote a new traditional roots song called, "She's Working Overtime." I performed it the next night at The Epicure Cafe in Fairfax, Virginia, and ran a final edit of the lyrics this morning (Sunday). It's a sad, sweet loving song, but only superficially....I'll add a scratch track here later today....
New scratch track - "She Thinks She's Better Than Me"
Thanks for listening!
My performance gear is usually limited to a 1946 Gibson J-45 or a 2001 Larrivee OM-9K (Koa), an SA330x Fishman sound system with a Shure SM58 microphone, a Roland Cube EX amp, a Fishman Platinum effects pedal and a Boss VE-8 Harmonizer. My other guitars include: a 1931 Gibson L-00 (Tuxedo - 12 fretter); a 1964 Gibson J-200; a 2001 Larrivee OM-09 Koa, a 1950 Gibson CF-100, a 1976 Martin D-35, a 1973 LoPrinzi 12-String; a 1993 Yamaha LA-28e Special Edition/Japan Custom Shop); a Takamine 12-String; a 1991 Custom Telecaster with early Joe Barden pickups; a 1981 Yamaha CJ-838, a custom made 2014 Appala Grand Symphony, a Gruene OG-30 (Serial Number 1), a 1994 McFadden dulcimer and I recently purchased a high D penny whistle handmade by American bagpipe maker, Seth Hamon. Amps: Peavey 2-12 Chorus,, and a powerful battery-powered little Mini-Vox (2-5"). a Roland Cube EX amp, I also recently purchased an early 1950s Favilla baritone ukelele and another from the 1970s.
2022 Performance Schedule
Dawson Reunion, near Raton, New Mexico
Rick will perform his song, "1913 Stag Canon #2" about two mining disasters at the Dawson Company Mines in 1913 and 1923 that resulted in nearly 400 deaths. The cemetery remains, however, Dawson is now a ghost town. The cemetery markers were originally painted black, like the coal the miners mined. And some of those who died in 1923 were sons of men who died in the 1913 disaster. The song is a tribute to the men who perished and to those who were part of the rescue teams who arrived from as far away as Pennsylvania.
Annual Thorpewood Retreat Open House
(EST, UTC-05) (EST, UTC-05)
Rick will perform with John Werntz (bass), Ron Goad (percussion) and Jim Nagle (Dobro/Guitar/Weissenborn). Thorpewood is an event retreat on 155 wooded acres near the presidential retreat that was originally called, Shangri-la, but was later named, Camp David.
Vocals: "If I'd Given My Heart to You' - Back up vocalist - Michael Lusk - Bass guitar and backup vocalist for Loretta Lynn.
Vocals: "Open Up" (Studio) - Rick Landers (Lead Vocalist); Matt Griffith (Back Up Vocalist)
Producer: "If I'd Given My Heart to You" - Stacy Hogan (A Writer's Paradise Studio, Nashville, TN)/Producer: Marco Delmar (Recording Arts, Arlington, VA)
Producer: "Open Up" (Studio) - Stacy Hogan (A Writer's Paradise Studio, Nashville, TN); Marco Delmar (Recording Arts, Arlington, VA)
Photos by: Mike Davis (Top of PAGE and others); Peggy Landers, Terry Landers, Ron Goad, and Sherry Stewart, Andy Markley - All other photos are (c) Rick Landers 2021 - Thank you!