Rick Drost
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Rick Drost

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2004
Solo Folk Singer/Songwriter


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The Montague Reporter
November 10 2005

Music Enlivens the bellybowl
John Hanold
Turners Falls, MA

Approaching its first anniversary at Fourth and L in the village of Turners Falls, the bellybowl now regularly books live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. Several people from my neighborhood went down last Friday night to listen to acoustic guitarist Rick Drost, and came away pleased with Drost's two sets, and impressed by the performance space itself.

Unlike some coffeehouse or tavern locales, the bellybowl offers a raised corner stage area with solid back walls, which makes it easy to hear music at the tables back to the entrance The couches near the stage are great for those listening after their dinner, providing an intimate connection from performer to audience.
Rick could even have lowered the setting on his speaker and still preserved a good voice-instrument balance, a testament to the restaurant's acoustics.

Originally from Buffalo, Drost, a former math teacher, now makes ends meet in Cambridge as a software engineer. Between songs he confided that his current ["open mic"] engagements represent a return to a period in the '70s and '80s when he and a couple for friends performed as the group "Parts & Labor"; he is mostly a solo operator now but the material is timeless and suits a soloist as much as a trio.

The songs Drost chose were primarily his own compositions, ranging from an upbeat optimistic vein to the melodic introspective mood of "Too Far Gone" by Billy Sherill. He supports the shifts in mood by periodic re-tunings of the strings and different picking styles - the result of starting years ago as a banjo player - a pleasant departure from the unchanging strumming relied upon by some folk singers.

My own favorite was a message from a former boyfriend to his "successor,' reminding the newcomer that the singer's "Got a Little Corner of Her Mind." Far from wallowing in regrets, the singer exults in having staked out a permanent piece of emotional real estate no one else can claim. It reminded me of a Johnny Cash song that describes the mirror image situation. As "The Next In Line", that singer intends to dislodge all the prior men in the lady's life.

The second set stretched into the restaurant's clean-up period at the end of the evening, to the pleasure of the last guests and the servers themselves. This sort of entertainment certainly is a gift from the bellybowl to the Pioneer Valley music community, and the accompanying provender is an added draw. Check out their future offerings for yourselves! - Montague Reporter, Montague MA


Twelve Dared Dreams - on CD Baby



Drost, a Singer/Songwriter from Cambridge, MA, has been writing songs
since the late '60s  with depth and heart: songs  that repay repeated
listening and convey a long love of classical music, natural wonders,

has sung in small and large choruses and small acoustic folk groups,
but since the early 2000s has been singing solo at open mikes, small
clubs and coffeehouses, galleries and listening rooms in New England,
the Midwest and the Southeast. 

retiring in 2015 from a career as a software engineer, Rick is happily
expanding the time he can spend listening, reading, writing, and
traveling around singing in small venues and festivals. 

"[a] magical singer/songwriter" - Kaylyn Marie 

"a songwriter's/songwriter" - Chicago Mike Beck

of us who write songs count ourselves lucky when we can craft one like
one of Rick’s.  Each song paints a picture of another little world for
the listener to play in for a few minutes." 

     -- Vance Gilbert 

On Rick's song, "Turning the World":

loved learning this song. I want the song to teach me what it knows. I
want to see the world through the eyes of this song. Like a skilled
tracker looks carefully and walks slowly, and finds out more by
combining the little clues, I want to let myself dream about where this
song is coming from and where it is going.  I want to know what it had
for breakfast….."  -- David Wilcox

Rick grew up playing classical
piano in a musical family outside Buffalo, NY. He discovered a love of
poetry (Shakespeare, Gerard Manley Hopkins) in high school, and played
banjo in a Kingston Trio style group. In college he sang with Glee
Clubs, and a small folk group.  Early influences were Leonard Cohen, who
sang under the stars at the Mariposa Folk festival in '67. and Joni
Mitchell  in '68, who inspired him with her lyrics and alternate
tunings. Since college, Rick has sung and toured internationally in
small and large choruses, (Spectrum singers, Yale Alumni Chorus), And in
the US as a solo songwriter and in small acoustic folk groups. Since
the early 2000s he has been writing again and singing mostly solo at
open mikes, small clubs and coffeehouses, galleries and listening rooms
in the vibrant folk communities in New England, the Midwest and the
Southeast, singing at workshops like SAMW, Song School in Colorado, and
Folk Alliance.  His songs treat life from a varied angles - Jilted
lovers, Swans in the Public Garden, Leftover Lobsters, and meditations
on meditation. Recent influences, avatars really, include Vance Gilbert
and David Wilcox, who has added Rick's song "Turning the World" to his