Ridley Bent

Ridley Bent

 Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN
BandAlternativeCountry

Whether it's a high school drug sting gone bad, or an aging road racer taking one last shot with "a whiff of the glory days comin' from the back seat", Ridley Bent's characters don't compromise. They get what they deserve & take what they can get, straight up, with a shot of whiskey on the side.

Biography

"Ridley Bent is one of Canada's strongest singer-songwriters, an exceptional lyricist who seems to have an endless cast of oddball characters running around in his head."
- John P. McLaughlin, The Vancouver Province

"funny, incisive, witty and an exceptionally literate lyricist, and he knows how to rock out... There's not a wasted track"
- Greg Quill, The Toronto Star

"A beat-poet cowboy that can sing a broken hearted country song [that
will] make you want to cry"
- Lynn Saxberg, The Ottawa Citizen

Like Ridley Bent's past records, Rabbit On My Wheel reads like a collection of short stories, showcasing the Western Canada based Country artist's keen fascination for characters whose life on the straight and narrow rarely lasts past the nearest exit to a short, crooked road.

On Rabbit On My Wheel, the 2009 CCMA nominee and 7-time BCCMA winner's storytelling and songwriting chops are sharper than ever. But where Ridley's 2005 MapleMusic Recordings debut, Blam, and Buckles and Boots, his 2007 followup on Open Road Recordings, ranged far and wide across the continent, this time out Ridley sticks a little closer to his life at home and on the road in Western Canada.

Although the tales are still as tall as they come, and the characters as large as life or larger, the cast of hard-drinking, fast-driving characters Ridley unleashes on Rabbit On My Wheel tend to be a shade less hell-bent on self-destruction than they are with keeping their lives between the lines and out of the ditch.

While that may be so, musically Rabbit On My Wheel definitely kicks it up a notch or six from Ridley's last record. "In my heart," he says, sounding for the world like a character from one of his own songs, "I rock." So does Rabbit On My Wheel...

Recorded in Vancouver's Factory Studios and Nashcroft Productions in Ashcroft, BC with returning producer John MacArthur Ellis (Jane Siberry, Dustin Bentall, Jeremy Fisher), the album brings together the same crack musical team Ridley hit the road with after releasing Buckles and Boots. It also finds Ridley still hip deep in a passionate love affair with old school Country, but where many of the songs on his past records have come together largely during recording sessions, these show the distinct marks of having been dragged back and forth across the country a few times. "The band's tighter," Ridley says bluntly. "We worked out a lot of these songs live and only had about a week off after a nice, long tour with Corb Lund before we went into the studio in December 2009."

As tight as they are, there's still an off-the-cuff immediacy to the record that's a consistent hallmark of Ellis' production. "I like to maintain the spontaneity on the record," Ellis explains. "Some producers grind you down to get what they want out of you to the point where it's like, 'well, why don't you go and play the !!#?@*!! thing yourself?' I spend a lot of time selecting musicians. I know what they're going to bring to the table and I just kind of wrap my arms around that. And the better Ridley gets," Ellis adds, "the better the band gets."

Rabbit On My Wheel also benefits from a collaboration that began shortly after Ridley's relocation to Winnipeg in 2008, with guitarist/songwriter Chris Dunn. "Him and I did a lot of writing and working on the songs. Before this I'd get the songs, go in to the studio with the band and work it out. Having a guitar player there to bounce ideas off in the pre, pre production was very valuable. He's a big part of the album."

Channeling the high-energy performance ethic of artists like Dwight Yoakum and Little Feat, Ridley and his band tear a deep strip off the joint with tracks like "Square Your Hat", which features a guest appearance by renowned Canadian guitarist Luke Doucet (Veal, Sarah McLachlan), "Good Looking Country", a song inspired by Ridley's one and only, who he moved from Vancouver to Manitoba to be with, and the album's closing track "Burning Down Barns", on which every player in the band gets a chance to wail.

As ever, there are quieter moments as well. Ridley's never afraid to pepper his records with a few thoughts on love and loneliness - and his evolving cast of moonshine-running, racecar-driving malcontents tend to know their way around the ladies as well as they do the back roads of the west. Of course these are love stories told the way only Ridley can; tracks that run the gamut from hard and bitter to hardly better, including a beautifully rendered, deliberately down-tempo take on the classic Dickey Lee song made famous by George Jones in 1962, "She Thinks I Still Care".

While much of Ridley's new material is drawn from real life experiences he's gathered up on the road, Rabbit On My Wheel still has its share of shady characters, jackknifing tractor-trailers and whiskey-fuelled bar fights. And for those who identify strongly with Ridley's less reasonable characters - the ones who tend to prefer to stir things up with a pistol i

Lyrics

Suicidewinder

Written By: words by Brian Fowler music by Brian Fowler and Chloe Ziner

This pretty young thing with grease stains on her blue jeans,
Takes a seat at the bar next to me and is served a long-island iced tea for free
Well I notice this because I'm a detective,
And missing the little things in this profession only leaves you guessin'
I'm into my third Heineken and I'm thinkin? ?Damn this girl is fine lookin??
I ask her her name and she smiles and says it's Mary Jane
I'm pleased to meet you Mary Jane, you're one foxy dame if you don't mind my sayin?
She says, "who are you some kind of crazy fool?"

I'm Johnny Cash when I'm drinkin', I'm the Clash when I'm thinkin?
I'm Mad Max when I'm drivin', I'm Mike Diamond when I'm rhymin'
I'm Humphrey Bogart when I'm smokin', I'm Bob Marley when I'm tokin
And in bed when I'm dreamin? I'm a guitar slingin' demon.

She hops on the back of my hog, hey, the Law undercover's gotta be incognito
And I'm in disguise as one of the bad guys with a sweet ride
The desert sky was blood red and she held on tight as we sped
Through the Valley of the Dead Vultures, into an underworld subculture
Neon lights and cockfights, cutthroats and lowlifes
Prostitutes in red leather boots giving me the eye
As we glide up to suicidewinder saloon
Where this goon with a mouthful of chew says who the fuck are you?

Chorus

Mary Jane's addiction is cocaine and pulp fiction
And if you're itchin? for a fix this is the place you come to get some
She leads me to the back where I find the kingpin drinkin? jack and coke
And playin? poker with a couple of dope-smokin? Jokers
He says, "Yo take a hit off the Bong brother" and I don?t wanna blow my cover
So I have a little hoot and it sends me through the roof
I'm as high as the sky And someone says where'd you get this guy , Angel
Is he F.B.I., local swine, or a Texas Ranger

Chorus

I know that they know I know that they know I'm full of shit
They all take out Tommy Guns and attempt to riddle me with bullets
But I'm too fast like Speedy Gonzales and my brawling technique is flawless
I disarm these lawless scum buckets and rough them up like a bunch of suckas
I bind ?em up in duct tape and call for backup to haul them away
I grab Mary Jane as a witness and the Marijuana for a rainy day,
I confiscate the Kingpin's Harley which once belonged to Elvis Presley
And in custom paint on the gas tank it says rock hard ride free

Now I'm the King when I'm ridin?, I'm Ali when I'm fightin?
I'm Tom Waits when I'm writin? and I'm Sublime when I'm harmonizin'
I'm Hank Williams when I'm swillin?, I'm Bob Dylan when I'm chillin?
And in Bed When I'm dreamin? I'm a guitar slingin' demon.

Nine Inch Nails

Written By: Ridley Bent, Dustin Bentall

I met her in a record shop, she was into hard rock we had a wild affair she moved in and the rent was shared we spent a lot of nights listening to records in the candlelight if it wasn't for music We never would have fallen in love the break up was a rough one she pulled out the shotgun I talked her down and we worked it out she got it all and the matching couch but I still have my records and now I need a sad song but wouldn't you know it the jackets are wrong and the sad ones are gone I got her tool collection she got my working' mans blues she got my Tom T Hall I got her husker du we got em all mixed up when we were high on rails She got my nine pound hammer and I got her nine inch nails she wont return my phone calls and I'm running low on alcohol I drive down to the LCB pick myself up some Tennessee whiskey throw on some black hole sun you know I kind of like that one if it wasn’t for music We never would have fallen in love I got her tool collection she got my working' mans blues she got my Tom T Hall I got her husker du we got em all mixed up when we were high on rails She got my nine pound hammer and I got her nine inch nails I hear she moved to Montreal well eventually don’t they all I know she took my record stack and I know I'm never going to get em back now I'm listening to hells bells wishing it was bob wills if it wasn’t for music We never would have fallen in love I got her tool collection she got my working' mans blues she got my Tom T Hall I got her husker du we got em all mixed up when we were high on rails She got my nine pound hammer and I got her nine inch nails I got her tool collection she got my hot rod Lincoln my heart wont stop sinking I need some songs for drinking instead I’m on a crazy train and I'm going off the rails she got my nine pound hammer I got her nine inch nails

Buckles and Boots

Written By: Ridley Bent

I was your Western National Rodeo Star I had a couple buckles under my belt I know you loved me but the fame it drugged me and I let you go for a spell Well you weren't the kind of woman to stick around and watch me leave You bought a one way ticket to anywhere but close to me Darling' You must've been my good luck charm cause the next week I broke my arm I lost my chance to qualify, then I lost my will to ride now I wake up every morning to my forty rod corn from a dream that I had stayed true All that’s left of me since I left you are my buckles and my boots I've got no one I'm just and empty shell A ghost of the man I was when you were my southern bell Now I spend all of my nights with the cold hard truth All that’s left of me since I left you are my buckles and my boots Well I had my 8 seconds of fame but that’s all just a distant dream That rough-stock truck-stop has still got my pictures up so that’s where I eat my beans The waitress says Hey your wasting away as she puts down a free bowl of soup All that’s left of me since I left you are my buckles and my boots I've got no one I'm just and empty shell A ghost of the man I was when you were my southern bell Now I spend all of my nights with the cold hard truth All that’s left of me since I left you are my buckles and my boots Now my hearts been broken into so many pieces it looks like dust in the wind My banks foreclosing on all of my leases I don't have a house to live in I sold the shirt off my back to buy a six-pack and now I don't even have that All that’s left of me since I left you are my buckles and my boots

Faded Red Hoodie

Written By: Ridley Bent

When we met we were strangers on a crowded beach We shared a tasty California Peach Prettiest woman that I've ever seen In her faded red hoodie and her old blue jeans We had a time dancing under those stars And a whole lot more in the back of my car When I woke up she was nowhere to be seen just her faded red hoodie and a note for me it said.. I think I love you but I just can't stay There's something I can't tell you standing in my way But I'm coming back to you I swear one day My Faded Red Hoodie means the world to me No phone number no mail address Just that promise to return and a lipstick kiss Fine with me I was riding high Tall in the saddle of love at first sight I got some new boots and a riding horse I got a job at a gas bar convenience store Working overtime but wanting more Still waiting for that woman to walk through my door I think I love you but I just can't stay There's something I can't tell you standing in my way But I'm coming back to you I swear one day My Faded Red Hoodie means the world to me Every night before I go to bed I read that note I've told myself a million times to let you go but no Something’s holding on to me and I just have to believe its love and Love'll bring her back to me I think I love you but I just can't stay There's something I can't tell you standing in my way But I'm coming back to you I swear one day My Faded Red Hoodie means the world to me I waited for that woman for a year or so then I went out searching for her high and low several years and not a single trace So I buried that hoodie in a shallow grave But I dig it up when I get depressed I went a little bit crazy I must confess But it's time I left behind those broken dreams And I toss it on the fir soaked in Gasoline I think I love you but I just can't stay There's something I can't tell you standing in my way But I'm coming back to you I swear one day My Faded Red Hoodie means the world to me

Heartland Heartbreak

Written By: Ridley Bent

Heartland Heartbreak

I saved some dough and I bought a ranch I've been living on her ever since I fell in love with that golden morning hey how you doing got a lot of friends Got myself a shepherd cross she had pups and I kept ‘em all just me and my barn dogs waiting on a woman with the right touch She comes along and I fall in love yeah I loved her like a country song but country songs don't last that long and before I knew it she was gone She was my heartland heartbreak My pretty little mistake She left me down by the cold lake and she's driving my truck away my pretty little 58 I tried to stop her but was too late she left me holding my tailgate sometimes I don't know my own strength I got a job at the local bar every Friday picking my guitar When she walked In she saw a western star And I saw my chance to have a good March Well that month turned into a year and we threw her into second gear Country living and a lot of free beer I guess one day she had in up to here She was my heartland heartbreak My pretty little mistake She left me down by the cold lake and she's driving my truck away my pretty little 58 I tried to stop her but was too late she left me holding my tailgate sometimes I don't know my own strength Well my well was dry and the money hounds could smell a good buy I wasn't selling her for any price and that took a toll on my love life You see she wanted me to sell it all move to the city and get a real job Well I told her I would rather go to hell, she told me she'd rather I go by myself She was my heartland heartbreak My pretty little mistake She left me down by the cold lake and she's driving my truck away my pretty little 58 I tried to stop her but was too late she left me holding my tailgate sometimes I don't know my own strength

Arlington

Written By: Ridley Bent

Arlington

The shows are going well but I've still got some records to sell The road is getting weary and I know I need you near me You say you fixed up the truck well why don't you go pick it up I'll be in Texas in a week you can bring home the tour with me Take you Time all the way to Arlington darling I've been losing my mind I've been losing my mind Take you Time all the way to Arlington darling I've been losing my mind I've been losing my mind The band is off the hook they've got every lick in the book They tear the roof off every night yeah their making me feel good but after every show off with the ladies they go That’s when I miss you most that’s when I need you close Take you Time all the way to Arlington darling I've been losing my mind I've been losing my mind Take you Time all the way to Arlington darling I've been losing my mind I've been losing my mind Saturday Night we'll be taking the stage I'll leave your name at the Rodeo Gates I'll leave your name Just in Case I know its a long drive and I know how you hate to fly Just take it one mile at a time I'll make it worth your while And about that question you asked me I've got an answer finally And if you haven't changed your mind Arlington's where you'll find me Take you Time all the way to Arlington darling I've been losing my mind I've been losing my mind Take you Time all the way to Arlington darling I've been losing my mind I've been losing my mind

Discography

BLAM! - (Maple Music Recordings - 2005)
Buckles and Boots - 2007
Rabbit On My Wheel -2010
The Blood Trilogy -2012

Set List

Available for either solo or full band shows.