If you haven’t seen Ricochet in a while, I strongly suggest you look for a Ricochet show in your area, and make your plans to watch these guys work. You are not going to be disappointed. I’ve been a country music fan forever, and I had never seen them before. Of course I was familiar with their music. Like most of us, I remember them best for “Daddy’s Money,” but I also remember songs like “Love Is Stronger Than Pride,” “Ease My Troubled Mind.” and “Can’t Stop Thinkin’ ‘Bout That” – just to name a few.
They introduce themselves as the ‘hardest working band in Nashville.’ and judging from the performance last Friday, I believe that introduction is accurate. I had the pleasure of seeing them in concert on Friday, May 6, 2011, when they were part of a fund raiser at Unicoi County High School in Erwin, Tenn.
There is something very special about this group. Heath Wright is the lead singer, but the show is not about Heath Wright. It’s not like a lead singer who stands in front of a band – it’s about Ricochet. It is about five individuals with so much talent, and the unique ability to blend those talents to create one of the most entertaining shows any concert-goer could ever hope for.
I can’t go on here without telling you about the rest of the group. Greg Cook sings baritone and bass, and also plays bass guitar, and saxophone. Dwayne Dupuy spent most of the night on keyboards. He is a songwriter and studio musician – he also plays trumpet in the show, and he sings, too. Justin Spears plays rhythm guitar and mandolin, and sings , and on drums they have Chris Hempfling. Every one of these guys plays a very important part in the show the audience gets to enjoy.
I’ve said this a million times, and here it comes again. The best way I know to find out if someone can really sing is to ask them to sing the national anthem. These guys did that. We didn’t know it was coming – but in the middle of their show, Dwayne went to the left side of the stage, pulled an American flag out of its stand, took it back to center stage, and paid tribute to our men and women in the military. Then, they all sang the Star Spangled Banner. And it was beautiful! I found out later that Ricochet is the only country artist to ever hit the country charts with the national anthem.
Their entire show was so well thought out, and perfectly perfectly executed. They knew when to do something slow, when to speed it up, when to bring out the horns, they even did a little “American Idol” kind of performance with each of the members taking the mike for a solo shot at ‘winning’ Erwin’s Idol competition. It was all in fun, but it was all very entertaining fun.
When we got to the part of the show where we thought we were getting a drum solo form Chris, we got probably the biggest surprise of the night, when all four of the guys came back with either a snare drum, bass drum, or a set of quads, and they all joined Chris for the percussion exhibition.
Over and over the guys brought the crowd to an explosive round of applause. And a very much earned applause, I might add. Ricochet was there to open for Ty Herndon – I’ll tell you about that show tomorrow. But, as far as I’m concerned, what they did was so enjoyable, so entertaining and so unforgettable, that they could have just as easily been the headliners for that night.
I know they had a very long day, driving 240 miles out of their way to go around flood waters in Arkansas, and I know they had to be tired after that performance, but they stayed while Ty Herndon performed, and then they stayed to talk to everyone in the audience, sign autographs and pose for pictures. They were super nice, and just capped the evening off for all of us.
Now, here are a few more pictures from the show.
That’s it for this morning. I hope you all have a fantastic Monday. I’ll talk to you soon!