Â 08/09/12 George Schricker, popular local singer, songwriter, musician, storyteller, will introduce his new band, âWild Rose Moonâ and freshly birthed CD, âPrecious Timeâ this Saturday. Music in the Park will break from the traditional Friday affairs and offer a leisurely Saturday night concert under the stars.
The album title was the perfect choice and a tribute to one of his favorite songwriters, John Prine, whoâs still going strong.
âI had written a song called, âPrecious Timeâ, and the title just sounded like it was out of Prineâs songbook, so I thought: Why not do an album that addresses a lot of these musical influences?âÂ Schricker said.
He had recently put a new band, Wild Rose Moon, together with musical friend and regional guitar legend, Gene Ley, and harmonica virtuoso, Jim Yocom, and knew both of them would be perfect components for such a project.
Schrickerâs eclectic songs sprout from a wide variety of musical influences including Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Roger Miller, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Tom Paxton, John Prine, and Loudon Wainwrightâsomething for everyone.Â He credits his love of songwriting toIndianamusician and songwriter, Ken Gilliland, who encouraged him to sing-along with him when he was a boy growing up inPlymouth. Schrickerâs songs are inspired by a wide variety of subjects such as old-time dances, Native American stories, early dinosaurs, rivers, books,Â short stories, films, and even learning to ride a bike. Nothing escapes his creativity.
âI called up my friend, Bruce Bartlett, who had made ten other music albums with me, and asked him if he would be interested in doing one moreâand if he would help me produce with Gene. When Bruce signed on, I knew it was a go.âÂ Schricker began writing more songs and gathering old ones, until heâd amassed 14 songs that he thought would combine well to promote his idea.Â âSoon I had a bundle of songs that reminded me of Leonard Cohen, Pete Seeger, Hank Williams, Buddy Holly, Elvis, Waylon Jennings, Roger Miller, and even ex-Monkee, Michael Nesmith.âÂ The audience is in for a real treat with these unique pieces as well as many others not on the CD. Heâs put together a program of the two-act concert comprised of 16 old and new numbers with a vignette of how each came about. Everyone will know George a lot better by the time the concert concludes.
The other members of the group in addition to Gene Lay on both acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, banjo and vocals include Jim Yocom on harmonica and conga and Dan Ley on bass. Special guest musicians for this concert include Bob Lichty on keyboards and sax, popular folksinger Liza Woolever on fiddle and percussion; Branden Eifrid on drums; Pam Huffer on cello; and Schrickerâs wife Michele on vocals and signing.
Come prepared to enjoy a variety of songs and see if you can spot the influences behind the music. The band will perform songs off four albums: âGeorgeâs Brotherâ, âThe Spaceâ, âBack on Trackâ and, of course, âPrecious Timeâ.
Without a doubt, the song Schricker says he enjoyed working on the most was the novelty song, âBanks of the Nileâ. Inspired by the late, great Country singer, Roger Miller, the song was perfect for embellishment. âMy dad and I used to sing âKing of the Roadâ on family road trips and I collected Roger Miller albums when I was just a kid. His songs always had a kind of easy delivery and cute melody that made them fun to sing and quick to learn. In studio, we just went wacky with it. First, Gene put in some conga, bass, backup vocals, and funky slide guitar, and then Steve DeFord, who did studio work in Chicago, put in some keyboard marimba. I came up with the bottom part, which Gene sang, which is just incredibly lowâit all came out so funnyâwe were rolling on the carpet laughing at it. I think, later, it was Steve who said we ought to call it âDown on the âBanks of Denialâ, based on the lyric itself. I promised him I would adapt the line in performance.â
Schrickerâs favorite song, however, is what he refers to as a âsimple country balladâ at the end of the album, called âThe Giftâ which he will perform. It has special meaning for him, especially this year. âI wrote this one for my wife, Michele, and it means a lot because weâve been married 30 years, just this June. Itâs the song I wrote to propose to her. She had gone out toBoston to work. I took a train out there, with my song and my guitar, to see if I could talk her into coming back. When I got there, I sang it to her on the steps of her apartment. I guess it must have worked.â
All Music in the Park concerts are in beautifulCentennialParkin the Young Amphitheater. Bring a lawn chair, your favorite beverage and a picnic to enjoy this special music in a delightful setting. If you donât want to cook, Delta Theta Tau will once again be offering refreshmentsâeach performance with specials that reflect the group performing.
Encore is sponsoring a food drive to help theNeighborhoodCenter. If possible, attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable item.
Gates open at 6:00 with the performance begins at 7:00. All tickets are $10 for adults and children and K-12 students are free as well as college students with an ID. Tickets are available at the Encore Office, A.S.K. for Flowers, Plymouth Chamber of Commerce,PlymouthParkand Recreation Department and WTCA.
For more information, contact Debi Gidley at Encore Performing Arts, 1305 W. Harrison Street, Plymouthat 935-4987 or the website at www.encoreperformingarts.org.