Friday, November 17, 2023


Rick and Marilyn would love to play holiday songs for you at your party, and/or lead sing-alongs (sheet music provided)

Sunday, August 27, 2023

One Late Summer Evening at My Local Theater

So, I just came back from seeing Jersey Boys (second row, center of theater in the round... ok, 3/4 round). It was wonderful. Songs that were songs you just gotta move to. And it is really tight in this low-budget local theater, making moving a little challenging. LOL. You know, you do the back-and-forth thing instead of side-to-side. The singing was well done...  think, this is Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, so it is expected that they nail it. Especially Frankie. And they do. Moved along quickly, telling the story well with entertainment. Great way to spend a little time. 

But, I got stuck sitting next to THAT person. 

The one that has to comment about everything to her friend, DURING the show, and NOT in a whisper. But that was not the only thing. She sang, every song, off-key, LOUD. I shot her a couple of 'those looks', but that didn't shut her up. The elderly lady next to me even did the death stare at her, to no avail.

So, break time!!! I am enjoying the show anyway, but I get ice cream and take a little walk before they come out and start ringing the bell to tell us, Show Time!!

As I sit in my seat, the loud woman says, 'Sorry if I offended you.'

'Excuse me?'

'Was my singing bothering you?'

'Well, yes, it was. I came to hear the show, not my seat neighbor'

'Why did you have to complain to the staff?'

'I didn't. Believe me, I would have told you to your face, not talked to the staff.'

'I am just enjoying the show'

'I go to rock shows where it is not welcome to have people singing loud next to you. This place is so small, with such good acoustics, it may have been the actors that told them to quiet you.'


For the remainder of the break, she kept talking, then saying to her friend, I better not talk, someone will get upset. (OBVIOUSLY not understanding!!!!)

After the show started again, she could not help but say ONE MORE THING.

'Just my luck, I have to get stuck next to some hippie!'


Monday, August 7, 2023


 Yep. This has been an odd summer. Either raining, smokey or too hot. LOL. But... I do get to sit outside on my porch I have named Screendale. And that keeps me pretty happy. 

Rick and Marilyn have a busy August coming up! You can catch us at any of the following shows. If you want a suggestion, it would have to be Rock Da Casbah in Saugerties. Great food, comfortable space, and... Rick and Marilyn!!! LOL

August 11, 11 am        Millerton Farmers Market
August 18, 6:30 pm    Berkshire Busk
August 19, 11 am       Copake/Hillsdale Farmers Market
August 20, 10 am       Rosendale Farmers Market
August 21, 4 pm         ShingleKill Farmers Market
August 25, 6:30 pm    Rock da Casbah, Saugerties 
August 26, 11 am       Delmar Farmers Market

Of course, I always recommend Farmer's Markets!!!


Some of you may be feeling a little more stressed than usual. I am thinking this is a normal reaction to the confluence of the post-pandemic world, the very odd, uncomfortable weather, and the equally disturbing national news.

What can a person do?

I find working for a heartfelt cause is always a good way to get out of a funk. Productivity towards a purpose greater than yourself is uplifting.  Of course, I always find music to be a healing force, and I play and listen as much as possible to live face-to-face music. Can't beat it, right?

But for some, it is still difficult. Difficult to find, or remember, your place in the world. The things that used to give you joy seem to now be more trouble than they are worth. Wow. What happened?

Medical people are advising other medical people that almost everyone in the world can be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome from living through Covid and all that entailed... lack of socialization, lack of income, losing loved ones, and the fear of illness. We really lived through a pretty bad time folks!!!!

So be patient with yourself. Be especially patient with your loved ones. I have found a few things that have been helpful to me as I try to get back to NORMAL.  I found a (cheap) app called 'Calm', that gives 10-minute meditations and a few programs about learning meditation. I always thought that was silly. If you know me personally, I would tell you that ACTIVITY helps me, not naval-staring. LOL.  Well, I was wrong. I am working on a new outlook and better resilience. You may want to try it out (no, I get nothing from recommending, but I can 'gift' trials to interested folk... and you are welcome to list your own resources in the comments!!!)

I have been walking 10,000 steps now for a while, but realized, doing the same walk daily is not very inspiring. I have been loading the dog into the car and looking for new walks to take!!

I also joined a CSA, and I am eating more veggies and better-for-you meats, and I really do feel physically stronger!!! (And I continue my 'no sugar' plan...)

I found an online teacher for core strengthening. She incorporates yoga into physical therapy, directed primarily towards singers.

Finally, I have returned to practicing and playing for fun EVERY DAY, returning to my old habits.  I am taking a few online music classes in songwriting and singing, with deadlines and stuff to keep me moving and motivated.

Now, none of this was easy. When a person is anxious and depressed, sometimes just getting up in the morning feels like too much. Take your time. Remember that interest you had a few years ago that you stopped (maybe because of covid??). Maybe find a video on Youtube about it. If you have more energy, go out and look for a way to enjoy it, alone or with others. Add to that, a step at a time. Decide to do one thing a day that is fun, and one (at least) outing that includes others (socialization, whether you believe it or not, is EXTREMELY important to your mental and physical health). Start there. 

I don't mean to lecture, but if you have been struggling, as I have, perhaps you can find in my words a tiny amount of inspiration towards getting back to yourself. I hope so!

See you down the road....

Thursday, April 13, 2023


Spring is HERE, and Rick and Marilyn rocked the house on Saturday evening at The Beer Diviner, up in Cherry Plain, NY.  We had so *much* fun, for two main reasons... 

First of all, the music came together. Yeah, we made 'mistakes' and if you really wanted to notice them, I am sure you would. But... that is not what 'Rick and Marilyn' is about.

We are about *fun*, which is number 2!  We make music because of the sheer JOY of making music. AND... when the audience has fun too, that just *nails* it. You give us smiles and nods, foot tapping, and seat dancing and we *have* to up our game. Your listening makes us need to give you our BEST.

Sometime last year, I saw Lucinda Williams in concert, front row. You may know she recently had a stroke, and she did need to be escorted to the mic. She looked really nervous. I decided that she needed to feel really appreciated, and I started, when appropriate, to clap, give her thumbs up, smile, and really *react* to the music. Of course, she tuned right into me, and I think, that really helped her deliver... because she DID, smiling at me and my friend during her whole show.  

I get it. I see people reacting to the music and I HAVE to give it my all. 

I guess I am telling the story because... You go see local acts, right? (I truly hope so)  (SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC)  Give them a little attention. Don't be shy... but do know we see your seat dancing, singing along, toe-tapping. And smiles. We see all that. And you WILL get better out of us. Because we, like you, are human.  You do a better job when you get positive feedback, right?

This weekend... go see some live music. And ENJOY it. We enjoy YOU enjoying our music!!!

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Winter Acoustic Music Weekend

 I used to use this blog as a place to write about some of my musical experiences. I haven't been doing that, and it is time I return to the original purpose of this thing!!

This past weekend, I visited Groton, MA for a musical adventure called Winter Acoustic Music Weekend, sponsored by WUMB radio out of Boston. It is run, heart, and soul, by Lorraine and Bennett Hammond, a couple of very sweet folks who are also fantastic folk musicians.  They run what can best be described as a musical retreat, a gathering of acoustic music makers for the sole purpose of... making music.

You drive up a short country road (if you follow the directions perfectly... the immediate right is IMMEDIATELY on the right, for example, lol) and come to Grotonwood, usually a camp for kids from what I gather. Greeted by a staff or two, you are handed your tee shirt, wrapped with your lanyard, and a page telling you your room number and building. How to actually find your room, however, is pretty much up to you. I did meet many folks, though, looking for my room and saying GREAT TO SEE YOU to several people I remembered from past weekends. And, of course, there is already a group of people jamming in the lobby of the house I am living in for the next few days. By the time I get settled, though, it is dinnertime, and we are headed towards the cafeteria, on the other end of the property. This is usually ok, but this weekend, it is ah HEM, a BIT cold (freezing temps all weekend). 

Do I sound a little tired before I begin? yep, I am. Feeling a little guilty about leaving the dog... again. Wondering what I am doing here, really. Kinda been down lately about writing songs, seems they have all dried up, and gigs are getting rarer as the population of musicians is getting thicker. You know, the typical musician worries and disappointments. 

But, I go into the already bustling cafeteria. 'MARILYN' someone calls to me, gives me a hug, and tells me I am missed. A little later another and another... and another! And, they mention songs or things about my music or performances in the past or SOMETHING that means, yes, they really do remember me AND MY MUSIC. Oh MY! That means so much. 

None of that was expected. At all. I was hoping I would be remembered, but I NEVER thought the music would be, especially when there are so many very talented music makers here!!! Then I started feeling at home. The rest of the weekend went on from there...

The first evening is the concert by each teacher. We could learn harmonica, fiddle, mandolin, dulcimer, harmony and guitar. There were workshops in singing health, rhythm guitar, blues fiddle, songwriting, performance, and stage sound. You can take 4 classes Saturday and 3 on Sunday. There was even a class on applying Beatles study to your own songwriting!!! I took harmonica, songwriting, harmony, and singing health. I got something I am already using out of every single one of those classes.

And then, there are the jams. You don't have to go to a class at all... you can just do jams all day if you want (or sleep, there is no attendance!!! LOL) In the summer, we sit on the large porch and jam from pre-breakfast to late at night... but it is cold in Massachusetts in February!!! lol So we jam in buildings, and so there is only one area since the others are full of classes. 

The jams are what I LOVE. Each one is different. Some are run like I do here... Go around the circle and pass, request, or play. Most, however, are 'Who has a song?' which in an unstructured group leads to a couple people just playing all evening. Then there are the groups where it is still 'who has a song?', but the song should be followable by most players... those are the ones I prefer!

After jamming for a bit, I hit the hay. At some point, I find that my roommate is someone I have shared space here with before and I am glad to see her! We are sorta on the same schedule, for one thing, and that worked out this weekend too!

After classes, we have a small break before the student concert. I am on NEXT TO LAST. Sigh. OK. Someone figures out I should be onstage by  10pm. That is not TOO bad. But what song? I spend an hour or so before dinner making that decision. I sure would like to do, 'Little Things', an upbeat tune about the pleasure of 'little things'. Turns out my voice is just NOT gonna hit those high notes for nothing. I keep looking. 

Stole My Trust, a song about a woman discovering her lover is using drugs instead of paying the bills, keeps sounding best. It is SUCH a heavy song, and from experience, I know this crowd mostly enjoys pretty, positive-sounding songs. Should I?

It sounds the best BY FAR, to my ear. Sigh. OK. I guess it wants to be heard.

And... it was a success! I am SO appreciative of the comments I heard! We all make a point of telling each other what we like about the songs, performance, or whatever, and that is really what makes this gathering so special. I used to leave it wanting to shake off all the (possibly phony) positive stuff. This time I didn't want to leave it. I felt that I really needed it.

Thank you, WAMW (pronounced Wham-double U). 

I am gonna write a new song!!!