Also playing key roles are artists that Devin knows from his decade of living in Ipanema Beach, Brazil with his Brazilian born wife. These include renowned saxophonist Beto Saroldi (Gilberto Gil) and vocalists Maria Ricart, Manoel Pires and Rosa Lucena. Devin’s brother Sean Devin shares the lead vocals on Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s famed “Ohio.” The highly anticipated follow-up to 2008’s pop-oriented venture Old School: Hits of the 60s & 70s, on which Pinnick & McCracken also appeared, the new collection also includes explosive twists on tunes made famous by a cross section of legends: The Beatles (“Nowhere Man,” “Ticket To Ride”), Joe Cocker (“Unchain My Heart”), Joe Walsh (“Rocky Mountain Way”), Creedence Clearwater Revival (“Have You Ever Seen The Rain?”), Santana (“Black Magic Woman”), bluesman Slim Harpo (“Baby Scratch My Back”), Derek & The Dominos (“Layla”), Bob Seger (“Old Time Rock and Roll”), The Who (“Pinball Wizard”) and ZZ Top (“Tush”). Though the songs are instantly familiar and flash the listener back to a truly remarkable era in music history, Old School 2 was only made possible by employing contemporary digital technology in a unique and necessary way.
Devin sent his chosen guest musicians the foundational tracks he created in his home studio in Brazil via yousendit files. They recorded their parts over those tracks from their various studios in New Jersey, California and North Carolina—and Donnelly sent his from Tipperary, Ireland. Devin’s arrangements allow for some cool contemporary twists, including some different instrumentation, extended solos and edgier lead guitar flavors (compared to the original versions) by Pinnick on “Layla” and Thal on “Tush” and extra percussion flavors (bongos, timbales, congas, etc.) by McCracken on “Black Magic Woman.” “I am totally impressed by all of the musicians who participated in this project,” says Devin. “Each and every person brings their own special talents to a truly ‘old school’ project.’ I am humbled and honored by their presence.
Many of these guys are used to touring and recording what ‘band management’ tells them to, so for me to ask them each, ‘What do you wish you could record?’ put a nice personal twist on things. Thankfully, most of the songs they chose were already in my longtime repertoire. Things got rolling on Old School 2 in 2010 during the Guns N’ Roses Chinese Democracy tour when Chris Pitman, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and Frank Ferrer stopped by my house. We listened to the first Old School CD and started conversations right then about doing a sequel.” Devin intends to complete the classic songs “trilogy” in the future with acoustic hits of the 60s and 70s.
His recent discography also includes ventures into experimental jazz/new age/world music fusion with Distant Lands – An Instrumental Journey. “I love all genres of music and my musical journey has taken many unpredictable paths over the past three decades,” he says, “yet regardless of the environment or the trends, I have always tried to just be myself. Whether I was playing cowboy music around a campfire, or creating crossover techno in a studio somewhere, my music is always motivated by where my mind, heart and soul are at that time.” --- [Rick Devin Biography written by Jonathan Widran. Jonathan is a Los Angeles based music and entertainment journalist who has done features and cover stories on pop and rock legends such as Moody Blues, Styx, David Crosby, Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, Los Lobos, Grand Funk, Fleetwood Mac, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Supertramp, Barbra Streisand, Bob Hope, the Bee Gees, Earth, Wind & Fire, Journey, Deftones, Yes, Herb Alpert, Chaka Khan, Pat Boone and many more; and multi-media icons like Will Smith...] Read more on Last.fm.
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