Pearl Drums
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Rick Schell
Pure Prairie League - United States

Overview

Rick is the former "spark plug" behind the Academy Of Country Music Awards nominated, Top 20 Billboard charting ("Barbed Wire And Roses") and CMT Top 10 video artist Pinmonkey. He has appeared on albums by and / or toured the world with such luminary artists as Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, Pure Prairie League and Southside Johnny among others.As a founding member of Pinmonkey and co-producer of their first album he was instrumental in developing their sound by providing a rock back beat and pop arrangements to a decidedly un-rock folk-ish/ bluegrass approach. His high harmonies and vocal arrangements helped ensure that the band kept one foot in the traditional while forging respectable success in the mainstream.

Rick's drumming and background vocals can also be heard on the major motion picture soundtracks for "Drop Dead Gorgeous" (Kirsten Dunst, Kirsty Ally, Brittany Murphy) and "The Election", (Mathew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon) contributing to recordings by guitar ace Tim Carroll who played and wrote extensively on and for Rick's debut solo release, "Salt Of The Earth".

Originally from a small town in Upstate New York (Homer) Rick cut his teeth singing and playing drums in the V.F.W.'s, Rod and Gun clubs and bars of the Central New York area which provided a well rounded background in many styles of music, mostly rock and country rock, as well as the sometimes sordid lifestyle of the working musician. Back then he would sing lead if he could find a drummer or visa versa . Often he would pull double duty. Cortland County, N.Y. surprisingly has been a breeding ground for many world renowned musicians and was home to rock legend Ronnie James Dio as well as members of Black Sabbath, Ritchie Blackmores Rainbow and Elf. Quite the pedigree for a largely rural dairy farming community.

There was also a healthy contingent of country, bluegrass and blues pickers in the area. All of these musicians profoundly affected Rick as he witnessed their performances at school dances/ concerts and from listening through the walls of the local music store and rehearsal space or sneaking into the clubs to see them play live before and while he was playing professionally still under the legal age. The band Elf was much like The Small Faces, Free, Bad Company or more recently the Black Crowes and that influence can be plainly heard on parts of "Salt Of The Earth". In fact former members of the Crowes have played live with Rick and appear on some of these recordings.

Coming from a family of seven, of which Rick is the second to youngest, his older siblings (his brother being a drummer who gave Rick "The Curse" with a drum kit and the encouragement in which to implement it) also contributed to his musical development in that they through "guilt by association" turned him on to the music of the Beatles, Stones, Eagles, Outlaws, Poco, Doobie Brothers and so on. The musical environment in which Rick was reared is testimony enough in explaining the make up of the songs included in this album. Although his Father was a musician, he died when Rick was just two years old and no one is quite sure where the voice came from........Hmmmmmm.

After a stint anchoring the rhythm section and of course singing for vocalist extrordinaire Benny Mardones ("Into The Night"), Rick relocated to Nashville, TN. from Syracuse, N.Y. to take advantage of the city's recording industry and its abundance of like minded and ulltra talented musicians as well as to escape from the harsh North East winter climate. He describes "Music City" as being "Everything we need in a big city and everything we like in a small town". Arriving in Nashville with out the benefit of knowing a single soul, it wasn't long before Rick became a foot soldier in the burgeoning Americana music scene performing and recording with many of the most original and integral artists of the genre including Buddy and Julie Miller, Tim Carroll, Kevin Gordon, Lonesome Bob, Greg Trooper, Duane Jarvis and Elizabeth Cook. Appearances on The late Show with David Letterman, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Austin City Limits, The Today Show, CMT and The Grand Ole Opry helped to build a solid reputation as a "go to" singing drummer.

After several years of being asked why he didn't and after being encouraged by his musical peers,friends and perfect strangers alike, with the help of T.C., Michael Webb (Fugitive Glue, Stacey Earle) and a collection of musicians whose resumes include Kid Rock, Hank Williams Jr., Pat Green, Reba McIntire, Patty Loveless, B.J. Thomas, Chris Cagle, Cry Of Love, Gibson Miller Band and Duke Tomato, Rick has finally produced and released his own album that showcases his voice and (co-) writing at the forefront, his abilities on several different instruments on the back side and his determined vision throughout. In this age of artists claiming that their music is influenced by their "roots" and then simply following and/ or chasing the trends, Rick's desire was to put together an album where the only "rules" were that it feel good, is honest about where he "came from" and to avoid pretentiousness both musically and personally. With the title track being a tribute to his late Uncle, "She Got A Heart" paying homage to his wife and "Precious And Blessed" a heart felt message of healing to his family following the death of their Mother to cancer in 2002, Rick shows that he, the folks he surrounds himself with and his first solo effort are indeed "Salt Of The Earth".

Links

Rick Schell.com

Equipment Configuration

MMP Masters Series
Vintage Sunburst
24x18 bass drum
14x10 tom
16x16 floor tom
18x16 floor tom

B1000 boom stand x 2
S1000 snare stand
D1000 throne
P1000 pedal
TH1000 tom holder