Rick Derringer was just 17 years old when his band hit with “Hang on Sloopy” – how did he deal with fame at such an early age?
Hippiefest 2011 is coming to a city near you. Featuring Rick Derringer, Dave Mason, Gary Wright, Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, and Felix Cavaliere of the Rascals, it proves to be a night filled with great songs and performances. Icon Fetch gives you a preview of the tour with interviews by both Rick Derringer and Gary Wright. With Rick’s interview, we hear the story behind the smash hit “Hang on Sloopy,” which he sang on at the tender age of 17. With Gary’s chat, we hear about his involvement in a new film about his friend, the late George Harrison. Plus, both give insight into the current Hippiefest 2011, which is touring the country.
Gary Wright – Connected (Larkio Music) – CD Review –
It’s good to hear Gary’s voice again. This is his first rock-oriented album in 20 years. Over that time, he put out albums delving into world music and other experiments. The leadoff track, “Satisfied,” has a pulsating rhythm and a gospel choir chorus. Wright’s soulful rasp still has that familiar resonance.
Not surprisingly, Connected is a mostly keyboard-driven affair, with guests Ringo Starr on drums, and Joe Walsh & Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on guitars sprinkled in for good measure. The disc is full of hooks and catchy choruses. Perhaps it’s the kind of keyboards that he uses or maybe that some of these tracks have been lying around for awhile, but this disc has a decidedly 1980’s feel to it. This certainly isn’t a bad thing; I would rather Gary sound comfortable in some sound from the past than update his style and fall flat. If you purchase the disc through www.thedreamweaver.com there are several bonus tracks featuring the late George Harrison as well. — Tony Peters
Keyboardist Gary Wright had a pair of monster hits in 1976 with “Dream Weaver” and “Love is Alive.” He’s just released his first rock-oriented album in 20 years called Connected. It’s a star-studded affair, with appearances by Ringo Starr on drums, and Joe Walsh & Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on guitar. The deluxe edition of Gary’s CD contains some unreleased footage from George Harrison. Icon Fetch talks with Gary about his new disc, his friendship with two ex-Beatles, and what drew him to keyboard technology.