Rule of Thumb Steve Hicks
- 1From Soup To Nuts02:34
- 2Hyacinth Rag04:24
- 3Egyptian Glide03:22
- 4Three Quarter Blues01:24
- 5The Flowers Of Belfast02:04
- 6Sunrise Serenade03:15
- 7My Dear Boy02:42
- 8Hoe Down02:54
- 9Irish Medley (John Dwyer Of The Glen/The Flax In Bloom/The Peeler’s Jacket 04:46
- 10Barber Pole Rag05:11
- 11East Tennessee Blues03:30
- 12Annie And Angeline Medley (Ragtime Annie/Angelina Baker)02:28
- 13Down By The Sally Gardens02:50
- 14Stephen Foster Medley (Massa’s In De Cold, Cold Ground/Hard Times Come Again No More)02:25
Info for Rule of Thumb
The album “Rule of Thumb” will give proof positive of Steve Hicks' reputation as an accomplished fingerstyle guitarist and dazzling performer of American ragtime, blues and jazz standards. But he is also a very sensitive interpreter of Celtic music.
The British musician renders the most complicated passages with unbelievable lightness and calm, while earnest ballads are given all the space necessary and can therefore unfold all their beauty. Indeed, his erstwhile mentor and teacher, Duck Baker, once said, tongue in cheek, that so much talent in one place was simply not fair. Mostly, however, Hicks has deep knowledge and appreciation of the American musical tradition of the early 20th century, and he shares known and lesser-known material from the 1920s to the 1940s. So “Rule of Thumb” almost sounds like an anthology of ragtime. It features works from American vaudeville and ragtime pianists like Felix Arndt and George Botsford. Listeners will also discover a brilliant interpretation of “Egyptian Glide” by Alexander Maloof dating to 1919, and the surely unknown “Three Quarter Blues” by George Gershwin, and “Sunrise Serenade,” a 1940s hit song by composer and pianist Frankie Carle. Hicks doesn't hesitate to combine a piece by saxophone player Oliver Nelson with an Irish reel, before winding up and giving a wild rendition of “Ragtime Annie and Angeline The Baker.” Fingers and pulse get some rest and recuperation with ballads and traditionals interspersed throughout the album.
These pieces from the Celtic tradition, which produce wonderful overtones thanks to the use of various open tunings, join with Hicks' rhythmically accentuated ragtime interpretations and reveal the many impressive facets of his musicality and technical capabilities.
Steve Hicks, guitar
The Rag is Back! The likeable Englishman has got a lot to offer guitar lovers. The man from the dreamy village of Barrow-upon-Soar is a highly regarded guitar builder, experienced teacher and versatile fingerstyle guitarist in one person. Both as a solo performer and in duet with Lynn Goulbourn, he shows his true class as a composer and musician with elegant timbre and tone. On his current solo recording “The Rag Trade”, Steve Hicks‘ stylish and fascinating renditions breathe new life into ragtime classics, country blues, jazz standards and songs from the Celtic tradition. His command of dynamics, interesting harmonic progressions and feeling for memorable melodies have become trademarks which make him one of the most interesting contemporary British fingerstyle virtuosos - a real insiders‘ tip for fans of high quality acoustic guitar music and well worth discovering.