Vermont Business Magazine Band leader, singer and award-winning songwriter Rick Norcross will kick off the first celebration of his 55th anniversary year as a professional musician with a multi-media concert at Burlington’s magnificent Willard Street Inn on Saturday evening, February 24th. Though there will be other 55th anniversary celebrations over the course of the year with his band, Rick & The All-Star Ramblers, none will be staged in a more intimate or opulent setting than the Solarium of the Willard Street Inn, Vermont’s premier Bed & Breakfast Mansion, built in 1881 in the Hill Section of Burlington by a prominent businessman and Vermont State Senator.
Rick Norcross 1967 Promo Shot Tampa. courtesy photo.
Rick will perform a selection of his award-winning, often humorous, Vermont songs from his seven previous record albums, including songs from his early years on the folk music circuit from the ‘60s touring in England, Holland, Ireland, Spain and Canada.
There will be a wine tasting before the concert showcasing Shelburne Vineyard and bottles of Shelburne Vineyard wine will be available to purchase during the show. The Willard Street Inn will provide a Vermont Cheese Board and Willard Street Inn Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gelato Sandwiches and a coffee and tea bar. There will be a number of door prizes awarded during the evening’s festivities.
In addition to Rick’s concert performance, there will be two digital presentations shown before the concert and during the intermission. The first will be a photographic retrospective of Rick’s 55 year career in music capturing the look and feel of the music business over his long career.
The second show will feature images culled from his 1969 to 1974 position as music writer, reviewer and photographer at The Tampa Times, a 70,000 circulation afternoon daily newspaper in the 13th largest market in America. Tampa was a major venue for touring music stars of the day and Rick had free rein to cover any non-classical performance in small clubs, concert halls, stadiums and rock festivals in central Florida and southern Georgia.
This is a rare opportunity to see these photographs of major stars of the day, taken with on-stage, front row and back-stage access, striking images of Elvis, Janis Joplin, Chuck Berry, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, to name just a few. These photos taken by Rick have only been seen twice in gallery shows since they were shot nearly 50 years ago, the latest exhibit shown two years ago at the Burlington City Arts Gallery on Church Street.
In a review of the BCA exhibit, Rutland Herald arts correspondent Jim Sabataso wrote, “The exhibit at BCA is a rare opportunity to see his work from those fertile years. The collection features shots both tranquil and kinetic. Some offer a glimpse of these iconic artists in quiet, unguarded moments of backstage repose. Others capture the raw action of the performance. In stark black and white, these photographs are no less colorful as they crackle with the energy of their subjects.”
“Burlington has much to be proud of, but the rich career that Rick Norcross has led and the incredible talent that he has shared with this City for more than 50 years is unmatched. We look forward to many more years of lyrics from this Burlington institution.”
...Burlington City Arts Executive Director Doreen Kraft
This will be Rick’s final performance before heading down to Fort Worth, Texas to attend the 22nd Annual Academy of Western Artists Will Rogers Awards Ceremony. Rick & The All-Star Ramblers are finalists in two award categories, “Western Swing Duo/Group of the Year” and “Western Swing Album of The Year” for the 2017 CD release, “Welcome To OUR Vermont/2,” a musical tour of Vermont, with 13 Vermont songs penned by Rick. Rick & The All-Star Ramblers took the Academy of Western Artists’ “Best Western Swing Song of the Year” honors in 2015 for “You Can’t Make It Up,” another Rick song about a date to a Hardwick Academy Junior Prom in 1962.
There wil be copies of Rick’s biography, “Riding My Guitar - The Rick Norcross Story,” and five of his previous CD recordings, including his latest 2017 release, “Green Mountain Standard Time,” all available for adoption.
“Rick Norcross is a true Vermont original, a kind of musical Jack Kerouac. Stephen Russell Payne’s new book, Riding My Guitar - The Rick Norcross Story perfectly capures his talent, his history and his good heart.”
...Howard Frank Mosher, award-winning Vermont author
“Rick Norcross and the Ramblers are staples of the music scene in Vermont and have been for several decades. Norcross has established himself as a fine vocalist, songwriter, raconteur and all-around good guy. Norcross has kept Western Swing alive in this state and done a lot of performing for good causes.”
...Barre Times-Argus Music Reviewer Art Edelstein
Tickets for this very special 55th anniversary event are priced at $25 each and, as there are only 40 seats, must be purchased in advance from the Willard Street Inn.
Doors open at 6:30 and the show begins at 7 pm. Make it a staycation and receive two free tickets when you book a room at the Inn for the night of this memorable performance. To purchase “A 55th Anniversary Evening with Rick Norcross” tickets or to make a Willard Street Inn room reservation for the night, call (802)651-8710.
The Willard Street Inn is located at 349 South Willard Street in Burlington.