Concert Review: The Ric Sanders Trio

Review by Ben Macnair with photos by Dave Jones

His day job involves playing fiddle for Folk-rock super-group Fairport Convention, but Rik Sanders was allowed much freer rein when he appeared with his trio at Lichfield Guildhall on Sunday January 27th.

The Ric Sanders TrioThe Ric Sanders Trio

Support for the evening was provided by Joe Pierce who played a series of his songs, and a dextrous Mandolin solo. The Rik Sanders trio consists of drummer Michael Gregory from Home Service, and guitarist and vocalist Vo Fletcher. Ric Sanders career has seen him work with bands such as Soft Machine, The Albion Band, as well as Fairport Convention, so he is a more than capable musician across many different genres.

The Ric Sanders Trio

The set started with a free-form improvisation, before the bluesy Americana of Tennessee Hustler, and Jesse Fuller’s San Francisco Bay Blues. Duane Allman’s Little Martha was given a great treatment, with Dobro and Fiddle taking the catchy main theme in different directions, whilst The Green Green Rocky Road and Muddy Water’s I Can’t Be Satisfied showed that although it is a rare instrument in the blues, the fiddle can stake a claim to belonging in the genre.

The Ric Sanders Trio

The second half of the concert was far more fast paced, and gave all three musicians a chance to shine, with elongated fiddle solos taking in sounds and vocabularies from other instruments, with ear-splitting high-pitched notes, looping pedals, and anything that could be used to create something new. Almost Done and Poor Dirt Farmer were lessons in political song writing, John Hardy was a faithful rendering of this work-horse from the folk-cannon, whilst the Beatles Come Together was a completely original reading, without the signature bass part. A rock ‘n’ roll medley, that consisted of JJ Cale’s Call Me the Breeze and Chuck Berry’s Nadine finished the concert, a showcase for what three musicians and an open-minded approach to stage craft and music making are truly capable of.

The Ric Sanders Trio

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