Welcome to the website for Rick Drost, a Singer/Songwriter based in Cambridge, MA.  Here you'll find
- Schedule information, 
- Recent tunes with lyrics,  
- Photos -both of performances that kind folks have contributed, and some that I try to collect whenever I go someplace to sing.
- There's Biographical information, Contact Information, A mailing list if you're interested.
- I'll try to post infrequent musings on various subjects in the blog.

Mostly, enjoy the tunes - i write slowly; hopefully the tunes reward repeated listening.
Thanks for dropping by.

For Valentine's Day - From Public Garden Swans to All Lovers 

A while ago the Boston Globe published a story on the swans in the Public Garden.  It turns out that the swans, known the world over as Romeo and Juliet,  are in fact two females, and even hetero swan couples trade off on the normal gender-related roles.   I went down to meet the swans, fell in love with their easy tranquility and their exquisite surroundings. I visited them morning, noon, and evening, (it was summer) and wrote them this valentine, Juli and Romy.

Here's the MP3 Turning the World, released last year.

Juli and Romy from "Turning the World"; John Shain production; Kaitlin Grady Cello

 Happy Valentine's day, all!



Dad Built us a Freezer 

My father Wilfred passed on on Feb 11 at 96, in a nursing home in Atlanta where he was well cared for.  Many of the family sang songs at his Memorial service, but there was more to this man than love of music. This note started in one of my "daily writings" a year ago; I'm hoping it captures some of Dad's character, his positive problem-solving character and love of life and family.

Dad Built us a Freezer 

What can you do in 1953 with Oak and Masonite and Aluminum Sheeting and Cork and Copper Tubing and an old used compressor and a lot of know-how? 
Build a freezer for your family in your basement. 

My father was an engineer, a  master of know-how. For work he designed and built equipment to implement chemical processes - processes as diverse as fabricating star sapphires and rubies to making little beads of treated clay that keep your refrigerator coolant dry and your double pane windows clear. Dad worked for Linde Air Products, which got its start cooling, liquefying  and separating air into its components. Freezers of all sizes abounded there, as well as good people to learn from. 

Since family came first, here's my guess about how this started in his mind. "Wow, this refrigeration equipment is actually pretty simple. Just an insulated box with cooling coils and a compressor. If I could build one in for the basement Mom could put up food from the garden and local orchards that we love in the summer, and we could buy food in bulk too and keep it in there, and have it all winter." 
So he built from scratch a home freezer (we called it a deep freeze) which ran in the basement from about 1954 until they moved to Alabama in 1968.  So for the forty days and forty nights of the snowy Buffalo winter we (Mom, Dad, Paul, Rickey, Martha, Barbie, and later Ellen) had strawberries, steaks, venison, quick frozen fish, green beens, even corn on the cob from that freezer. I have no idea what the people who bought the house thought of it. It certainly didn't look like anything Betty Furness would have advertised. 

It was a large box, in cubits, roughly 5 long by 3 high by 2.5 deep. (maybe 8' by 4.5' by 3.5' ), Masonite painted white on the outside on a frame of varnished oak. I remember him showing us when he placed the dark, creosote-y smelling cork blocks inside for insulation; he even let me put one in. Then it was lined with aluminum sheeting. Then copper cooling coils, all around inside, about halfway up, and a copper quick-freeze plate on the left end.  I don't remember where the coils were fabricated. He probably had a friend from the lab make them to spec in HIS home workshop; he might have done it all while we were sleeping, at least assembling it from parts.  He could handle all kinds of torches to at least do finish fitting on the coils. Rubber gaskets sealed it all around the frame at the top.  The top was the same composition as the box itself, Hinged, not spring loaded at all.   There was a big cast iron ring in the center of the top.  It took us two boys to open it - one would start lifting it with the ring, standing on the step of 2x8 that he'd built running the length of the box, the other caught it and lifted from the top of the basement steps to push the top to the back wall.   Same way back down. Always with care.  The compressor was a huge thing looking like it might have come from Carl von Linde's workshop.  It was outboard of the box under the back basement stairs, with a trap door cut in the top platform for maintenance access. I only remember one time we had to maintain that compressor.  They don't make anything like they used to. The steps of the stairs were also all hinged to make storage for all the kids' winter boots and skates. 

Elementary and Junior high summers, then, the boys had a popsicle business out of the freezer. Dad had found moulds, showed us how to mix Koolaid, cut and smooth sticks from dowels and tongue depressors. At peak times we'd set the alarm for 1am, go down there to wrap one batch and reload the moulds, getting up early so we could repeat the exercise before school. We sold them on our bikes around the neighborhood for 2c and 3c for the larger ones. Bought Koolaid and raw materials for sticks with the proceeds. Dad estimated what we would have to pay for the electric to get the freezing done, but I don't think we ever paid but once. Or made any real money. But the goodwill of the business might have kept us out of some neighborhood water balloon wars. 

There were other do-it-yourself projects that yielded things that kept us kids occupied and amused - the little boats for the boys made from 50 gallon oil drum cut in half. The pump and pump house down by the creek, with buried lines with which we kept the garden and the flowers watered, the Cable Car strung down the hill between the big oaks, which let us send rocks and other materials down the hill to the creek and garden level in a wheelbarrow harness, and gave us rides sometimes, the tow rope hanging from the big oak down by the creek which we could swing on, the archery butt against the hill behind the house. 

All these things he showed us gave us confidence we could figure out how to do things and find help getting them done that could improve our lives.  Dad didn't do it expecting praise. He never stood on a hilltop saying "I built a freezer", "I made star sapphires", "I can play Claire de Lune". He just continued producing things of utility and beauty to improve the lives of people around him, and  enjoying every moment of it all that he could take in.

Turning the World: CD
  • Turning the World: CD
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Turning the World, Rick Drost's debut solo album, represents a lifetime of Rick's songwriting and storytelling. The songs deal with jilted lovers, an iconic swan couple in Boston's Public Garden, leftover lobsters, home & family, and hope.

Produced by Jon Shain and engineered by FJ Ventre, (Durham, NC) who add guitars and basses to Rick's

Turning the World, Rick Drost's debut solo album, represents a lifetime of Rick's songwriting and storytelling. The songs deal with jilted lovers, an iconic swan couple in Boston's Public Garden, leftover lobsters, home & family, and hope.

Produced by Jon Shain and engineered by FJ Ventre, (Durham, NC) who add guitars and basses to Rick's fingerpicked guitar and vocals on most tracks; Guest musicians include Kaitlin Grady (cello), Ed Butler (percussion), pianist and composer Doug Hammer (piano), Chris Frank (accordion,soprano sax) and Bill Newton (harmonica) Turning the World - Tracks

(Rick: Guitar and Vocals, all tracks; FJ Ventre Basses, all tracks) 1. Don't Remember Train (3:37) - started in a dream; Rick hasn't awakened yet; percussion; 2. Turning the World (4:52) - Starts in the Australian outback, comes around the world and back home; a song for peace, and listening to each other; cello. 3. Old Player Piano (4:26) - dedication to playing music; nostalgia and beyond. Piano, Accordion 4. Wyethstown (4:39) - from the standpoint of a woman coming of age in the Boston valley area of Western New York, ca. 1850; cello 5. Got a Little Corner (3:35) - faux-country song from a jilted lover to his rival. Harmonica; FJ and Jon Vocal backup 6. Pictures on the Wall (4:37) - a song of letting go, or not. guitars, bass, piano 7. Revendon (4:30) - an ode to misspent youth; bowed bass, piano 8. Lucky Lobster Rag (4:00) - Celebration of Whole Foods' (imagined) treatment of live lobsters they decided it was immoral to sell. Soprano Sax; percussion; Jon and FJ the "lobster chorus" 9. Juli and Romy (4:37) - Valentine to the pair of female swans in the Boston Public Garden, known the world over as Romeo and Juliet. cello; accordion 10. Still Point (5:01) - an ode to meditation - where it comes from, how it starts, how useful it is. Piano, Bass 11. Buffalo (3:01) - semiautobiographical rocker, with Jon: Guitar, Doug:Piano; Ed: percussion 12. Seasons Search 5:38 - Rick's Saga Song; Jon: mood guitar, Kaitlin: cello; FJ: bass and keyboards

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Previous events


Slot on Open Mic America

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Pleased to be included in this California-based online show produced and hosted by Dave Williams. First Second and Third Sundays Selected songwriters sing ten minute sets, The hosts Dave and Daphna interview the songwriters. Last couple of shows have been fun watching for me. My slot will be late in the show. around 10.40 Eastern.

Youtube link for listers is on the homepage: OpenMicAmerica.com

Performers: Mike Simpson - Saratoga, CA Ann Gray - Norfolk, VA Clancy - Vancouver, WA Steve Andersen - Alameda, CA Stacy Cake - Corvallis, OR Max, Berkeley - CA Ciarán Mac Gowan - San Francisco, CA Ben James - Santa Cruz, CA Robin Greene - Jacobs Eugene, OR Rick Drost - Cambridge, MA



Songwriter Showcase at Lilypad Inman

LilyPad Inman, 1353 cambridge st, Cambridge, MA

John O'Leary is producing another live songwriter showcase at the Lilypad. Vaxxed and Masked per city requirements. So far, performers are John O'Leary and Abigail Arndt Colin McGovern Rick Drost

Lily pad offers great sound system, light beverage service.


ITR set at Loretta's Last Call - By PB&Jay

Loretta's Last Call, 1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA

Pleaed to be able sing live with Jay Psaros and Friends at Loretta's

PB&J PRESENTS: Songwriters in the Round LIVE at Loretta's Last Call Featuring: Mike Cavanaugh Dann Russo Adam Davis Marcus Fakler Jay Psaros John Fiander Rick Drost Matt Frank Chris Dagnese Jared Torchetti Aksel Allouch Forest Romm


Dallas Songwriter Showcase slot (online) with "Get Off My Lawn!"

online, Dallas TX

Thanks to Harley Hewitt of DSA and Michael Roth of "Get Off My Lawn" a new group for mature songwriters,
There will be an online showcase with many of the GOML bunch -
all friends from FAR-West, FARM, and NERFA - We'll all do one song apiece; expect an interesting a varied show from great songwriters.

Here's the performer list
Brant Miller
Kerry Kean
Peter Lehndorff
Rick Drost
Kim Ware
Cheryl Cawood
Tina Ross
Kirby Heard
Michael & Nell

More details and Url as they Appear.. Certainly FB Live on https://www.facebook.com/dallassongwriters/


Songwriter Showcase (Live) at One Broadway

One Broadway Collaborative, 1 Broadway, Lawrence, MA

Please to be performing in Aaron Tornberg's new community oriented Music and Arts center in Lawrence. Linda Marks, Rick Drost, Zoe Levitt, and dean Stevens will do ~ 30 minute sets.

Vaccine and Masks required.


NERFA Virtual appearances

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NERFA (Northeast Regional Folk Alliance) is Online this year with a great run of events and performances. buy a ticket (20-40 dollars) at nerfa2021.com
My Guerilla Showcase Performances:

Thursday Nov 11 10 PM - Get Off My Lawn Showcase (my 15 min slot at 11:45)
Michael Roth has assembled friends from FAR-West and FARM and NERFA for a showcase with seasoned performers.

Here is Michael's description, and the cast and schedule: A Showcase for Late Bloomers at the 2021 NERFA Conference November 11, 2021 10:00 p.m. Eastern

Featuring: 10:00 Cheryl Cawood https://cherylcawood.com
10:15 Peter Lehndorff https://lehndorff.com/music/
10:30 Tina Ross https://tinarossmusic.com/
10:45 Michael and Nell https://www.michaelandnell.com
11:00 Kerry Kean https://www.kerrykean.com/
11:15 Amy Dixon-Kolar
11:30 Penelope Salinger
11:45 Rick Drost https://www.rickdrostsongs.com/
12:00 Michael R.J. Roth https://easyheroes.com
(All times Eastern Standard Time)

A rag-tag group of irregulars who got together at FARM to fight the establishment. Or at least sing to it.

Sat 1:00 AM Eastern Decent Exposure showcase - half hour in the Round with Tina Ross and Terra Spencer . Thanks to Sam Edelston, Mandolin King, for setting this up


FARM Virtual Appearances

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This is Folk Alliance Regional Midwest Conference; This year it's all virtual. Register at Farmfolk.org. Presentations and workshops during the day, Music afternoon, evening and late. All times are Eastern.

Two appearances Wed Oct 27 Performance Lane 1 - 6:50-70 PM 10 minutes

Friday Oct 29 Petty Chavez Private showcase - 10:30 PM - 20 minutes

Online Loop at the Armory October Show

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Online at The Loop at the Armory FB page, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA

The October Loop Show is Online, and will feature Tina Ross Erin Ash Sullivan Eric Gulliksen (Snake) Rick Drost

This will be online at The Loop at the Armory FB page It will also be livestreamed at the loop at the armory Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5pvJk8sAPpjQxys0nb9bHQ

We'll each do 30-35 min sets from our homes, no breaks, since it's online Tips appreciated.

Loop shows restarted in September 2021, are on third Thursdays. Thanks John Mark for founding this, and Linda Marks an the other volunteers, and the Armory for keeping this series going. FB group for Loop at the Armory is https://www.facebook.com/groups/605186336292335 Thanks Dan Senie for all the tech support setting up the live streaming.


Folk Alliance West - Online Conference

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Had a great time here in 2019. Hoping to hear old friends and new friends. You must register for the conference for access. Guerrilla showcases TBD


Feature at Music for Humanity Benefit Concert

Noble Roasters, 3020 Rte 27, Campbell Hall, NY

Every third Saturday Barry Adelman of Music for Humanity assembles a few songwriters for a benefit concert for Music for Humanity- Concert is often in this coffeehouse in the Catskills to sing half hour sets. Honored to be invited back in 2021. Other singers TBD.

Pleased to be returning to the Hudson Valley area. Show at 7.30. Barry advises "come early, doors at 7, to get a good seat"

Proceeds benefit Music for Humanity, which has raised over 100,000 over the last ten years for Music Scholarships www.musicforhumanity.org www.nobleroasters.com

Check out music for humanity, dedicated to helping people share music.


(Virtual) Appearance on Arielle Silver's "Tomes and Tunes" podcast

Arielle Silver's Facebook Page or YouTube Page

Every week Thursday afternoon my FAR-West friend Arielle Silver hosts a book discussion and song show. I'm honored to be her guest for this session. We'lll talk about literature we've been reading, and share some songs.

I've been listening to several of these sessions and love discovering new (or forgotten) books to read, and hearing the songs.

The show is 2PM Pacific time; 5PM Eastern It will come up Live on Arielle Silver's Facebook page at the appointed time. It will also appear at the time on found.ee/TomesAndTunes which gets you over to Arielle's Youtube page.

More details as they become available. I'm looking forward to the interview and sharing songs.

Past shows are archived on https://ariellesilvermusic.com/tomes-tunes Always interesting discussions and great songs


Songwriters in the Round

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Union Brewhouse - Weymouth, 350 Washington St, Weymouth, MA

Jay Psaros (PB & Jay Records) presents a weekly showcase at Union Brewhouse.
Always good music, great food here (try the Onion Rings)

This night he's Featuring:
Catherine King
Crit Harmon
Rick Drost
Hosted by Mike Nolan

Set at Hancock Depot 20th Anniversary

Hancock Depot Cabaret, Depot Rd, Hancock, NH

Hancock Depot Cabaret is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a special Saturday Night show. Happy to be be doing a 20 minute set among the many great New England songwriters I've seen there. David Young, Susan Lang, and volunteers have assembled a stunning venue at the Depot, along a historic railroad line. Sets by: Blame it on Sally
Decatur Creek
Sugarbush Road
Rick Drost

Honored to be in this company, and to be singing live again!


Afternoon sets at Bell St Gallery, - cancelled

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Bell St Gallery , 807 Bell St, La Pointe, WI

Sorry, we all thought better to cancel this trip given the rising spread of Delta Variant I'll be returning Madeline Island, WI the first week in August. Friends have arranged to have me sing in the Bell St. Gallery - features art, a cafe, and music. 1-4 PM Friday Aug 6.


PBJ Songwriters night

Union Brewhouse - Weymouth, 550 Washington St, Weymouth, MA

Carlin Tripp collects 6-8 songwriters to play short sets. I've alweays enjoyed hearing the songwriters at these events. Restarted recently, friends have reported fun nights at this Union Brewhouse location. Thanks, Jay Psaros. I'm happy to be finally poking my nose out live. Good food, good company.


Attending Dar Williams Songwriting Retreat

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Stony Point Center, 17 Crickettown Rd, Stony Point NY

Dar Williams' annual songwriting retreat is at the Stony Point Center this year. Looking forward to seeing some old friends, and meeting a lot of new people. Hoping to take a deep breath in this lovely environment and get a jumpstart on some new songs.


Private Party, Rocky Neck

Rocky Neck, Gloucester, MA

Hope to catch up with Rocky Neck folks out here; Going to view fireworks; I'll get to sing a little I'm told.

Outdoors at the Armory: Linda Marks, Mark Bishop Evans, Craig Sonnenfeld, Rick Drost

Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA

Join singer-songwriters Linda Marks, Mark Bishop Evans, Craig Sonnenfeld and Rick Drost in the round Outside At The Armory. Poet Beatriz Alba opens. Free Admission. Tickets required for COVID protocols. Here's the link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/outdoors-at-the-armory-songwriters-in-the-round-tickets-155732077837