Ric Robertson wakes and heads out the door just before noon on an already sweltry day in New Orleans. A short walk into the French Quarter and his day begins with a few entrancing hours at the piano. Coaxing the crowd with his honey-warm voice, it’s hard to tell Ric’s original songs from those of the mighty tunesmiths and lyricists he covers. Ric’s tunes are marked by a sharp lyrical command that transports audiences with astounding ease into the emotional and visual landscapes he wants us to experience. The evening shifts to country as Ric leads a band on Telecaster, offering the songs of Willie Nelson on the same platter with his own, in a voice as nimble and beguiling as his predecessors. He has the gift of injecting heartbreak with a sweet and forgiving humor that few songwriters possess, magnifying his natural charm.
Sun sets around 6 p.m. Ric moves seamlessly from keys, to guitar, to bass, to drums and back again on a set of funk tunes ala The Meters and Sly Stone, which he conveys with the same sincerity and credibility he lends to every performance. This kind of musicianship is bred only by those with the keen ability to listen and absorb and the relentless ability to create. Ric is one of those rare artists who is a true chameleon, able to slink from one genre right into another while leaving the audience convinced that the transition was just a natural progression and not an act.
If you can’t find him in the French Quarter, you will just as easily find him on stage with The Wood Brothers or Rhiannon Giddens. His debut record The Friend, The Fool was released June 29th, 2018.