Members of RPR are: (from left to right) Rob Ritchie on keyboard, Steve Ritchie on guitar and electric bass guitar, Beaker Granger on drums and Al Parrish on guitar and electric bass guitar.
WELLSBORO—At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18, the Wellsboro Community Concert Association will present RPR in concert in the Coolidge Theatre at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts at 104 Main Street, Wellsboro.
Band members will perform a cross section of their original songs from "Trans Atlantic," their debut album released in late 2013 as well as some newer material that has not yet been recorded and one or two songs from their Tanglefoot days. They also perform cover tunes by musicians they like. One song they do just about every night is Joe Crookston's "Fall Down As The Rain."
For years, Steve Ritchie, Al Parrish and Rob Ritchie rocked the United Kingdom folk/roots music scene as the rhythm section of the Ontario, Canada-based powerhouse band Tangefoot. The band had a fanatically loyal following throughout Canada, the United States, England, Scotland and Wales and in 2007 won the Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Vocal Group.
Tanglefoot dissolved in 2009 because the five band members wanted to pursue other interests. By then, the band had been around in one form or another for 30 years. "I had been with the band 22 years, when we broke up," Steve said.
"It was inevitable that we could neither stay off stage nor away from each other for long," he added. "My brother Rob, Al and I started getting together to play at different functions. That's when we began asking ourselves, 'Why don't we do something together more regularly?'"
In 2013, Ritchie, Parrish and Ritchie reconnected as RPR and added percussionist Beaker Granger. All four are singer/songwriters. "We put together a 40-minute set and did a concert close to home to see if it would be as much fun as we thought it might be. Obviously, it worked and today we perform as RPR whenever our schedules permit."
In May and June of 2013, RPR recorded "Trans Atlantic" and released it on Nov. 1. Their musical backgrounds are broad from church choirs to country, folk and rock. With the addition of percussion and more guitar and elimination of mandolin and fiddle, RPR has less of a string band sound than Tanglefoot. The RPR configuration affords these four veteran performers the opportunity to stretch their wings and create a rich and memorable interfusion of music, stories, laughter and reminiscences.
For the past three years, they have been going on short tours. They have toured the United Kingdom several times and plan to return there in the spring of 2018. For a week and a half this November, they will be on tour in Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
Whether they are singing an original country song of Al's, Steve's recollection of a Robert Plant version of an old Dylan tune, Rob's incisive musical humor, the drop-dead vocal harmonies of a new a cappella song or the occasional reworking of an old Tanglefoot tune, their trademark harmony, chemistry, enthusiasm and impact are all there.
Tickets at the door are $20 for adults and $5 for students and children. For tickets, visit www.wellsborocca.org or call 570-724-6220.