Much Anticipated RPR Show At Heartwood This Week

Hometown heroes RPR will be in concert at the Heartwood Concert Hall this Friday night.

The initials RPR stand for Rob Richie, Al Parrish and Steve Richie, the former rhythm section of Tanglefoot, a folk/roots band that gained a large international following through constant touring in Canada, the U.S. and Britain.  Tanglefoot disbanded in 2009, resulting in two new spinoff bands, each of which picked up where Tanglefoot left off, continuing to please audiences at home and abroad. The lead guitarist, Terry Young, and violinist Sandra Swannell, became the jazz/folk duo My Sweet Patootie, and they have been constantly building their audience through touring in the U.S. and Britain.  Parrish and Richie, meanwhile, added Meaford’s Beaker Granger to the mix, on drums and vocals, to create their own touring unit.

One of the groups great strengths is their vocal harmonies, applied to songs that are strong on story-telling.  While Tanglefoot was definitely in the folk genre, and known particularly for their songs about Canadian history, RPR, with Beaker’s nuanced and driving percussion, heads more into rock and roll territory.  Al Parrish has traded his stand up bass for an electric, and the Richie brothers rock out on keyboards and both acoustic and electric guitars.

The band makes its mark with a lot of humour, energy and thoughtful lyrics.  A number of the favourite Tanglefoot tunes still inhabit the repertoire of this new incarnation, which pleases long time fans.  The chemistry between friends who have played together for so many years adds a warmth and energy to their performances.  It helps that they are all multi-instrumentalists who can switch it up, and all four are great singers.  They move through many moods in a performance, from introspective thoughtful songs to full-out rockers. Although each of them contributes to the writing, the main songwriting force comes from Rob Richie.

The band, after so many years of relentless touring, has made RPR a part time project, so it is a rare treat for fans to see them in concert.  A lot of people have been talking excitedly about Friday’s show at Heartwood, and tickets are going fast,so, if it isn’t already, it’s likely to be a sellout.

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