Much of my life has revolved around music. From early childhood, my favorite toys were those that I could use to play a tune. I had toy pianos, organs, xylophones, hand bells, penny whistles, kazoos, ukuleles... you name it, I probably had one. I got my first guitar at age 8, and guitar has been my main instrument ever since. When I got in trouble as a teenager, my parents never grounded me. They would just forbid me to play my guitar for a while — and I would pull out my childhood toys and keep making music.
Some years ago, a girlfriend told me she had been warned about me. "Watch out for Rick," she had been told; "he puts himself first, his music second, and everybody else a distant third." That, I reassured her, was poppycock. I was second; the music came first!
I played solo and in bands around my native Louisville until moving to Richmond in 1985. I set the guitar aside for several years, but I couldn't stay away from music. I soon joined The Virginians barbershop chorus, sang in several barbershop quartets, and was a founding member of Soundworks, an award winning men's ensemble that sings a mix of barbershop, contemporary, and other a cappella styles.
After years of singing a cappella, I decided it was time to get back to my roots and resume playing the guitar. Retired from my day job since fall of 2017, I now have time to concentrate on my music. I'm performing once again, both as a solo artist and as a member of the best band I've had the privilege of playing with (currently on hiatus). And although in-person performances have largely been eliminated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I'm performing regularly in the virtual world Second Life under my online persona Monty Peccable.
Music will always be a huge part of who I am; it's a lifelong obsession, and I expect I'll keep making music in one way or another as long as I live.