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Rick Hayward

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Album Review

Rick Hayward's early-'70s solo album was split between a British folk-rock singer/songwriter approach (particularly on the vocal numbers) and a more folk-oriented sound (particularly on the instrumentals) emphasizing his guitar skills. His guitar picking, especially on the more acoustic-geared tracks and instrumentals, was much like the folk-jazz-blues-influenced styles of British virtuosos such as Davy Graham and Bert Jansch (or, for that matter, Paul Simon in his Graham-Jansch-influenced days) — not as good as those legends, certainly, but quite respectable. Other songs with full rock arrangements, however (especially "Find Yourself Sometime"), were much in the mold of laid-back British folky rock at the time, and most everything had a slightly moody and resigned air. One feels bad criticizing an album like this because the flaws aren't blatant; Hayward's a more than competent instrumentalist (if only an adequate singer), and his oft-minor-keyed material has an agreeable British brooding quality. The songs and singing just aren't too exciting, however, making one feel that Hayward might have been better cast in a support role than as a featured performer, or that he could have stood to work up some more interesting tunes before committing to a full LP. The 2007 CD reissue on Sunbeam adds historical liner notes by Hayward himself and 11 previously unreleased tracks, of slightly lower fidelity than those on his official LP, that he recorded shortly after the Rick Hayward LP for an unissued second album. All of those previously unreleased cuts are instrumental, again putting his considerable talents for folk-blues-jazz-ragtime guitar picking (with a pinch of classical) at the fore.

Biography

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s

In the late '60s, Rick Hayward (then known as Rick Birkett) was a guitarist in the Accent, playing on their highly regarded non-hit 1967 British psychedelic single "Red Sky at Night"/"Wind of Change." Shortly afterward, he briefly attempted to form a band with Rod Argent shortly after the latter had left the Zombies, recording a few demos. When that didn't pan out, he became a session musician for the British blues-rock label Blue Horizon, subsequently playing in the band of Christine Perfect (later...
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Rick Hayward, Rick Hayward
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