Lost Wages is a five-piece band that performs American roots music, which combines elements of blues, funk, country, jazz, and soul. Their music is a blend of originals (written by band members and covers (new renditions of previously recorded songs). To say that Rick Rourke is a musical master really is an understated cliché:
The writer-arranger-producer-performer's dues card has more than been paid; making a dent deep enough to be considered among the best. Hailing from Troy, NY, Rourke grew-up with a deep affection for R&B, but also loved the cats that stripped it down and got to the heart of the music: Bob Dylan, Van "The Man" Morrison and Mose Allison.
Rick’s remarkable journey began in the 70’s…landing a gig with the popular “Emerald City” and from there went onto form "Protophoto" featuring Lenny Kravitz's Jack Daley on bass. Rourke's unique blend of soul and sensitivity led him to be one of the founders of the popular "Out of Control Rhythm & Blues Band" (1984-2005). It was there he found both a home for his style and an audience to embrace it. As the front man doubling on sax and lead vocals, Rourke could tear-up any venue. And whether it be a juke-joint or a 3,000 seat theater he and band delivered the goods...combining the influences of both the Average White Band and Tower of Power, but with a soulful edge strictly their own.
In addition to his virtuosity on sax Rick is one of those few guys with "The Voice." Bringing to mind legends like Gregg Allman, Felix Cavaliere, Ray Charles, etc., and is a prime hallmark of his sound. On any given night he can rip it up roadhouse style, yet sooth the hardest heart in any coffeehouse. Although still continuing to play "reunion" shows, Out of Control culminated their great run with the album, "Shake The Nation" (1997), which was produced by the legendary Eddie Kramer (of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, and NRBQ fame). It was around that time that Rourke’s studio chops gained attention. The popular reception to his song, Ever Since the Day, earned kudos from Mr. Kramer, who called it a "rock classic." With this newly added approval, he began furthering his song-writing and arranging skills.
In 2010, armed with a cache of self-penned material, Rick took the opportunity to form what had always been in his heart: His own musical project. Calling it "Lost Wages", he debuted with a killer CD featuring such local classics as Truck Stop Jesus. Not surprisingly, audiences embraced this new, organic, style. Accompanied by only his acoustic guitar, he surrounded himself with a stellar lineup: The superlative Larry Clyman on guitar, bass-master, Lucas Ruedy, and the laid-back, albeit lethal, style of drummer Doug Klein. Just recently, he has released "Three Sides to Every Story", which, out of the chute, has grabbed the attention of both the press and public. So much so, that it has launched him into the national limelight.
In today's world of texters and tweeters, Rick Rourke’s easy going delivery and infectious songs are perfect for both the passive and active listener. Cuts like Rose Colored Glasses, Long Way to Go, Got an Itch, and Friends Like These, will impress even the harshest critic(s). With lyrics, melody and groove all relevant to today's societal nuances, the man is far removed from retro. In fact, viewing life from the bandstand has given him a unique slant; separating him from the pack…offering a fresh, engaging, brand of “Americana” clearly his own.
*P.S. Pick up a copy of Three Sides to Every Story today. I guarantee it will soon join your list of must-haves!
-Bob Girouard (Modern Drummer, Elmore Magazine(s)
Lead singer of the group is Rick Rourke. Rourke has been compared to several of the great male vocalists of his generation, including Neil Diamond, Van Morrison and David Clayton-Thomas (from the group Blood, Sweat & Tears). Rourke is not your typical front man; his versatility allows him to easily shift from singing and playing guitar to playing saxophone or harmonica. The LW rhythm section includes drums, bass, and electric guitar.