Meet Rick Leighton
Singer, songwriter, teacher, guitar, bass, dobro and banjo player, born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can’t pin Rick down to any one genre. He is a talented, versatile, experienced multi-instrumentalist. It all started with the piano. His Mom made all the kids take piano. In sixth grade Rick switched to the guitar and he says “That was it!” In his early years he was influenced by Top 40 radio. His favorites include The Grateful Dead, Hendrix, Clapton (Cream). To succeed in your music, you need solid, consistent encouragement and Rick had that from his Mom and Dad. If he had to pick a favorite instrument, it would be his electric guitar.
Since 1974, Rick has performed solo and in multiple bands including “Golden Road”, “Despair Tire”, “Rounder Wheels”, “Left of Center”, “Piece O’Cake”, “Ricky and the Crumbs”, “Nine to One”, “Phil Blank and White Heat”, “Five stories” and his own band “Lost Sailors”. In the late 80’s to mid 90’s he was one of the “Only Mortals”. When asked what happened to the “Only Mortals”, Rick sighed “It ran its course. Went through many versions. I think I once counted 12 people over nine years. We were the first modern rock group in Cincy and were successful through grunge as well. Personnel grew up and moved on.”
Rick has appeared on albums with Peter Frampton, Bootsy Collins, Freakbass, and The Bluebirds (one of Cincinnati’s premiere and longest-lived Blues bands, performing originals and favorites) among others. He performs solo, in duos, in trios and in bands. Currently Rick is the guitar player and musical director for “Robin Lacy & DeZydeco”, part of “We Three” with Robin and Joani Lacy, and half of “Sastre & Leighton Duo”
“Robin Lacy & DeZydeco”, a unique brand of musical gumbo, is a six-piece group set apart from the mainstream with their unique instrumentation that includes the accordion, saxophone and rubboard found mainly in the Zydeco and Cajun-styled bands of Southwest Louisiana. Along with traditional Zydeco, roots rock ‘n’ roll, blues and classic country covers, the band plays a number of original songs featured on their latest recordings.
“We Three” also known as “The Robin Lacy Trio”, consists of Robin Lacy, Joani Lacy & Ricky Leighton. In the beginning, the trio casually referred to themselves as “Songs We Don’t Know in Unfamiliar Keys.” The group fell together as a regular Wednesday night act at the now defunct La Normandy Restaurant located below the also world famous defunct Maisonette restaurant in Cincinnati, OH. From there they moved their residency to the Washington Platform. They play a wide selection of music mostly from the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s but Joani & Ricky will often highlight a number of songs from the great American songbook.
“Sastre & Leighton Duo” also known as “The Twirlers” has Rick Leighton teamed up with Marcos Sastre, singer, songwriter, producer and founder of “The Bluebirds”. Together they perform a variety of classic covers with style and flair.
Passing it on…
Rick has been teaching since 1974 and his student count is well into the thousands. Rick has brought his 40 years of teaching experience to The Anderson Music Workshop. His instruments include guitar, bass guitar, banjo, dobro, mandolin, and uke. Many of his students have gone on to play in successful local bands as well as national acts like “Over the Rhine” and “Dickey Betts Great Southern”. Rick can cover any style of music from The Beatles to Bill Monroe and Bach To BeBop. “Being diverse has always been my strong point and I try to bring that to my students as well” is just one of Rick’s mottos. “I just don’t want them to memorize songs but learn the process as well so the student is playing the music, not just what I have written.”
Album: “Welcome to Tomorrow”, Produced by Rick Leighton, Recorded by Phil Combs & Marcos Sastre at Working Dog Studios. All songs written by Rick Leighton except “Acadian Driftwood” written by Robbie Robertson.
1) Welcome to Tomorrow 2) Wait for Me
3) Pretty Baby 4) Why Don’t You
5) Push Me Away 6) Play the Blues
7) I Rue the Day 8) Kids Kept Dancin’
9) Acadian Driftwood 10) Out of This World