Penguin Eggs Magazine – Whole Grain Review
Mr. Rick & The Biscuits
What a lovely surprise! This disc just opened multiple musical doors and left the hinges creakin’. A mélange of country swing, gyspy jazz, blues, bluegrass and a few undefined genres in-between, Mr. Rick turns “Americana” to “Canadiana” with such newcore classics as Alberta Springs and the powerful Moonlight In Manitoba. Despite tongues planted firmly in cheeks, there’s no denying the talented musicianship that lies beneath the surface of each of these 14 tracks as Josephus Burns (bass fiddle) and Luther Wheatstraw (guitars) join forces with Mr. Rick while guests Drew Jurecka’s violin and Robert Fenton’s lap steel go a long way towards separating wheat from chaff. From the delicious country blues of Snap Cracklin” Pop, with Jurecka’s deep-cutting violin to the over-the-top, anthemic strains of Alberta Springs, Mr. Rick and his Biscuits proffer a full-course meal that makes you smile as it satisfies.
Their cover of Bad Moon Risin’ – alone – is enough to reinstate your belief in adding something new to the art of covering over-covered covers. At the same time, Whole Grain stops time – everything old sounds new again, while still remaining true to the traditions Mr. Rick stands for. Without a speck of cereal.
Exclaim Magazine – Whole Grain Review
Mr. Rick & the Biscuits
By Kerry Doole
Don”t let the rather silly band name of Mr. Rick and the Biscuits put you off. This Toronto, ON-based trio have a very authentic old-time sound, one captured neatly on their new CD (their third), Whole Grain. The band’s style effortlessly fuses country, swing, folk, bluegrass, blues and early jazz, and their understated vocal and instrumental approach creates a mellow, “rocking chair on the porch” vibe. Five original tunes include a couple of nationalistic odes (“Moonlight In Manitoba” and “Alberta Springs”), while they head south of the border for such well-chosen covers as “The Glory Of Love” and “A Fool Such As I” (both sweet treats), “Mean Ole Frisco” and “Stagger Lee.” A version of Creedence classic “Bad Moon Rising” also works really nicely. Guests on accordion, lap steel and violin (local ace Drew Jurecka shines on “Inner Jazzbo”) augment the fluent guitar, banjo, mandolin and stand-up bass pickings of the Biscuits. Goes well with a smooth bourbon. (Independent)
Now Magazine – Cocktails and Cornbread
Mr. Rick & The Biscuits
Rootsy, folksy mash that runs the gamut from fingerpickin’ country, tub-thumpin blues, gospel, and Texas swing. Mostly old classics, novelty originals, a surprising take on House of the rising sun. Fans of Doc Watson, Bob Wills and Hank Williams will be happy. “Critics choice”
Toronto Star – Cocktails and Cornbread
American folk and country revivalists Mr. Rick & the Biscuits are dedicated, hardworking musicians who have earned a righteous reputation in Toronto for their amusing performances and earnest determination to reinvent the sound and style of folk, country, and blues. The trio’s research of lost and forgotten archives is formidable, and their reverence for history of the music they play, and for the “official” modus operandi, remarkable.
Montreal Gazette, Sing Out Magazine – Cocktails and Cornbread
Mr Rick & The Biscuits
Mr. Rick and the boys sound like a great old time jug band, without the jug!!
Penguin Eggs – Cocktails and Cornbread
Mr. Rick is a fine fingerstyle guitar player and man, these boys can play!
Cocktails and Cornbread
Killer musicianship, and a delivery that is sexy, lazy and tough. They’ve sure got it!!!
The BeBop Cowboys
“Mr. Rick & The Biscuits are your escorts to a rich musical intersection. Genre lines blur and then disappear. Country blends with rural blues. 50’s – era rock’n roll blends with swing, creating a down home finger-pickin’ bass-slappin’ stew. Then timelines blur and disappear too. What era have we arrived in? Mr. Rick and his cohorts’ stage persona is the clever conduit to the era from which the music originates, bringing the past so clearly to the present.”