Electric Blues
Rick Derringer: Tend The Fire
Code Blue 1996
Review Published Nov 11, 1997
Artist Spotlite on Rick Derringer
Tend The Fire CD at FrontStage

Sound Clips, Discography
Track Listing
1 I'm Set On You
2 Wound Up Tight
3 Who Do You
4 Big Time Love
5 Talk To Me
6 Too Sorry
7 Wrong Side Of

8 Tough On Me,
      Tough On You
9 I'm In Love
10 I'm Doin' Fine
11 I'll Be Lovin' You

EB Rating - 4.5

If I had to sum up Tend The Fire in one word, I have to say intense, playful, funky, hot guitar, moody, romantic, soulful, upbeat, rock & roll...... Opps! Sorry, guess I can't do it with just one word. Rick Derringer has incorporated all these elements and more. Tend the Fire comes on the heels of Rick's two releases with the Blues Bureau label, which are both in-your-face, hard-drivin' rock-blues, pushing the limits of blues to the max.
He changes things up quite a bit this time. The variety of music on Tend the Fire is quite impressive. The first cut, I'm Set On You, is dominated by the sound of RD masterfully working the wah-wah pedal, and you know from the first few notes that this album is going to be different. Long time friend and slide guitar wizard Johnny Winter joins in on Wound Up Tight. I can just imagine these two guys grinning from ear-to-ear as they recorded this one. Big Time Love is an excellent, powerful ballad, which strains RD's vocal capabilities a bit. While Rick does a credible job, I can't help but wonder why Edgar Winter, who plays sax on the song, did not do the vocals for this one. (Sorry, Rick!)
Who Do You Love and Wrong Side of Paradise are funky numbers that add nice variety to the album. The message in I'm Too Sorry For You is, 'I'm leavin' you, baby', but the up-beat mood of the music says, 'and it's the best move I ever made'. A very entertaining play on contrasts. The late Johnny Copeland performs with RD on this song.
RD pays homage to one of his own guitar heroes, Lonnie Mack, with the melancholy ballad, Tough On Me, Tough On You. This song is full of emotion, and although Rick's rendition is good, the phrase "there's nothing like the original" applies here. If you like this song, you need to hear Lonnie do it. (Sorry again, Rick!) On the last track, I'll Be Lovin' You, RD plays some intensly soulful guitar
This is a ground-breaking CD for Rick. There is enough of the stuff long time RD fans have come to expect to keep them happy. At the same time, the scope of this album should win him many new fans. It is on the Code Blue label and currently available only in Europe, with plans to be released in the US early next year. Tend The Fire can currently be purchased as an import from European based music stores for around $20 plus shipping.