They Call Me Rico is a solo effort from Madcaps’ lead vocalist, Frédéric Pellerin, aka : Rico. With the Madcaps, Pellerin toured Canada no less than 10 times and also managed to spread the band’s wings overseas to France on many occasions as well.
For his first foray into solo waters, Pellerin brings his love of folk and blues music to the forefront, resulting in a raw yet completely infectious album. Pellerin unleashes a wide assortment of blues-tinged cover songs for his self-titled solo debut including covers of Bob Dylan, Keb Mo, Elvis Presley alongside three equally impressive original tracks.
To maintain the authenticity of the material, Pellerin employed only a guitar, amp and a drum kit to make his record, doing nothing in the way of overdubs or studio trickery while making the record. What you hear is exactly what went down.
Pellerin recently took the time to chat with The MusicNerd Chronicles about this solo debut and how blues music shaped him early in his life.
How did you go about selecting the diverse range of covers featured on your album?
Pellerin: This is the music that I love. The first criteria was to choose songs that I absolutely loved. I wasn’t choosing songs to please others; I wanted to play what I was listening to as a teen. The album is a sort of tribute to all the artists and the songs that I love.
How did the blues get to be such a huge influence on your work?
Pellerin: As a teen, I listened to a lot of the Rolling Stones and they are probably who I would credit for turning me onto all these great blues artists. It was thanks to them that I started looking at the artists who influenced their work. Growing up though, I never realized that everyone wasn’t listening to the blues. I totally thought this is what everyone listened to.
What is it about blues music that resonates with you so deeply?
Pellerin: The honesty and authenticity in the music really appeals to me and that is what I really wanted to capture with this record. I wanted to get back to the roots of blues music so everything was basically recorded live to tape with no pitch correction and no overdubs. I couldn’t see having made this record any other way.