RICKY WARWICK – County Downtime

By Carl Begai

Black Star Riders frontman Ricky Warwick will tell you he’s made the most of the downtime shoved down our collective throats by the ongoing pandemic. Having spent a huge portion of his life on the road going back to his days with The Almighty, if he wasn’t busy writing and recording new music, Warwick could be found on a tour bus or on stage somewhere in the world. Instead of going out to promote the latest Black Star Riders record, Another State Of Grace, Warwick has been forced to satisfy himself and the fans with Instagram livestream shows, writing new music, and promoting his latest solo album, When Life Was Hard And Fast. It’s been a long time coming, what with When Patsy Cline Was Crazy (And Guy Mitchell Sang The Blues having been released in 2014 followed by a cover album, Stairwell Troubadour, in 2015. The new album is not, however, the result of COVID-19 keeping him locked up. It was finished a good year-and-a-half before the official release, all according to plan. 

“I’ve been looking at it positively,” Warwick says of the pandemic forcing him to stay put. “I have my daughters and I’ve spent so much time away from them over the years – pretty much their whole lives – so to be at home for a year has been lovely. It’s been amazing to just be home every day; I’ve really enjoyed that. But, it’s been a year and I live for playing live, going on tour is what I do. It’s my job and I’m certainly ready to get back out there, but it hasn’t been the worst year of my life. My family doesn’t seem to be sick of me which is a good thing (laughs).”

“The solo albums are very much dictated by Black Star Riders and getting involved with Thin Lizzy right after Belfast Confetti (2009),” he continues. “And what a great problem to have. I’ve been sitting on a lot of these songs for quite a while and really just waiting for a worldwide pandemic to come along to give me time to put them out there (laughs). I’m always writing so I’ve always got a wealth of ideas on the go, and when I got together with Keith Nelson we actually started demoing this new stuff in 2018. The album was actually recorded in April 2019, so it was in the can before this pandemic started. We were supposed to be touring last year to promote the new Black Star Riders album, but this solo album was always slated to come out in February 2021. We just stuck to the plan.”

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