Friday, July 10, 2020

Triumph guitarist Rik Emmett reissues solo albums

Triumph guitarist Rik Emmett has just reissued a series of 11 albums from his solo catalogue.

Titles available now in the digital format via Round Hill Records include 1998’s “Ten Invitations” and “Swing Shift”, "Raw Quartet" (1999), 2000’s “Live At Berklee”, 2003’s “Handiwork” and “Good Faith”, “Strung-Out Troubadours” (2006), 2007’s “Live At Hugh’s Room” and “Liberty Manifesto”, “Push & Pull” (2009), and 2012’s “Marco’s Secret Songbook.”

“As my loyal fans will tell you, I’m not the kind of artist who spends a lot of time and energy looking back,” explains Rik. “But it has been nice to feel there’s a partner who places value on the history of my work beyond the Triumph years. I don’t think of myself as a difficult artist: I’d like to think I’m easy-going and cooperative. But I have a lot of decades of experience in the music business, and I know that an eclectic catalogue of music like this presents Round Hill with some, ummm, unique challenges. It’s gratifying to find patronage that can breathe new life and energy into the public’s awareness of the catalogue.

“I’m glad that Round Hill respects the work I did, and the music I made. My heart and soul is in this collection. So I only hope the best for Round Hill, as they try to make the digital universe of the 21st century, with its infinite challenges, aware of a humble troubadour from Canada.”

While fans might typically look for a link between Emmett’s work with Triumph and his solo efforts, the rocker makes the distinction clear.

“There’s no comparison to be made, really: separate universes,” says the guitarist. “The first album of this new Round Hill catalogue dates from 1996. I had already been out of Triumph for over 8 years, and by then, had fully transitioned away from any attempts to make mainstream, charting, music-business kinds of projects. I was simply pursuing personal artistic goals, and I had a loyal group of fans - patrons, really - who would indulge that, making it self-sufficient.

“Many of these albums were about testing my chops, writing and playing instrumental compositions, or exploring styles of music-making that had nothing to do with rock. These albums represent an artistic learning curve of my own digital studio, my own production, my own composing. The hints of prolific eclecticism that a keen Triumph fan might have found back in the 70’s and 80’s is fully in evidence in this catalogue that spans 1998 to 2012.”

As the reissue series gives Emmett and his fans a chance to look back, the guitarist remains active these days with a variety of projects.

“I never stop writing,” he shares. “My notebook has 3 songs on the go, right now. My own website has new downloads out for a collection of 24 tracks entitled ‘Folk Songs For The Farewell Bonfire.’ And I’ve just completed a book of poetry, which I’m currently shopping around. Also, in early stages of development: a memoir / autobiography, and a select compilation of the over-2,000 pages of fan forum blogging I’ve done on my site since it launched a few decades back. Plus, I collaborate on videos for endorsement partners (doin’ some country chicken-pickin’, next week), do a bit of co-writing, and participate in some charity initiatives. So I’m keeping busy, creatively.”

Formed in Mississauga, ON as a four-piece outfit in 1975, it was Emmett’s addition to the lineup a few months later that led to Triumph re-launching as a trio with drummer Gil Moore and bassist Mike Levine. A 1976 self-titled debut album introduced the group before 1977’s follow-up, “Rock & Roll Machine”, began to gain some attention from US radio as the band delivered electrifying live shows complete with extensive light and sound production for the era.

Triumph would go on to release 9 studio albums ahead of Emmett’s departure in 1988; a tenth record, 1992’s “Edge Of Excess”, rounded out the catalogue before the group essentially disbanded the following year.

Triumph were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame in 2008, the same year the original trio reunited for an appearance at the Sweden Rock Festival; they would regroup again for a song on Emmett’s 2016 record, “RES9”, and a 2019 live session for a forthcoming documentary, “Triumph: Lay It On The Line”, as well an induction into Canada’s Walk Of Fame.

See also:

Rock News Story Of The Year No. 8: TRIUMPH
AUDIO: Rik Emmett joined by Rush and Dream Theater members on new song
AUDIO: Rik Emmett streams new album preview
AUDIO: Rik Emmett streams I Sing featuring James LaBrie of Dream Theater
Search Triumph at hennemusic