Giving Street Cred to the Locals
Rick Potter with Award Nominations and New Album
By: Brittany Hall
“Do or do not; there is no try.” Yoda said these profound words in the Star Wars series and ironically, it has proven to be true. So, what does it mean exactly? It means to try, to try again even when you fail, try again, work hard, fail and succeed. Work hard long enough and your efforts will be rewarded. That is the case with local country/bluegrass musician Rick Potter who has been nominated for several Appalachian Arts and Entertainment Awards. “I feel it gives us a little street credit to the local area. Plus, it gets our name out to other cities and states that have never heard of us. It’s very important.” Potter adamantly spoke.
Potter humbly said that he was very surprised that he had been nominated at all. “There are so many talented local artists that should be on that list. I’m so glad that people thought enough about my songs to nominate me.” When asked what the future may hold if he wins, or even after the nominations, Potter said “I’m not looking for this to change anything for me. My only goal is to write songs and support other singer/songwriters. If it takes me to places to hear or play on stage with other great musicians, then I consider myself successful.”
No matter the career, passion, or hobby we may have, someone had to be an influence to ignite that fire within us. We all have a role model in our lives that we look to guide us and mentor us. This such person for Potter was his dad, Richard Potter who last played with the River Cities Band. “He played in every animal bar in the tri-state area. I’ve never considered myself as talented as him, but people have said I’m like him in the way I treat and support other musicians. My dad was always helpful to many local musicians back in the day. If I’m thought of in that way, instead of my music, then I’m good with that. My dad would be proud.” Family and music go hand in hand in many genres, especially with small town, local artists. There is a sense of pride that goes along with carrying on a family tradition that comes with a melody.
Potter, who was the host of Callihan’s Acoustic Jam Session for 10 years, always encouraged artists to write their own music. He gave this advice, “It’s one thing to perform covers really well, but it’s another to write an incredible song and capture someone’s attention when you play it. Be professional and be yourself.” Everyone can agree with those words, because we’ve all been in a situation where a song has captured our heart and we remember that artist because of it. Even Potter was given advice that stayed with him. “Don’t suck. In other words, don’t fake it. Be original, be professional, and show people you’re having a good time. Don’t suck.” A trail blazer, in any genre of music, must first be true to themselves, their craft, and their audience.
Want to hear music from Rick Potter? He has videos on Facebook, and most importantly a brand new album set to release on all streaming services on February 10. Excited about the new album, Potter invitingly stated “I’m having an album release party on February 11 at 8p.m. at Riverbend Pub and Grill in Vanceburg, KY. It’s very small, but a great place to listen to live music. The people there love this growing independent music scene.”