Rickey Godfrey’s new CD, “Nasty Man.”
By Brian M. Howle
There needs to be an admission on my part right up front – I’m a very fortunate man in so many ways, and I honestly do try to keep them in perspective. With the love of music as my guiding light, it has offered more rewards than I ever dreamed possible – but not just in personal satisfaction or achievements. Because, you see, I’m not the smartest guy in the world – but I am smart enough to know how many incredibly talented folks there are in this field, all of whom are light years ahead of me in terms of ability. But it’s the ones who have taken what most of us consider the drawbacks, the bad hands and the tough breaks of life – and never flinched in going forward and living life to its fullest – who are my true heroes.
And so, my own humbling received a fresh coat this week when I had the great privilege of interviewing blues/jazz/rock musician and vocalist extraordinaire, Rickey Godfrey, via the telephone as he prepared for a gig in Greenville, S.C.
By the way, Rickey can play guitar, piano, synth keyboards, and about anything he puts his mind to, as well as writing, arranging, producing, editing, recording – all with a laugh and a smile … well, you get the picture. Oh yeah, and not that it matters – but he’s also blind.
Howle: Hey, Rickey – where are you right now, and how’s everything going?
Godfrey: Well, I’m in the Greenville area, visiting my mom and family before I go out and play tonight. This is where I was born, and I have a big fan base here, so it works out great that I’m able to come back and play a lot around here.
Howle: So where do you base from now, and how many days a year are you on the road?
Godfrey: Well, I live in Nashville now. But quite often what I’ll do is leave on Wednesday evening or Thursday and come to the Carolinas to work. I’ve been doing a lot of that here lately; for the last two years or so, I’ve been doing a lot of solo gigs around Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson in the upper Carolinas – sometimes Charlotte, and occasionally Columbia – and every now and then in the Myrtle Beach area, particularly North Myrtle Beach and Wilmington. That’s been my main playing area for the last couple of years, but hopefully that’s getting ready to change.
Howle: Hmmm … well, that pretty much begs the question: What are you hoping to change?
Godfrey: Well, I’d like to get into a situation where I can get another band together and start playing the midwest area, generally no more than 4 or 5 hours out of Nashville. And that’s great because Nashville is centrally located; there’s a lot of large cities around Nashville. For instance, Chicago’s only 7-1/2 hours from there; Louisville, Birmingham, Memphis and Knoxville are only 3 hours out; Atlanta’s 4-1/2 hours out; Cincinatti’s 5 hours out; and St. Louis is like, 6 hours out. So in terms of working a really big area without having to cover more than 5 to 6 hours, Nashville’s in a pretty good location.
Howle: (Laughing) Well, if it’s good enough for FedEx, I’m sure it’s good enough for you!
Godfrey: Well, I imagine (laughs) .. yeah!