Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The 2013 Labatt Canal Concert Season is set to wrap up with a longtime favorite, Rik Emmett, former lead singer and guitarist of the Canadian power trio Triumph, known for hits like “Magic Power,” “Hold On” and “Lay it On The Line.”
Emmett’s show at the series scheduled last year was canceled because of a conflict with a previously scheduled show at the Seneca Niagara Casino. This is Rik’s fourth appearance at the series; he performed in North Tonawanda in 2004 and 2007 and in Lockport in 2010. As far as I can tell, he is the only act to appear four times.
Rik Emmett performed with Triumph from 1975 through 1988, recording nine studio albums eight of which went Gold or better in Canada, three went Gold in the U.S and their largest selling album “Allied Forces” was certified Platinum in the U.S.
The band split in 1988 shortly after the release of “Surveillance.” They reformed in 1993 with guitarist Phil X who is currently touring with Bon Jovi as Richie Sambora’s replacement. In 2008 they reformed with Emmett and played two shows right after the band was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
The Triumph shows in 2008 were the perfect combination of Emmett’s past and present as they featured old Triumph band mates Gil Moore and Mike Levine in addition to current Rik Emmett touring guitarist and major collaborator Dave Dunlop. The Triumph Reunion at the Sweden Rock Festival is available commercially.
While Triumph records featured a glimpse of the range of styles Rik Emmett was capable of playing, Emmett’s solo career has been an incredible musical journey that has featured classical, flamenco, rock, blues, and smooth jazz guitar along with some great singer-songwriter material. His latest musical offering, “Marco’s Secret Songbook” is an epic work that culminates much of his solo work (we discuss the album in this month’s Q and A feature).
Also on the bill, DDrive, a regional supergroup featuring Phil Naro and Don Mancuso. Naro is best known as the former vocalist for Buffalo’s legendary hard rock outfit Talas. Mancuso is the former guitarist for the Rochester bands Black Sheep and Cheater. Mancuso also has two other distinctions, he was in Lou Gramm’s band when they headlined at the first ever Lockport concert, and he was my guitar instructor for a short period (even Don can’t work miracles, I’m still a hack on guitar!).
Rochester based Violet Mary will be onstage before DDrive. The band just released “What Happens After the Plunge,” and has been featured on a Rochester television devoted to local artists. They feature a great female lead vocalist, Mel Muscarella, and have a great rock sound.
Getting the evening started is a local band Dark Eyes 55. When I say local, I mean local, these guys are from right here in Lockport and won the opening slot in a contest run by Caronia Media Group, a local media company run by yours truly that handles media relations for the series. I am not that familiar with the band yet but I like what I hear on Reverb Nation and I am really happy a Lockport band gets to share the stage with Rik Emmett. Get to the venue early and support local bands that play original music!2013 Labatt Canal Concert Series FRIDAY: Rik Emmett with DDrive and Dark Eyes 55. AUG. 23: TBA -- Makeup show for June 28 cancellation All shows start at 6 p.m., rain or shine