Family entertainer Rick Scott and his dulcimer will perform Jan. 4

Entertainment fit for the whole family

Rick Scott to perform on Jan. 4 at Coast Capital Playhouse in White Rock

Is there a big difference between playing to children and playing to adults?

Family entertainer Rick Scott (winner of the 2013 West Coast Music Award for Children’s Recording of the Year) doesn’t think so.

“The biggest difference,” said Scott – who will be presented in concert by Peninsula Productions Friday, Jan. 4, 3 p.m. at Coast Capital Playhouse, 1532 Johnston Rd. – “is that kids don’t want so much to be entertained as they want to do it; they want to be part of it.”

That’s why Scott – a past-master at measuring crowds and thinking on his feet, 50 years after first becoming a professional entertainer at the tender age of 15 – says he likes to get kids working with him interactively about a minute after he hits the stage.

“It’s like ‘we’ve got some serious fun to do here – let’s get going,’” he said.

And even though he knows that part of his White Rock audience will be adults – more likely to sit back and want to be entertained – the singer/dulcimer player isn’t worried about losing them along the way.

“I find the parents and other adults fold into the batter pretty easily, actually,” he said. “They’re aware of the music I write, and they know I try to write songs that will interest them too – I don’t tend to write a lot about rainbow-coloured lollipop dinosaurs.”

He’s not about to underestimate the young audience either, he says.

“Kids are so sharp and so sophisticated, and they like the kind of subject matter I choose. For instance, I do a piece about Mozart that’s a rap piece – it’s called Yo, Mo. They like it and adults enjoy it, too.”

Ever since his days with legendary ’70s Vancouver folk acts Pied Pumkin and Pied Pear, the Texas and New York state-raised Scott has been known for combining poignant commentary with a wacky generation-spanning sense of humour.

“In my childhood, I was fascinated by people like Danny Kaye and Sid Caesar – I watched them for hours and hours. They were masters of dry comedy, sometimes over-the-top, sometimes subtle. And Flanders and Swan, too – they were insane. I still find myself singing things like I’m A Gnu.”

Entertaining came very naturally to him, he acknowledges.

“I think I’ve been very fortunate. I pretty much knew what I wanted to do when I was about six years old. It was a case where I really couldn’t do anything else.

“Dad took me to Broadway to see Mary Martin in Peter Pan, and that was it. I was six and Peter Pan was giving me my marching orders.”

After an early career as a rock ‘n’ roller under the spell of Elvis and The Beatles, Scott found himself in the U.S. Army playing bass in an R&B band led by his sergeant, a Wilson Pickett fan.

Then he came to Vancouver at the advice of an army buddy – and formed the alternative folk string trio, Pied Pumkin, with Joe Scott and Shari Ulrich (they continue to play together whenever they can, although Joe Mock now lives in France and they each have busy solo careers).

He explains the dulcimer he plays is one of two types of instruments with that name.

“One that a lot of people think of is a kind of trapezoid box with strings that you play by hitting them with hammers – it’s actually a ‘hammer-dulcimer,’” he said.

His kind is the long-scale folk instrument that’s been part of the American music scene for some 250 years (“a long time in North American terms, but just yesterday in Europe”); eight of which he had hand-built for him along traditional lines by his late friend J.R. Stone, of Boone, N.C.

Scott – who between tours retires to the absolute peace and quiet of tiny Protection Island, near Nanaimo, estimates that over the last 35 years has played more than a thousand concerts, festival appearances and school shows in Canada, the U.S, Australia and Southeast Asia.

“Not too long ago, I was hitting the road hard,” he said. “Now I’m taking it easy a little bit and just doing the shows I really want to do.”

In that context he’s looking forward to playing for a White Rock audience again, he said.

“The last time I came through there was with Pied Pumkin,” he said. “It’ll be a great way to start the year.”

Tickets ($10) are available from the box office (604-536-7535) or online from www.peninsulaproductions.org

 

Just Posted

Accused Surrey transit cop shooter’s bail hearing set for April

Daon Gordon Glasgow, 35, is accused of shooting Transit Police Constable Josh Harms, 27

House fire in South Surrey

Emergency crews seen racing towards 160 Street and 28 Avenue

White Rock’s Cliff Annable ‘lived a life that mattered’

Hundreds gather to remember affable 71-year-old

FOCUS: New arena, more ice in Surrey – but will it be enough for everyone?

With both rinks to close at North Surrey rec, the result is a net gain of one ice sheet this fall

Pair of men charged in three robberies in Surrey, Delta

Charged are Karmal Singh Grewal, 26, of Vancouver and Gursimran Sahota, 21, of Surrey

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Chilliwack grad says modest dress codes don’t protect girls from assault

Sardis alumni was ‘catcalled, harassed, and groped by my male classmates’ despite modest clothing

Most Read

l -->