Rick Wicker's bio tells the story of a veteran singer-songwriter who refuses to give up on his passion for music; a sense of purpose that has formed his entire life. Not surprisingly, the title of his CD, "Skeptical Optimism," reflects a wary caution that just may relate to where his music is intended or is hoped, to take him, knowing all the while that what really matters is the journey itself. And this particular journey is by no means unrewarding. Recording at home, Wicker, a gifted guitarist and a singer/songwriter of considerable skill, delivers country-rock reminiscent of Loggins & Messina as heard on "Hurrien Nowhere" or Pure Prairie League heard on "Youniverse," and stretches out on a hook-laden rocker with muscular guitar proficiency on "Hell's Gate." The last of the 4 tracks, "Space Age Kids" blends Byrds-like folk-rock and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young harmonies to perfection, investing the song with the kind of classic but timeless, urgency that continues to make rock and its variant styles both satisfying and vital. Above all, Rick Wicker's "Skeptical Optimism" is an original and compelling work that recalls '70's country-rock influences without copying them and it's an excellent 4-song release that deserves no less than out and out optimism.
-Rice B. and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team
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