Rick Kusters

Guitar, dobro, backing vocals and songwriter.

Rick was born and raised in Rotterdam and started playing guitar at the age of 16 on an old guitar bought at a flea market. He taught himself to play using a record player and music books from the library that contained chords and lyrics.

Later in the clubhouse Kameleon he met other guitarists with whom he exchanged licks, riffs and tricks. The first band he played in was the cover band Van Lotje. Each time he had to borrow an electric guitar because he didn’t have one himself.

His second band in which he played and where he also took care of the vocals was The Style. They played a combination of covers and songs that Rick had written. Then he played in cover bands such as ZorgEnHoop, Trekdrop, Crazy Company and the BCO band.

Due to a busy job, family and camping life on weekends and holidays, Rick stopped playing together in 1991. Occasionally he still played during jam sessions, open mics or solo at a small festival.

It wasn’t until 2007 that he picked up the thread again with his own band Deli Juice. They played Rick’s own songs, with an occasional cover in the set list. They played in music bars and festivals all over the country. Around 2018, Deli Juice stopped.

Rick also knew American singer-songwriter Jim Hundley from that period. Jim invited Rick to Texas. This was a great musical adventure, where he met many musicians, played on record sessions, attended gigs and played along. It was also a great adventure, as he was taken on a road trip through Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah.

After his return Rick had gained a lot of inspiration and had written new songs, which he wanted to record together with some previously written songs. He had gained a lot of inspiration from the earlier songs during his work for the local government of Rotterdam. A lot of social context is reflected in his lyrics. In particular the period 2002 was a significant time in that respect. His voice had deteriorated a bit over time and he wanted good singers to perform his songs.

That is why he approached Izzy Power, he knew him from the Rotterdam music scene. He also approached Angelique Ramkhewan. He had played with her in the cover band Crazy Company. He also approached Jeffrey Bax who he knew from other bands and with whom he played on jam sessions in the past.

They started recording at the beginning of 2020. They did this in-house, with Rick and Jeffrey mixing, mastering and producing the songs for the album. The recording of 20 songs took quite a long time, because everyone also has a day job. But, especially, because of the justified measures taken in response to the Corona pandemic.

In the end, 15 songs for the first CD were mixed and mastered in September 2021. Rick is looking forward to the CD being published in 2023. Along with the rest of Portland Rider, he now focuses on playing the varied set list.

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