Talented guitarist, singer, teacher, and writer Rik Emmett is celebrating his birthday today !!
(Photo: Rik Emmett - IMDb)
Some of you may not know him so we have prepared a playlist of songs & instrumentals that illustrate his tremendous talent, both in singing and playing the guitar, so feel free to skip to the end of the review and already click on the link.
As a guitarist, there is hardly a genre that Rik Emmett has not touched. Hard rock, heavy metal, progressive, classical, Spanish, flamenco, jazz, blues, bluegrass, world music, and more.
Although he comes from a hard rock background and is known mainly for his membership in the Canadian power trio "Triumph", he has an extensive and varied solo career, in which he collaborated with artists from all shades of the musical spectrum and during which released 13 studio albums.
As a singer, he has a unique voice with a very wide range that reaches very high octaves and sometimes caused a comparison to singer Geddy Lee from the band "Rush", in particular, that the two singers played in a Canadian trio originating in Toronto.
He was born in Toronto Canada on July 10, 1953, as Richard Gordon Emmett.
In his youth, he listened to bands like "Yes", "King Crimson", "Gentle Giant", and also to artists like James Taylor and Paul Simon.
One of his first bands was "ACT III" with which he played in clubs in Toronto in the early 1970s.
He joined "Triumph" in 1975. His first paid performance with the band was held in September 1975 at "Simcoe" High School.
He changed his first name from Rick to Rick following a record company mistake on Triumph's first album. Rik just did not want to return all the albums to fix the error and on the other hand, also did not want the fans to be confused, so he changed his name accordingly to the mistake.
Emmett brought to "Triumph" classical influences and progressive fire greatly diversified the materials that the band played in its early days.
The band's first album, initially called "Triumph" and later renamed "In the Beginning", was released in 1976.
The band's recognition and appreciation came as early as their second album "Rock & Roll Machine", released in 1977.
Rik Emmett has since released 7 more studio albums with "Triumph" by 1987.
Along with Triumph, Emmett has won four Canadian Juno Awards (the Grammy equivalent) for Band of the Year.
In 1988 he embarked on his solo career, which he touched on as noted in almost every musical style.
In 2005 he won the Smooth Jazz Award for Guitarist of the Year.
In 2007 he entered the Canadian Rock Hall of Fame with "Triumph".
Beyond being a guitarist, singer, and a writer, Rik Emmett is also a music teacher at "Humber College" in Toronto.
In addition, he has written articles for "Guitar Player" magazine and illustrated cartoons on music for Hit Parader magazine.
In 2016 he released an album together with his band "RESolution9". The album called "RES9" produces a mini-union with two members of his band "Triumph", and also hosts Alex Lifeson from "Rush" and James LaBrie from "Dream Theater".
In 2019, Rick teamed up with members of his band "Triumph" for one show held in front of the band's close associates and fans. This show and the story of the band are the subjects of the documentary movie "Rock & Roll Machine" released in 2021.
Listen to a playlist we have compiled for you, that partially represents Rik Emmett's amazing abilities: Here.