Ricochet wows crowd

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A couple hundred local community members were treated to a performance by "the hardest working band in country music" on Saturday night. The award-winning group Ricochet performed at Gizmo's Event Center in Wheaton.

"We play everywhere in the country," said bass guitarist Greg Cook. "We are from south of Tulsa, Okla., so we have some great friends in this part of the world.

"We hope those who attend the concert have fun," said Cook. "We do a lot of shows, and we decided a long time ago that people can stay at home and put our CD on. We want to give them something to look at, and we really like to play off of the crowd."

Band offers more than country music Democrat Photo Country music group Ricochet entertained community members at Gizmo's Event Center in Wheaton on July 25. In the photo above, drummer Troy Nelson performs an AC/DC song during an "American Idol" inspired singing competition. Guitarist Kenny Lewis, bass guitarist Greg Cook and lead singer Heath Wright can be seen in the background of the photo. The band also includes Dwayne Dupuy, who contributes vocals and plays the keyboards, trumpet and drums.

Ricochet's new CD, "Ricochet Reloaded," features many of the band's biggest hits, including "Daddy's Money," and some new songs like the band's current single, "Feel Like Fallin'."

"The purpose of the tour is to promote our new album," said Cook. "We have re-recorded our biggest hits on the new album and also have six new songs."

The band members hope to share "Ricochet Reloaded" with dozens of music fans as they perform in large and small venues across the United States. The band also offers music samples on its website, which is ricochetonline.com.

"We want to share our music with as many people as we can," said Cook. "We all have the same goal, to do what it takes to be successful and keep making music."

Much of the band's success has come through its inspiring original songs, including "That's Love," which was named the number one Christian country song by Power Source magazine in April of 2005.

"We write a lot of our music just hanging out on the bus," said drummer Troy Nelson. "Heath (Wright, lead vocals and guitar) usually leads the strumming, we bring things together and it usually works out."

Many of the band's songs have been inspired by life experiences and struggles that they have watched their friends and family face.

"We are all just trying to say 'I love you' in a different way," said Cook. "A lot of things have been said, so you have to find a new way to say them. When we're writing a song we just get together and start spitting out words till it works."

In addition to other country music singers, the band has been inspired by musicians and groups like Ray Charles, AC/DC and Billy Joel.

"Each of us have a different personality and a different role within the band," said Cook, "but none of us are afraid to laugh at each other. When we get on stage we are just regular guys having the time of their lives."

"We can't wait to get out there every night and play music," said Wright. "It sounds like a cliche but it's true."

In addition to Cook, Nelson and Wright, Ricochet includes Dwayne Dupuy, vocals and keyboards, and Kenny Lewis, guitar.

Ricochet has received the

Top New Vocal Group Award from the Academy of Country Music, the Top New Country Artist Award from Billboard magazine and the Favorite New Group or Duo Award from Country Weekly.

The band has also received a Top Vocal Group nomination from the Academy of Country Music and been named a Vocal Group of the Year finalist by the Country Music Association.

Ricochet is the only country group that has ever charted the national anthem. The band reserves a spot in each live performance to perform "The Star-Spangled Banner," which is always dedicated to the military veterans in the audience.

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