Rick McKay has been passionate about music since before he could walk or talk. His favourite household item as a toddler was his Mum and Dad’s radiogram, on which he would spend hours listening to the likes of Guy Mitchell, Johnny Cash, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and Marty Robbins. One day he heard Elvis Presley’s voice on the radio and from then on he knew that music was where his future lay. Hungering for more of the sounds he loved Rick soon discovered a wealth of other artists, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Duane Eddy, Jackie Wilson, Del Shannon and his all time favourite, Roy Orbison.
At the age of 9 he bought his first guitar with money saved from chores and a loan from his uncle. It didn’t take him long to get going and soon he was playing along with many of his favourite songs for many hours at a time. His first live appearance was aged just 11 at a school concert, and by 15 he’d joined a semi-professional band playing gigs after school and on weekends. It wasn’t until he formed his own band aged 17 that he began taking on the roll of lead vocalist.
In 1987 Rick was picked for the role of Elvis Presley in the theatre production of “Forever Elvis” where he stayed for the next few years, working solo acoustic gigs in between. 1989 saw the show become the first ever rock musical to tour in Russia.
The first time he saw and heard Rodney Crowell and Garth Brooks Rick was inspired to fly to Nashville and try his luck, which he did in April 1994. Rick was signed by GMC Records in Nashville on only his second day in town and released two albums in the US. He also spent time recording with legendary drummer and producer, Ritchie Albright, who was also an original member of Waylon Jennings’ band The Waylors. On his return to the UK Rick became involved in a number of projects which ran simultaneously over the next few years. He continued to work as a solo act, as well as with his own band and his Garth Brooks tribute show, “The Thunder Rolls”.
Soon afterward Rick co-formed a duo, Pure Country, with his wife Jodie Mitchell. The duo became very popular until Rick was forced to stop touring due to a developing throat problem. On October 18th 2010 Rick had an operation to remove scar tissue from a cyst on one side of his vocal chords.
In 2011 Rick resumed touring with his rockabilly trio Hot Doggin' with whom he had released his most recent album "Back On The Road". The album contained 6 of Rick's original tunes and sparked a renewed enthusiasm for songwriting which continues to this day. Hot Doggin' is no more, but Rick is still playing plenty of gigs. He is back touring with country duo, “Pure Country”, playing lead guitar with 8 piece rhythm and blues band “Laura B & The Moonlighters” and he has also re-launched his Garth Brooks tribute show as a solo venture.
Something new to Rick is his job as the new front-man with psychobilly legends “The Wigsville Spliffs”. When asked if he'd be interested in playing with The Spliffs Rick was unsure as he was unfamiliar with the "psychobilly" scene and had no idea what to expect. When asked recently he said, "It's very different in every way from what I've done before, but I'm loving it".
Rick is currently very busy in the recording studio working on a number of recording projects. Albums from Pure Country, The Wigsville Spliffs and Laura B & The Moonlighters are all at varying stages of production. He is also working hard to complete a new album of original songs, with a cover or two...maybe. He will also be playing most of the instruments himself, with the help of a few guest players. It will be the first fully solo album from Rick since 1989's "Beggars Can Be Choosy".