Rick Flanagan | Memphis Nights

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Urban/R&B: Memphis Soul Jazz: Smooth Jazz Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Memphis Nights

by Rick Flanagan

This CD features saxophone interpretations of classic Memphis R'n'B hits, backed by a stellar ensemble of Memphis musicians and a fine horn section.
Genre: Urban/R&B: Memphis Soul
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Take Me To The River
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5:51 album only
2. Let\'s Stay Together
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4:08 album only
3. 634-5789
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3:52 album only
4. The Dock Of The Bay
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4:21 album only
5. Knock On Wood
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4:21 album only
6. I\'ve Been Loving You Too Long
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4:05 album only
7. Soul Man
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4:31 album only


Album Notes
“Rick, I love your CD...sounds wonderful and you’re spectacular! I hope we get a gig together soon.
Wayne Jackson, The Memphis Horns
Nashville, TN
Wayne appears on over 300 gold and platnuim records, over a dozen Grammy Awards and an Academy Award. He also can be heard on the James Bond theme song with Alecia Keyes.

"Somewhat ironic, if you want to buy just one CD to get yourself familiar with the sounds of Memphis, you have to get "Memphis Nights", by Canadian sax-player Rick Flanagan."
Jeroen Schouten; Internet Radio Host
Memphis, TN

"Yes! Really great, funky and soulful. There's an intensity to your sound, the kind of thing I often strive for. Well done."
Pete Thomas
Saxophonist, film & tv music producer, (Francis Ford Coppola, R.E.M., Elton John, Gary Glitter, Cliff Richards, Kim Wilde, Joe Jackson)

"Sounds great! A classic sound from a classic musician. The feel of the album really pulled me onto another era. It's soothing and at the same time it hops! Very, very cool brother."
Victor Wainwright; Piano player/recording artist
Memphis, TN

"...His sound makes my teeth hurt imagining the abuse his reed went through in his lusty explorations...he knows he's making a record of Memphis tunes, with Memphis players, in Memphis, so pass the grits and liquor and let's get sweaty on Beale Street...solos are generally volcanic variations on the melody..."I've Been Loving You Too Long" is, simply, epic..."
Kherson Amell; Drummer

“I really enjoyed it! It's a really well done production and your playing is extremely soulful.”
Peter Van Huffel
Saxophonist, Berlin, Germany

Kevin Head; Singer/songwriter/recording artist
Seeley's Bay, Ontario, Canada

"Received it, played it, love, love, love it! Thank you so much, Rick. This is my third time playing your CD since I received it this morning, and the third time "I've Been Loving You Too Long" has brought me to tears. Hauntingly beautiful."
Sheila McCallum
Ottawa, Canada

“I was delighted to received your CD a couple of days ago… It has been our dinner listening for the last few nights--it sounds great. Excellent players and a clean, snappy recording. Some solid funk going on too. You obviously have an embarrassment of riches down there in terms of players…”
Grant Heckman, Recording Artist,
St. John, Canada

“Congratulations. Superb artwork. Great band. Warm tenor that exudes a richness that comes only after years of playing and slogging it out. My wife said it was the music she loves. She's from Central Asia, and so your music, and sound, "carries." Wished I could have played on it.”
Clyde Forsberg
Trumpeter, Taiwan

"Sounds Great Rick!!!"
Bill Mecca
Forum Administrator, Saxontheweb

"It's playing right now for the third time on a grey, cold Canadian Sunday morning in February. I am SUPER impressed dude..... it's just so together, so tight that it sounds totally effortless.... and the clarity of the production.. man, you hit it right on the head."
Eugene Rankin/Studio Owner

"Excellent Job Rick - Tell your bass-man he's got the groove too!!!!"
Bb Boy
Saxophonist, UK

“Your playing on this CD is amazing! Your tone sounds golden. The band you have is funkiliscious! I really enjoy the groove they lay down. All in all, I LOVE IT!”
Ilena Culleton, Saxophonist

“The arrangements are razor sharp and your performances are inspired. I especially liked your “classic” selections. Chapeau to you Rick for creating such a slick and harmonious work of art.”
Bob Renaud
Montreal, Canada

"Rick Flanagan has chops."
Sam Hopkins
Jazz Singer, New York
“Great project man. Wish I could have played with you.”
Terry Saffold, Drummer
Memphis, TN

“Rick, I listened to your CD last night. You sound great! Nice arrangements, the most Rick-ish of solos, and I think I'm in love with your drummer.”
Zoe Robertson, Saxophonist
Montreal, Canada

"I just got the new CD yesterday, thank you so much. I listened to all the tracks and The Dock of the Bay is my favorite."
Matt Penrod

“Got your CD...Nice! I've listened to it every day all week. It's the soundtrack to my life. You must be proud. Congrats! I loved the choice of music- all Memphis classics, and so danceable. I love reading liner notes, and yours were great. And very cool cover art!”
Louise Cassidy,
Kingston, Canada

“So far I've listened to it 4-5 times and really love it. If I had to pick a favourite I would probably say "I've Been Loving You Too Long" but I the whole CD is just fantastic. My favourite recordings are those that capture a mood and keep you there for the length of the recording. Your CD absolutely does that and takes the listener away for the entire length of it.”
Brett McCallum
Toronto, Canada


Back in the 60’s and 70’s, recording studios in Memphis, Tennessee produced a string of Top Ten hits, and this CD pays tribute to those Classics. You’ll hear music originally written or performed by the likes of Al Green, Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding and others, genuine godfathers of Soul and R’n’B music.

In early 2006, shortly after moving to Memphis from his native country of Canada, 50 winters was enough, Rick Flanagan was driving home late one night and listening to a local radio station when heard an instrumental version of Al Green’s hit, “Let’s Stay Together.” Intrigued, Rick started thinking about the idea of recording his first solo CD with instrumental versions of classic Memphis hits, songs he’d grown up listening to and eventually performed in cover bands for years back in Canada.

That germ of an idea eventually resulted in the recording of “Memphis Nights” in 2008.

Listeners will find that the arrangements of these classic Memphis hits are unique. Rather than simply recreate the songs exactly as they were recorded many years ago, Rick wanted to put a fresh face on them. He did this with great players playing a fresh, new set of arrangements.

Those intimately familiar with the original versions will find that many of the standard or signature musical riffs associated with the songs were eliminated, and new ones were written by Rick. He also took liberty with several chords, either changing the voicing of them or using different ones altogether. Most of the rhythms are also a departure from the original recordings.

Rick's sax playing can be described as aggressive. Having been a cover band musician for decades, you'll hear his roots in Rock music, Pop, R'n'B, and Jazz; but everything he plays is always soulful.



Rick Flanagan is a well-known sax player from Canada who moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 2006. Since his arrival in Memphis he has held house gigs on Beale Street at King's Palace, The Rum Boogie Cafe, and at BB King's nightclub.

Over the last 30 years he has played in popular bands and has toured Canada, USA and Europe. Additionally, he toured Bosnia and Croatia, performing for Canadian peacekeepers, a dream come true for Rick.

Most of his work has been in Pop and R’n’B, most notably his 7 years with the fine Canadian pop band, Soul Survivors, where Rick had a chance to write many horn charts, band arrangements, and be executive producer of a fine promotional CD.

As much as Rick is known for Pop and R'n'B, some of his best live instrumental performance work has been in the blues. His participation for 8 years in Blue Monday, a popular blues band in Canada, helped Rick develop a love and respect for the blues and a personal sound for the genre. Rick was the executive producer of both Blue Monday CD’s.

Whether playing Tenor or Alto, or both simultaneously, Rick’s no nonsense approach to soloing delivers what the audiences want to hear, the truth without tricks or frills.



“This guy knows his way around the instrument and can hold his own with the best of them.” 1996 DAN AKROYD

"I was pleased to play with a Canadian sax player with so much soul." 2006 WAYNE JACKSON, The Memphis Horns.

“When I first heard you I thought you were Gordon Beadle. When I saw it was you, and not him I was shocked and I had to meet you. Who are you and why are you in this small town? This guy kicked my ass!” 1999 JOHN HAMMOND.

“I’ve seen dozens of cats try it but you’re the first player I’ve seen who can actually play 2 saxes at once and make it work. Very musical indeed!” 2000 SAX GORDON BEADLE. Rounder Recording Artist, Duke Robillard’s sax player, Roomfull of Blues Horn Section.

"I dig your playing man. You sound great up there." 2006 SKIP MESQUITE, sax player & co-founder of Tower of Power.

“You’re a very talented player.” 2002 OTIS GRAND, UK Blues Guitarist of the Year (1990 – 1996); Nominee for the prestigious W.C. Handy Blues Award.

“You can call me anytime to play on your CD son. I like the way you play the horn.” 2003 BRYAN LEE.

“Anytime you’re around, you can sit in with me.” 1998 the late HOCK WALSH, Downchild Blues Band, the inspiration for the movie, “The Blues Brothers”.



DAN AKROYD: Singer, harmonica, Academy Award nominee, producer/actor/founder of the band and movie titled, “The Blues Brothers”.

WAYNE JACKSON AND THE MEMPHIS HORNS: Wayne and The Memphis Horns have played and/or recorded with Aretha Franklin, Sting, Elvis Presley, Billy Joel, Otis Redding, Rod Stewart, just to name a few. Wayne appears on over 300 gold and platnuim records, over a dozen Grammy Awards and an Academy Award.

JEFF HEALEY: guitarist, Grammy nominee, performed in the movie “Roadhouse”, international recording star.

T.G. SHEPPARD; Country recording artist with 18 Number 1 hits.

AYNSLEY DUNBAR: drummer, played with Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Frank Zappa, John Lennon, David Bowie, Journey, Sammy Hagar, Jefferson Starship, Whitesnake.

DEACON JONES: Organ. Played with Curtis Mayfield, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Carlos Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Dr. John, Gregg Allman.

BOBBY PURIFY: Singer, Bobby had a smash hit in 1966 with James and Bobby Purify named, "I'm Your Puppet."

OTIS GRAND: guitarist, UK Blues Guitarist of the Year (1990 – 96) Nominee to the prestigious W.C. Handy Blues Award.


to write a review


Memphis Nights
Awesome CD. My favorite song is Let's Stay Together.

Brandon Sherwood

Memphis Nights
I'm really enjoying this CD since I've put it in my car. Really love Dock of the Bay. This rendition is really cool.

Jeroen Schouten

Smoking, just like the BBQ down here!
Somewhat ironic, if you want to buy just one CD to get yourself familiar with the sounds of Memphis, you have to get "Memphis Nights", by Canadian sax-player Rick Flanagan. The man has an amazing style. I am not so sure he really is from Canada. His sax playing smokes like the best BBQ in town.

Surrounding himself with some of the best musicians Memphis has to offer, this CD grooves from start to finish. Like pork gets better with the application of some Memphis style BBQ sauce, the Memphis classics get better with the sax leads and horn arrangements of mister Flanagan.

Absolute highlights (or make that: my personal favorites) on this CD are "Take me to the River" (an Al Green tune) and "Knock on Wood" by Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper. But don't just take my word for it, buy it and hear for yourself what you are missing by not being in Memphis.... RIGHT NOW!

Martin Entwistle

sax-driven classics
some lovely versions of memphis classics, with the sax in the lead chair. very nice arrangements and a great first-time production. The bass is cooking too...top stuff

heather hall

cd cover artist for rick
hey rick...listened to the cd last night with great bunch of people...we loved it...am so happy for you...by the way the cover looks amazing...