Dick Deluxe Bio

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Hi I’m Dick Deluxe and I’m a American “songster” a throwback to an earlier era when musicians plying my craft weren’t limited by genre.  Ala one of my mentors and heroes (whom I met when I rode my Honda 250 to Navasota, Texas at 18 to see if I could find him) Mance Lipscomb, I play a great variety of mostly American music.

Like Mance, I view the trade as a functional as well as artistic endeavor and I take great pride in entertaining my audiences with material that fits the needs of the moment,  I write a great many songs and also interpret a large body of material.

When I met Mance he told me he felt it his duty to play the music his community wanted and thus he played blues, country, shoddishes, waltzes, hornpipes, worksongs, gospel, marches and whatever else might have crossed his fertile mind.

That meeting more or less corresponded to the beginnings of my now 40 plus years and counting adventure in music.

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I have at various times:

taken guitar lessons from Jim Mings and puzzled over George Benson licks with “Little” Stevie Vaughn in Austin in the mid 70’s

wandered into the early punk scene in SF in 1977 and had some marvelous adventures with Clubfoot Orchestra, Snakefinger , the residents and many more.

played countless zydeco and Cajun gigs with the Sundogs, Tom Rigney, Al Rapone and Queen Ida

backed blues icons including Lowell Fulsom, Percy Mayfield, Willie Pooch,  Christine Kittrell, Cleanhead Vinson, Birdlegg, and many more.  Since Robert Lockwood Jr told me I swing and had the right feeling for the blues in the mid 90’s I’ve never again been nervous or self conscious while playing.

in the ridiculous category I’ve backed Ed Asner, race car driver Bobby Unser, filled in for Paul Revere and the Raiders, backed up the Coasters (sans band-truly weird evening!) , did a county fair with the Hagar Twins (weird?…boy howdy!)

I’ve been tipped by Richard Gere and Bill Murray,  stared down by a hostile Robert Blake, given a vocal lesson to Mamie van Doren (and worked on her web site…it’s a hoot!)  helped Fenton Robinson with his music theory homework and played Tutti Fruitti with Pat Boone.

To paraphrase the Dead it’s been a long, strange trip.

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I played steadily from the mid 70’s til 1989 when I took a decade plus off to rear my child and work in the “real” world.  I was fortunate to ride the Microsoft comet and eventually start my own company doing innovative web work in the early days of “backward compatibility”‘,  slow modems and buggy operating systems.

When I began to make my musical “comeback” some 8 years ago, I decided my time as a sideman to others was at end and it was my turn to do my thing.  I reintro’d myself to the listening audiences with “Don’t Borax the Borax Man”-my first collection of all original songs on which I wrote, sang and played a lot of guitar-my colleagues were all heroes of mine then and now-Mac Cridlin (Elvin Bishop, Stephen Bishop, Tony Willliams, Bill Kirchen)  on bass, Fuzzy Oxendine (Rhythm Dukes, Jerry Miller, Rocky Erikson) on drums, TJ Politzer  (Sundogs, Kidd Afrika, Bo Diddly) on guitar vox and co-producing and special guests Sean Carney (future IBC champion and international headliner today) and Steve Mackay (the Stooges, Violent Femmes, Andre Williams).

I then had 7 great years in the Los Angeles area based in Sunset Beach.  I was fortunate to play and record with some amazing musicians including Bill Barrett the harmonica genius, Stephen Hodges (Tom Waits, Mavis Staples, etc) Danny Ott (Dave Alvin, Chris Gaffney) Jeremy Long (Freightshakers, Sam Outlaw) Mike Watt and many others,

I was fortunate to be the musical director for Jonny Whiteside’s Messaround and got to back legends like Troy Walker, Jimmy Angel, Phil Alvin and “did the Clam” backing Sponge Bob voice artist Tom Kenny.

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Since my move to New Orleans in 2013 I’ve continued to play countless gigs.

I do solo gigs (and often on Royal Street busking) , I play bass with the great Mike Darby and Nervous Duane, enjoy doing duos with pal Rod Hodges of the Iguana’s, have filled in many times on acoustic and electric for Gal Holiday’s Honky Tonk Revue, played the blues with Alabama Slim and Lightnin Lee.

I’ve been fortunate to appear on Best of Street New Orleans Vol 1, been the first feature on WWOZ’s busker blog and was the subject of a flattering profile in Offbeat on-line (and in a food column in the print version!)

I was fortunate to be nominated ofr a Best of the Beat blues album of the year award for Turning 61 on Highway 61 in 2017 as well being named one of the 50 best albums of 2017 by Offbeat magazine-the New Orleans “bible” for local music.

I have been somewhat slack in keeping my past discography in print and have several unreleased recordings I hope to issue and to reissue some out of print materials.  I also have tons of mew material I plan to record in coming months.

I’ve lived in Miami, rural North Carolina, the shores of Lake Superior, outside of Houston, in Austin, Denver, SF, Seattle, Los Angeles….and several others spots. I’ve surely driven over a million miles, been an ambulance driver, bicycle messenger, legal assistant. ring boy in pro wrestling, GM in charge of a 4 plus million a month P & L,  founder of a high tech start up, home owner, homeless, Dad, social butterfly and a hermit.

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I recently turned 61 and after a 7 year health crisis I appear to be back in fighting shape and thus am taking another swing at turning my avocation in an actual vocation.  I plan to record, resume traveling and hope to take my music to Europe and other spots on the planet where folks appreciate my type of self expression.

This site is intended to be a window into the world of the contemporary songster and I hope you find something here that amuses,  moves or inspires you. while you are at it feel free to sample music, videos and perhaps make a purchase in the merch shop.

Photo Kim Welsh