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Amen Alibi

 Amen Alibi

Their adventurous style of alternative folk rock has caught the attention of audiences worldwide, but to this group out of Freetown, Massachusetts, it's simply about sitting down to play good music together.

There's no denying that the backbone of Amen Alibi is Rick Couture, a song writer of thirty years, who plays acoustic guitar, drums and keys, and sings backup vocals. Rick has been recording for years on his iindie label Ravaka Records. Through the years, he has worked with an impressive array of talented musicians, who've helped him to bring his musical compositions and ideas to audible life. Amen Alibi's live performances pretty much reflect how they like to do things at home- fellow musicians sitting around and playing together, united by a shared love of good music. Amen Alibi's debut album ‘Leap of Faith’ was released on July 4, 2013 and will soon be followed up by ‘Addicted’. Rick has been busy putting together musicians for the first Amen Alibi tour.  Reporter Lauren Thompson was able to catch up with him recently to learn more about what motivates him and his group to create such extraordinary music.

LAUREN: When did you first discover your love of music?
RICK: Well, I remember I was around five when I was using a stuffed teddy bear as a guitar (lol), but my mother has a picture of me younger than that, playing drums with her pots and pans on the floor. I started begging her for drum lessons at eight and I finally got to take them at age ten.

LAUREN: Your song ‘Go Some More’ has been a smash hit on radio for its third straight month.  What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?  
RICK: Just a big smile!

LAUREN: What was the inspiration behind ‘Go Some More’?  Was there a particular life challenge that inspired you to write 'Go Some More'?
RICK: It was actually written as an Irish folk song about a young man telling his story of striving for political and religious freedoms and the reactions he got from his elders on those ideas, which were very discouraging. He ignored them and did it his way, ran his own life and was glad he did it that way.  It is not a song about me. Well, maybe just a little. I'm not Irish (lol). 

LAUREN: Would you say that the mood of your other songs is in the same vein as ‘Go Some More’?
RICK: Some yes, a lot of protests going on in some of my songs but not all.

LAUREN: Did you come from a musical background?  Are there other musicians in your family?
RICK: No, not at all.  Some of them tried to pick up an instrument after they saw how much fun I was having, but they never accomplished mastering their chosen instruments. I had an aunt that played the organ, an uncle that played guitar, and a cousin who played trumpet. I don't know if that counts (lol).

AUREN: How would you characterize yourself as a musician?  (ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving...)
RICK: Wow, there are so many sides of me when it comes to writing music, but in the end, it needs to move me one way or another emotionally. But I always like to keep it fun.

LAUREN: What do you find most rewarding about being a musician?  What do you find most challenging?
RICK: The most rewarding part about being an artist is the creative process and listening to that final "something" that I just created.  What I find most challenging is when I have some great lyrics or music, but not the other, then trying to write the missing part without ruining the original idea or sound.  

LAUREN: Who are your role models in music?
RICK: Frank Zappa was my first and most favorite musician and songwriter of all time\, but, it was John Fogerty's music (CCR) that taught me how to write songs. 

LAUREN: What advice would you give to young, aspiring musicians out there who are unsure and need guidance?
RICK: You must be critical of your music. Just because you wrote it, doesn't mean it's great.  Take the time to refine and perfect your sound...your sound. Don't try to be or sound like someone else.  If you can do that, then go for it and never give up.

LAUREN: What's next for Amen Alibi? Is there a follow-up single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
RICK: A tour (we hope)!!  The next single will be ‘Break Down and Cry’ from our second album ‘Addicted’ and the video is in post-production. We also have a live DVD coming out soon, which is in post-production as well.

LAUREN: Thanks for taking time out to share your story. I wish you continued success and best of luck with the tour!