Rick Monroe has a "Gypsy Soul" and a Lovin' Heart
Traveling over 100,000 miles for shows in the last year and having performed in 17 countries, Rick Monroe is a man true to the title of his latest EP, Gypsy Soul. This EP shows off the adventurous spirit and heart of its creator, who is enthusiastic about traveling the world and finding love.
Monroe's "Gypsy Soul" probably stems from his upbringing, growing up all over the country in California, Connecticut, Kansas, North Carolina, and even out of the country in England! His nomadic background comes through in both his writing and musical styles, proving him to be a musical force to be reckoned with! “I'm not so linear in my approach to music; I'm more diversified. My influences range from A to Z and I always try to put that into my music. But my home base will always be Country because it's not just about the hype of an idea; it's based on songs.” This record's blueprint is obviously country, but Monroe draws from inspiration everywhere to create a unique sound of his own.
His killer sound has earned him gigs opening up for many of country musics biggest names, including Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels Band, Patty Loveless and more. He even entertained former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev!
Gypsy Soul begins with the sultry love song, "This Side of You", which was the first single released from the EP (Peep our single review for this track from late March on our News & Reviews page). This tune plays off of both Rick's romantic side and adventurous side as he continues to learn new and exciting things about his lover every day, and falls harder for her as he does. A laid-back beat with a sweet message sung by a warm and smooth voice, this tune is perfect for a romantic time with someone you'd like to get know better.
The two sides of Rick are most obviously represented in the songs "Ease on Down" and "Gypsy Soul" that are back-to-back on the EP. "Ease on Down" is a mellow love song about slowing down and relaxing with the one you love. Rather than wanting to go on a wild journey, Monroe just wants to "kick back on a front porch swing" and "let the world just do it's thing". On the contrast, "Gypsy Soul" is a rocking track about having a restless soul that can't be tied down. It's about breaking out of the boring ideas of what you're expected to do in life in order to follow your heart and do what you really want to do. This song has some incredible lyrics, beginning with "Tired of the daily grind, leave the status quo behind, grow my hair, child, and feel the breeze. No boss, no telephone, without a watch time is my own".
The closing track of the EP, "Rage On" is a standout because it is so unlike most country music out there right now. It's an organ heavy ballad filled with tons of soul and 70s rock influence. It's the perfect closer to this EP because it's a reflection of a long life on the road. Monroe sings powerfully about his experiences and a life of travel, where "the road is your home everywhere you go". He finds comfort in the constant change of scenery and the new experiences that come along with them. The line, "Faces and places they're always going to change, I'll keep singing, keep preaching, keep trying to explain" show how Rick truly loves this lifestyle and wants to continue it, bringing his unique stories and experiences to audiences everywhere for years to come.
This EP is a great listen from start to finish. It inspires the "Gypsy Soul" with the courage and passion that Rick commands to do the things we want in life. Perfect for a summer road trip playlist for adventuring!