After releasing the album Rich Hope Is Gonna Whip It On Ya at the tail end of 2009, Rich found himself on the year-end Top Ten lists of such esteemed organs as the Georgia Straight and the Vancouver Province. The Georgia Straight also went out of its way to name "Let's Jump Around" as one of the best home-grown songs of the year, while Hope's rare venture into gospel-time religiosity "When My Light Comes Shining" received regular rotation on FM stations and landed in the #32 spot of SHORE FM's Top 100 of '09.
Fast-forward to 2012, Rich Hope's new group Rich Hope and His Blue Rich Rangers went back to the country, live and delirious, putting themselves at the end of an arc stretching all the way from George Jones to The Sadies.
Scott Smith eagerly jumped on board-the hottest pedal steel man in the province, maybe the country, lanky Ben Laborie on rhythm guitar, Erik Nielsen injecting Rick Danko distillate on bass and Hope's faithful stickman of 15 years Adrian Mack pulling up the rear.
The sound was funky, cosmic and almost always on the right side of wild. Sets were long and boozy. Hope would throw a Freddie Fender or Waylon Jennings cover at his boys; they could knock it past the bleachers. Before long, The Rangers couldn't stuff any more bodies inside the tiny Main Street venue where they lived so they took to selling out bigger rooms, and then bigger ones.
And then they hit the studio. A Hope-Smith original, Can't Get No Lovin, a heartbreaker shaped to fill the dimensions of Otis Redding by way of the Burrito Brothers, spiked by horns by way of Vancouver by way of Memphis. The flip side is a song that the Rangers made their own after a hundred sweaty nights, the Doug Sahm penned roller rink feel good hit of your life, "Dynamite Woman".
There will be more to come, you can count on that, as sure as the Groovies flamed and the Byrds discovered the fifth dimension in shuffle time. At the end of this trip, there'll be nobody feeling any pain at closing time.
And they're good lookin', too.
The future certainly looks bright for the retro-lovin’ Hope. With one foot in the past and another in the present, Hope will electrify you with his style, swagger and swing. He will, as he so bluntly puts it, “whip it on ya.” And you will love him for it.” - Francois Marchand – Vancouver Sun
“… (a) raucous blast of over-driven juke joint boogie that wastes little time getting the party started.” - The Georgia Straight
“A modern-day Juke Boy Bonner.” - John Goodman, North Shore News
“…this lean, mean, slide-pickin’ machine could play most Fat Possum pussies under the table.” Sarah Rowland - The Georgia Straight “Top Pick of the Day goes to Rich Hope for his incredible raw energy, talent and ability to connect to the audience. Rich’s stage presence and intense performance were a sight to behold.”
- Brian Marchant - Wild at Art Festival, Squamish, BC