unorthodox honky tonk
music • writing • ships (and oceans) in bottles
R.Sales current status is similar to if, after decades in the whale's belly, Ahab had been spat out by Moby Dick (the whale) on a western Canadian island beach and, in old age, became a fanatical builder of fine, sea tortured ships in bottles with violently urgent messages included. In R.Sales case, the ships are poems, the bottles are songs and the ocean is Soundcloud, Spotify etc. Humbling
In other words, R.Sales is a 70+ year old seawall holding back the bleak tide of Time with poetry songs. Organic blueberry farmer on Vancouver Island, Canada. Invited to play at the first Woodstock (funny story), recorded Miles Davis, Danny Gatton, John Fahey, performed with The Ramones, Chuck Berry, Tom Waits, Little Richard. Produced hit records in Canada. Wrote many songs for NPR's 'All Things Considered' (80's), music for the last Grateful Dead Chinese New Years show. Also music for Nike, PBS, ESPN and many award winning environmental activist films - Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund etc.
Many wonderful stories of heroic defiance pinned to the side of the great white whale called Art. Click here to hear! Scroll down to read...
R. Sales says
“I believe a good song can be like our first pair of glasses. When you first put ‘em on it's blurry, strange, weird... then you shout, "Woah! Incredible!" I was completely changed by a Bob Dylan song in 1965. Since then I’ve felt a debt of gratitude to write a song that could do that for other sleeping butterfly larva. For me, songwriting has been a spiritual/mental/deep sea volcano of insight and meaning - meaning being the holy grail of human existence. I believe this process is the great gift of the Arts. I would have given up long ago if the experience wasn’t so incredible.”
Bob Dylan, Roger Miller, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen are frequent comparisons. Guitar - his friends John Fahey and Danny Gatton. There are many, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that some of the newer songs were written while creating under the influence of Homer and Jethro. Masters of brain pretzels & smiles that make the brain stop chattering.
Quotes on Recordings: Bridges From Heaven
“I think I will have to listen to this 50 more times, at least, to fully appreciate what you have achieved with this piece.”
Bruce Archer - Guitarist, Emmy Lou Harris’ Angel Band
“I’ve listened to your record over five hundred times. And I’m still listening - it’s that good!”
Phil Dwyer, Member of the Order of Canada (for his contributions to jazz as a performer, composer and producer)
“(r.sales) ... truth is so authentic, and the way he communicates it is so humane, so humorous, so touched by The Divine, that we all come away changed and bigger somehow from having heard his words and melodies."
Karen (professor at U of W, Yoga center owner, Seattle
Quotes on Live Performance
“Whatever you do, don’t lose the old guy in the hat” Steve Herman, Live Nation
“I couldn’t stop looking at that guitar guy! Who is that?”
Jason Jordan, Republic Records
“The man can really play” (piano) Chuck Berry
“(r.sales) ...quietly stole the show with his chicken picking guitar”
Metropolis Magazine, Japan (Green Room Festival 2011 Review)
“hearing him perform is like getting a dose of something and wishing you had the recipe”
Diane Donnely, Uncorn Times (arts magazine Washington DC)
Quotes on Poetry
"Thank you wholeheartedly for taking a moment out of your day to brighten mine with such kind and luminous words – what a gift!"
Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
‘You've struck a rich vein, words tumbling into place with a fluidity, an eloquence, seemingly effortlessly. Stay in the groove! You’ve found something.”
David Sylvian, Virgin Records/Samhadi Records
“...the poetry of a man who knows the language from vast critical and pleasurable reading. ... passionate and sensitive. You have a better command of the language than 90% of professors who are making a living teaching creative writing. I enjoyed all of the poems, especially the "Garden" poem, a first rate love poem.”
Daniel Mark Epstein, NEA & Guggenheim Fellowships, Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, 2006 for his poetry
Quotes on Recordings
“Wow! What a voice” Jerry Garcia
On Psychedelic Honky Tonk
“A street version of TS Eliot” Ren Auckenthaler
“ ‘He-Man and The Shrimp’ and ‘Cooking With Gunpowder’ had me laughing so hard i got the hiccups’ “ Greg Pug, master musician, father of Joe Pug (Lightning Rod Records)
“Worthy of Charles Bukowski!” famous name withheld on request - on ‘He-Man and The Shrimp’
“I listened to the first round of songs you sent - Awesome... and quite fun!Amazing stories! Jim Selby, Manager of Concord Records, Nashville
“As Long As Seagulls Hearken! Now that raised the ole goose flesh! Like Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan had a baby! Great stuff”
John Reece, Afghanistan war vet, crazy lottery winner, Kansas.
On Pappio & The Wonderbeings
“Words fueled with wisdom! It evolves the spirit of Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen - rock gods in my neighborhood”
Frank Weipert, Teamworks Management, Canada
“WOW !!!! I LOVE it ! I've never heard anything quite like it. It's wonderful.”
Carl Marsh, Cirque de Soleil, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson arranger, Nashville
“(it’s) three dimensional somehow, and then the mind-bending lyric of a song like Magic Room takes me into the fourth dimension. Great, great work!"
Linda Johnsen, The Lost Masters, Eckhart Tolle Imprint
"Wow. Your music is transcendental. Mystical! Poetic! ...makes me think harder while at the same time my brain also floats to another place."