Rick Steff of Lucero has come out with a three-song EP on Archer Records, “Rick’s Booogie” (additional “o” an’ all). I caught up with him at one of the Illinois Lucero shows to talk about the makings of his EP, and what it was like to have his fellow Lucero members backing up one of his projects.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Steff is easily one of the nicest men alive anywhere, much less in music, and genuinely one of the most skilled and talented.
What made you want to make an EP? How did it start?
Well, it started with just doodlin’ around on the piano and making these little boogies in down time and in the studio where we did Jeff Nichols’ independent film Mud, and Amy Lavere’s Stranger Me album. Roy [Berry of Lucero and Overjoid] and I had just done over a hundred pieces of music for a soundtrack for an independent TV mini-series called Head Shop, which is about a tobacco/ smoking shop that gets in trouble for selling bath salts. I don’t know if it’ll get placed. I haven’t heard yet.
So, anyway, this afforded us the opportunity to record a huge amount of music, which we’d be making anyway. So, we were in and out of that studio a bunch, which is a block from where Roy and I live, since we live only a couple blocks from each other, and there was just some down time in there, and I said, “I would like to lay down this boogie before I forget it,” so I played it, and they [fellow Lucero members] were like, “We should do something with that.” I had thought about doing a single at some point, like the old piano player EPs they did in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, ya know. I mentioned it to the band, and they all wanted to play on it, and I certainly wanted them all to play on it.