Promoting his latest album release, Rick Lally performs a solo show on Saturday, May 12, 2018, at Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery's Tasting Room. Lally will also perform with the band 3 Bricks Shy on Saturday, May 19, and another act, R2 Alchemy, on July 12.
Lally's new album, It's High Time, is a reference to the span of time it took to write, record, and release his work. The album is a retrospective of songs he wrote from 1989 to 2017.
"I've been writing and playing music since I was a teen," Lally said. "I've always done it as a way to make sense of my thoughts or feelings."
"Falcon Hill," a song Lally wrote as a 13-year-old teenager, was inspired by his childhood upbringing.
"I grew up in Illinois. From 10 to 16 years of age, I lived in a suburban neighborhood," Lally said. "My backyard merged into underdeveloped park that was very much a small forest. In one section there was a clearing with a hill. I spent most of my time playing in nature and every inch of the park. I always saw all kinds of birds from that hill and would frequently see a falcon. My friends and I always called that area Falcon Hill. As I was learning the four chords in my song 'Falcon Hill,' I wrote the lyrics to express how I felt when I was out there in nature."
Lally wrote the album's title song "It's High Time" to himself.
"I have written a lot of songs. I've probably forgotten as many as I remember," Lally said. "'It's High Time' was intended to remind me and push myself to get my unrecorded songs recorded. It was also intended to urge me to pull the songs out of me that I either need to finish or start. In essence, the song was me being a cheerleader for myself!"
True to his muse, Lally writes music at his own pace and his songwriting has developed over time.
"Many of my earliest songs were just a stream of chords. Many lacked a bridge or a reprise. I have progressively improved in that area," Lally said. "I never have forced writing a song. It either happens or it doesn't. Sometimes it can take a song a long time to stew and simmer before it's ready. I have one song I wrote in a half-hour and it never changed. Others that have taken years to complete. I'm definitely a better guitar player now so that helps a lot."
The songs on the new album vary in genre.
"'No Jive' has a bluesy southern rock feel, while 'I Can't Breathe' has the feel of smooth jazz," Lally said. "'Slippin' Away' is currently playing on a Tropical Rock radio station. 'It's High Time' and 'Paralyzed' were both born to rock. Everything else is either folkie or folk rock."
Lally is also an artist. One of his paintings, "Sun Glass," is displayed in the Tasting Room.
"I have always been somewhat artistic, but never put much time into it. When I started painting, I dove in head first and began painting a lot," Lally said. "During that time, my band 3 Bricks Shy had a song called 'Screw The Cracker' with a line in the song, 'Polly wants wine.' Somehow, that song got us started with playing at wineries."
Lally's inspiration for "Sun Glass" traced back to performing at Fence Stile during the summer when it was sunny.
"I really appreciated that we continued to get chances to play at Fence Stile," Lally said. "I decided that Fence Stile would be a good home for a painting it mostly likely inspired."
It's High Time is available at iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify. Visit ricklally.com for more information on his music, art, and performance dates. Check Fence Stile's calendar for upcoming music performance dates from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
Below: Rick Lally as a young musician. Right: "Sun Glass" is a painting inspired by Rick Lally's performances at Fence Stile.