Well-known acoustic guitarist Richard "Rick" Ruskin started crafting his remarkable skill with the guitar in 1962. He was born in Detroit, MI, where when only in his early teens he landed a gig opening at the Retort Coffee House for blues and gospel guitarist Reverend Gary Davis. The young Ruskin impressed Davis so much so that it became a case of the experienced taking the inexperienced under his wing. It was the best guitar schooling a beginner could hope for.
Ruskin learned well and is best known for his work with the guitar, but he has also performed as a vocalist and written a number of tunes. After appearing on many albums for other artists, Ruskin got the chance to complete a solo debut album of his own in 1974. The self-titled recording was released under the Takoma Records label. The album is filled with numbers like "Break Out the Wine," "Here Comes the Sun," "Teddy Bear's Picnic," and "The Temptation Rag." Ruskin went on to record several other full-length works, including Microphone Fever, Six String Conspiracy, Words Fail Me, and others.
Over his long career Ruskin has written a songbook, The Takoma Sessions, and completed a few videos: Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar, Fingerstyle Christmas Vol. 1, and Fingerstyle Christmas Vol. 2. He has also performed on a number of soundtracks for television and films, as well as worked with countless artists along the way, such as Tanya Tucker, James Lee Stanley, Lewis Ross, Penny Nichols, and Olivia Newton-John. ~ Charlotte Dillon