Not many unpublished songwriters in Nashville have had an Emmy nomination or worked with Fortune 500 companies, so in that respect Rick Millward is a bit unique.


But when it comes to knocking on doors on Music Row he is no different than anyone else. In a business where creative edge can mean success or failure he has come by his knowledge through a long and arduous path and has developed a work ethic and an attitude that many feel makes that elusive “first cut” just a matter of time.

He played in groups all through school, studied art in college and afterwards more or less lived in parallel, alternating between jobs with ad agencies and working in bands. Sometimes the gigs were good enough to live on, most of the time not. Rick played in a sucession of bands that played in Oregon, and later in San Francisco, where he joined The Overland Freight Band. This was the first group that had ambitions beyond doing covers in beer joints and was the first opportunity for him to be in a group that regularly performed original material. After a year with them he left to “go solo” and put his own band together that opened for several known acts around the Bay Area, inlcuding a stint backing former Quicksilver Messenger Service lead singer Gino Valenti on his comeback bid.

Rick left performing in the '80s to become a recording engineer and producer and helped build Tres Virgos Studios, where he recorded his first album, and later at the Music Annex. He then moved into video production in Silicon Valley and worked in corporate media through the Tech Boom.

Late in the 90s he developed a renewed passion for songwriting and Americana music, and he moved to Nashville in 2000. Since the relocation Rick has continued to freelance in media production, which included an opportunity to write two original soundtracks for the local PBS station, both of which earned EMMY nominations.

Now, he’s developed a personal style that reflects a lifetime of influences; rock, country, and Americana, with songs that are unaffected and straightforward. With “homemade”, his last CD, he offered a collection of recordings that explore that range: from the straight-ahead country “Bad at Goodbye”, to the unabashed country pop of “Big Love” and the haunting pedal steel cries in “Living in Reverse”.
    
The latest collection is a cohesive set of 11 songs that explore many of the themes from "homemade" but are darker, moodier and perhaps not so radio targeted, with an edgy production style that features raw, sometimes ragged sounding guitars embellished by Rick's simple complimentary keyboard work. This music is extremely personal, but not painfully so. Rick finds a common thread that connects the ideas to his listeners with maturity and an urgency that stirs the soul.