Making a Scene Presents an Interview with a Pro
Rick Booth from Intrepid Artists International
In the world of Blues and Roots touring Rick Booth has established Intrepid Artists International as one of the top booking agencies in the world. If you look through his roster you will see some of the biggest names in the genre, many of whom have been with him for years! Rick has gained the reputation of being an honest straight shooter that believes in treating both his artists and the venues with respect. Listen as we talk with Rick Booth about Intrepid, what he looks for in an artist, booking and the industry! This is a rare opportunity to sit down and listen in to a conversation with a real professional booking agent!
Rick Booth was born and raised in Charlotte, NC where his love for music started at a very young age when his Godmother gave him a copy of Elton John’s Greatest Hits for his 10th birthday. From that point on, he could not get enough. In high school, it was not unusual at all to find Rick out sneaking in to bars and music venues to try to get his live music fix. Classic Rock and Blues Based Southern Guitar Rock were his thing!
He continued his love for live music in college. Rick graduated from Wofford College with a degree in Sociology in 1987. While attending Wofford, he served as Social Chairman of his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, for 2 plus years and began his personal work with bands and booking bands for different social events and his fraternity. His friends always joked with him and told him one day he would be a music agent but that was not really in the cards… at least not yet…
After graduating from Wofford, Rick came home to Charlotte and worked as a manager in the family Hardware business for almost 3 yrs. Rick credits many of his managerial skills to his Dad who ran the family business for 35 plus years. Rick says, “He taught me the right way and wrong way to treat people. Having a degree in Sociology didn’t hurt either.” Recognizing how to deal with people sure does help out when dealing with all the personalities in the music business. “I am a People Person. I believe in treating people the way I would like to be treated, You know, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ Karma’s a Bitch and what comes around goes around. Believe me, I see it all the time in this line of work.”
By 1990, it was time for a career change and time to move on from the family hardware business. Rick took a job working for a regional music agency, Hit Attractions, booking mainly cover bands and college bands, but weary of it’s business practices, decided to leave after only about 4 months on the job . Shortly after that Rick accepted a job working for Piedmont Talent, an upstart blues agency at the time that booked all original Blues Bands and some Louisiana Cajun and Zydeco Bands as well. After 4 plus years at Piedmont, Rick felt it was a great time to go out on his own and bring his own spin to the music industry.
Intrepid Artists Int’l was officially open for business Dec 19, 1994. Since that time, Intrepid has far out exceeded his original highest expectations. Intrepid or one of it’s agents has been the recipient of the prestigious Keeping The Blues Alive Award a record 3 times, in 1997, 2002, and most recently in 2011. Since 2008, Intrepid’s artists have received well over 100 Blues Music Award nominations and numerous WINS as well as 4 Grammy nominations and ONE Grammy WIN!. Today, things have never been better at Intrepid! With the largest, strongest staff to date (76 plus years of experience in the music industry), Intrepid is prepared to step up and be recognized as The Premiere Blues & Roots Rock Music Agency of it’s kind. Over the years, both clients and customers alike of Intrepid have learned that both Rick Booth and his entire staff are the most personal, reliable, honest, and accountable people you will find in the business. That combined with the great stable of Artists is what makes Intrepid unique.
Intrepid’s staff has a combined 76 plus yrs experience at Intrepid alone and a total of 80 yrs of professional experience in the music industry We pride ourselves on having a very diverse roster, representing a wide range of music that includes, Blues, Blues/Rock, Funk, Soul, Jam, Roots Rock, and Zydeco music. As many of you know, since Intrepid was in it’s early stages we have always had the finest stable of “Blues Rockin’ Guitar Slingers” in the business that now includes Walter Trout, Eric Gales, Davy Knowles, Popa Chubby, Albert Castiglia, Jimmy Thackery, Gary Hoey, Lance Lopez, Anthony Gomes and Paul DesLauriers just to name a few.
We also represent some of the finest blues artists in the business including Kenny Neal, Sugaray Rayford, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Mr Sipp, Curtis Salgado, John Nemeth, Selwyn Birchwood, Toronzo Cannon, Blues Beatles, John Mooney, and The Phantom Blues Band.
If you like “Real” Old School Soul, Look no further than Curtis Salgado, Kelly Finnigan & The Atonements and John Nemeth & The Blue Dreamers.
Carolyn Wonderland, Nikki Hill, Vanessa Collier and Heather Gillis are the cream of the crop when it comes to Females in the Roots Rock & Blues Music World! THE TOP OF THE HEAP!
If you are looking for more roots rock, Brass, pop and funk, then look no further than Honey Island Swamp Band, Polyrhythmics, The Empire Strikes Brass, The Mantras, Mother’s Finest, Simplified, and The Steepwater Band.