SINGER | GUITARIST | SONGWRITER
"MIDLIFE CRISIS" EP
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Debut solo EP out now!

Best known as the singer/guitarist/frontman for Saskatoon hard rock cover bands Riff Raff, and Powerslave, I also perform on my own with an acoustic guitar and a couple of fancy vocal harmonizer and looper pedals, stripping down an eclectic selection of songs.

I’ve spent a lifetime gigging everywhere from rundown dive bars to mainstage opening slots for arena rock legends. Yet, after literally thousands of shows, it’s always been in cover bands playing someone else’s songs. Never my own.

So I finally decided to make my own record, honestly just to be able to say “I tried it once”. No delusions of “selling millions” or “hitting the charts”, I just wanted to finally make some music that’s mine – good or bad. So I holed up in my basement with my guitars and a mic and got to work. This EP is the result.

Most guys in their fifties with a midlife crisis go out and buy a sports car, change careers, or have an affair. Instead, this EP is literally MY “Midlife Crisis”.

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Debut solo EP out now!

Best known as the singer/guitarist/frontman for Saskatoon hard rock cover bands Riff Raff, and Powerslave, I also perform on my own with an acoustic guitar and a couple of fancy vocal harmonizer and looper pedals, stripping down an eclectic selection of songs.

I’ve spent a lifetime gigging everywhere from rundown dive bars to mainstage opening slots for arena rock legends. Yet, after literally thousands of shows, it’s always been in cover bands playing someone else’s songs. Never my own.

So I finally decided to make my own record, honestly just to be able to say “I tried it once”. No delusions of “selling millions” or “hitting the charts”, I just wanted to finally make some music that’s mine – good or bad. So I holed up in my basement with my guitars and a mic and got to work. This EP is the result.

Most guys in their fifties with a midlife crisis go out and buy a sports car, change careers, or have an affair. Instead, this EP is literally MY “Midlife Crisis”.

Planet S Magazine Best of Saskatoon 2022 | Two Nominations: Best Solo Artist and Best Cover Band (with Powerslave)
Planet S Magazine Best of Saskatoon 2022 | Two Nominations: Best Solo Artist and Best Cover Band (with Powerslave)

LIVE SHOWS

UNPLUGGED VIDEOS

the unplugged sONGLIST

SOLO ACOUSTIC LIVE SHOWS   |    NO BACKING TRACKS OR ULTERIOR MOTIVES

I always start with a setlist but after the first two or three songs, I usually just start playing whatever hits me in the moment – whether I actually even know the song or not ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ … but you can usually expect to hear many of these songs at my solo acoustic shows:

Run Away to Mars – Talk

Sympathy for the Devil – Rolling Stones

Saturday Night – Bay City Rollers

Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler

Iris – Goo Goo Dolls

Gone Away – The Offfspring

Home for a RestSpirit of the West

I Was Made For Lovin’ You – Kiss

Danse Macabre – Ghost

Squeeze BoxThe Who

Heaven – Warrant

Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard

Simple Man – Shinedown/Lynrd Skynrd

Fat Bottomed GirlsQueen

Paradise by the Dashboard LightMeat Loaf

Copperhead RoadSteve Earle

ShineCollective Soul

CreepRadiohead

Crazy On YouHeart

Over the Hills & Far AwayLed Zeppelin

To Be With You – Mr. Big

Rockin’ in the Free World – Neil Young

Man in the Box – Alice in Chains

Fox on the RunSweet

Daydream Believer – The Monkees

I Want You to Want MeCheap Trick

Baba O’RileyThe Who

Fishin’ in the DarkNitty Gritty Dirt Band

This Flight Tonight – Nazareth

Signs – Five Man Electrical Band

I Will Always Love YouWhitney / Dolly 

HurtJohnny Cash/NiN

Empty GardenElton John

Raise a Little HellTrooper

Learning to Fly – Tom Petty

 

HysteriaDef Leppard

Whiskey in the Jar – Metallica

Folsom Prison BluesJohnny Cash

Bad RomanceLady Gaga

Through GlassStone Sour

Highway to HellAC/DC

Here for a Good Time – Trooper

AnimalDef Leppard

Superman’s DeadOur Lady Peace

Superman’s SongCrash Test Dummies

18 & LifeSkid Row

AC/DC – Sweet

Love and Hate CollideDef Leppard

Ballad  of Dwight FryeAlice  Cooper

High EnoughDamn Yankees

Aphrodisiac SmileAge of Electric

Open ArmsJourney

Into the Great Wide Open – Tom Petty

Everlong – Foo Fighters

Hunger Strike – Temple of the Dog

Love SongTesla

You Shook Me All Night LongAC/DC

Magic PowerTriumph

Show Must Go OnQueen

Fly to the AngelsSlaughter

Blaze of Glory – Jon Bon Jovi

Hard Luck Woman – Kiss

Joey Concrete Blonde

What’s Up4 Non-Blondes

I Remember YouSkid Row

Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin – Journey

Sweet Child O’ MineGuns ‘n’ Roses

Hole HeartedExtreme

Good RiddanceGreen Day

War Pigs – Black Sabbath

 

 

Square HammerGhost

No RainBlind Melon

Ice Cream ManVan Halen

Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’Journey

Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks

Free Fallin’Tom Petty

Jack & Diane – John Cougar Mellencamp

Hotel CaliforniaEagles

Hey Hey, My MyNeil Young

Still Loving YouScorpions

I Hate Everything About YouUgly Kid Joe

Ace of SpadesMotorhead

Roxy RollerSweeny Todd

Slide It In – Whitesnake

PatienceGuns n Roses

Comfortably NumbPink Floyd

Wasted YearsIron Maiden

Talk Dirty to Me – Poison

Dont Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) – Motley Crue

Here I Go AgainWhitesnake

Living on a PrayerBon Jovi

Only Women Bleed Alice Cooper

Bad Moon RisingCCR

A Familiar Taste of PoisonHalestorm

JeremyPearl Jam

Used to Love HerGuns n Roses

Anyway You Want ItJourney

Run To the HillsIron Maiden

Maggie May Rod Stewart

Rock & Roll All NiteKiss

LolaThe Kinks

She Talks to AngelsBlack Crowes

Up Around the Bend – CCR

bIO

For over 35 years I have performed across Canada as a semi-professional musician.

My music career started in the 80s, as the co-founder and frontman (lead singer and guitar player) of the full-time nationally-touring rock band, “Riff Raff“. After years of crisscrossing Canada, performing 6 nights per week, we took an extended hiatus during the mid-90s before transitioning into a local weekend band at the close of the 90s, becoming one the most popular bands in Saskatchewan. In 2012, I began performing acoustically as a solo artist as well, and in 2019 I co-founded a side project band named “Powerslave“.

At the onset of the 2020 pandemic, Riff Raff again went on an extended hiatus, and my musical attention became focused on building Powerslave as my primary band, and on growing as a solo artist.

In 2021 I wrote, recorded, self-produced, and independently released my very first original album “Midlife Crisis” as a solo artist.

Nowadays, my musical performances are generally on weekends at such popular nightclubs as Buds on Broadway in Saskatoon, The Revival Music Room in Regina, Cask82 in Moose Jaw, and many more.

In my career, I have enjoyed the privilege of performing at some of the premiere venues in Saskatchewan including Sasktel Centre, TCU Place, Prairieland Park, Flexicoil Place and more performing at official events for the Junos, The World Junior Hockey Championships, The Brier, The Saskatoon Blades, and the Saskatchewan Rush, among others.

I’ve performed at shows with international superstars Kiss, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, The Tragically Hip, Jerry Lee Lewis, Starship, and Bryan Adams – and as the opening act for such legends as Dr. Hook, Nazareth, The Sweet, Harlequin, Kenny Shields/Streetheart and more. I’ve also been honoured to be invited to perform my solo acoustic show at such places as the prestigious Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, and on the beach at the world-famous Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, California.

blog

Damn right!

Damn right!

The last time I blogged was last summer. Full of motivation to get fit, to lose weight... I did nothing. Nothing but eat more, and more. And more. For 3 more months. Then, on September 7, 2024, I went in for my regular physical with my doctor. I stepped on the scale...

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The good...At about 12:00 noon on December 23, 2022, while driving home from Long & McQuade music store, I lit up the last cigarette in my pack. I tossed the empty packet into my car's litter bag, noting that I needed to stop and buy another. A few moments later...

A 7 minute improvised guitar solo because… why not?

A 7 minute improvised guitar solo because… why not?

Pulled up a random backing track and tried some improvisation in Dm (the saddest of all keys according to Nigel Tufnel).I found the amazing instrumental backing track on youtube,  it was created by YT Jam Tracks.

Two Nominations for Best of Saskatoon 2022

Two Nominations for Best of Saskatoon 2022

Now that I've picked my jaw up off the floor - I am absolutely mind-blown shocked, and so incredibly honoured to somehow have been nominated in the Planet S Magazine 2022 readers poll in the category of "Best Solo Artist". In addition, for the 2nd year in a row, my...

Lyric Video for “Don’t Want You Back”

Lyric Video for “Don’t Want You Back”

For shnitz n sniggles, I fired up Adobe After Effects and made myself a lyric video for my song "Don't Want You Back". For something so bloody simple, what a pain in the ass this was to make. There is a reason the pros get paid bigtime for this stuff. You can see it...

I’ve Received Some Unbiased Feedback & Song Reviews

I’ve Received Some Unbiased Feedback & Song Reviews

The modern promotional process of trying to get your music heard in the new music industry without a record label doing the work for you - means that trying to get your song(s) onto Spotify playlists is the new hustle. So I've started taking some time here and there...

It’s Alive!

It’s Alive!

I guess it's already Friday in the streaming world because my debut EP is now available on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp and more. Easy links to are on my website www.rorylawford.com It was a long road to get here and a lot work. I hope you'll give it a spin (it's...

The CLAEverything Contest Story

The CLAEverything Contest Story

As my friends on social media know, I was a winner of Waves Audio's “CLA Everything / CLA Mix Giveaway” contest to have a song mixed by 5x Grammy-winning legend, Chris Lord-Alge at the start of 2021.  At the time, my song “Don’t Want You Back”  was literally the...

My Project Studio Rundown

My Project Studio Rundown

A lot of people ask me what I use to record with - what gear, what software and so on. So here is a list of the equipment and software used to make Midlife Crisis:Guitars: The vast majority of the guitars on this EP were recorded using my 2004 Epiphone Les Paul Custom...

I finally did it

I finally did it

For years I've talked about "Someday, I'm gonna put out my own record".  "Someday I'm gonna do it". "Someday...". I'd sit down at my computer with a guitar for a night and record a riff, and turn it into a shitty (but fun) sounding little instrumental mp3 I'd transfer...

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