“Little Piece of the Pie,” the title track from The Wealthy Orphans new album, is driven by a rhythm that lurches along like a drunkard through life’s scrapyard where everything is well-worn and past its prime. While the song initially sounds like a down-on-your-luck lament, all of the stomping, banging and wheezing eventually give rise to a spunky celebration of resilience.
Rick Beerhorst, the singer/songwriter behind The Wealthy Orphans, is a creative force who will likely never settle upon one form of artistic expression. A longtime painter and printmaker, urban farmer, family man, creator of an entire village, and musician, he sings about his lifestyle without ever sounding resentful or cyncial about the resulting lack of security.
To expect an album of similar sounding songs from a man with so many inspirations, however, just isn’t realistic. Luckily, Beerhorst is able to juggle the different styles in a way that makes the variety seem intentional. There are hints of zydeco in “Sister Mary Wears a Golden Chain” and “Basquiat,” a dark western soundtrack flair to “The Devil’s a Liar,” and Bruce Springsteen-esque balladry in “She’s a Natural Disaster.” Overall, the album is a unique piece of Americana from a person who has forged a very different path through life than most of his fellow countrymen and the highlights, like the aforementioned “Little Piece of the Pie,” as well as “Time of Your Life,” are those that capture the struggles inherent to living outside of the norm.
“Little Piece of the Pie”