We are the Rugged Soul Project! We originally formed together in 2016 near Sacramento, California. We are an original rock band who play a wide variety of popular cover music. Our interest include performing at both indoor and outdoor venues, to fans who enjoy Classic to Modern Rock. We love playing with good energy and are sure to bring a good time--when it comes to music, it's all about having a good time! We especially enjoy performing for a good cause, so let us know if you'd like us to play for you!

In 2019 we released our first three original songs and music videos, and are planning to release several more in 2020! We are currently writing and recording new material, as well as shooting music videos for songs to be released this year.

UPDATE: We are excited for the release of our new original, Iron Rod!!! Check out the music video on the right hand side, and download it for free at the bottom of the page along with Rugged Soul, Good as Gold, Give it a Chance, Find Your Way, as well as some of Rick Keizer's pre-RSP originals. Subscribe to our YouTube page, and follow us on Facebook, ReverbNation, Instagram, and Twitter! In the meantime, we are back in the studio to record more originals! Check out the 'Music' tab for more upcoming originals!

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The Long and Fulfilling Process of Songwriting 

Writing and recording new original music is a very long and fulfilling process. For me as a songwriter, it usually starts with a catchy riff, sound, or melody in my head that I proceed to learn on the guitar. Once the sound is refined, I start to build around it--usually with an introduction, verse, chorus, and bridge part. The lyrics either come during or after the song is structured (though, sometimes the lyrics come before the music--but not as often for me). After all of this, I have a draft of a song. But it never fails, as good as I think the song sounds at this juncture, it always sounds better after getting the input from the band. Tony, Lisa, Bill, and Mark take my song draft, and add their unique style, flavor, and creativity to create something that sounds better than I initially imagined. This collaboration process usually takes time, with larger contributions coming early on, then smaller tweaks here and there as the band learns the song. At long last, we are happy with how the song sounds playing it live, and it's time to take it into the studio!

We track our songs one piece at a time, starting with the rhythm section--drums then bass, then rhythm guitars, keys, vocals, lead guitars, backup vocals, and finally harmonies. During the process of recording, we add things that cannot be added during live performance of the songs; like additional guitar tracks, vocal parts, other instruments, etc. This process of tracking can be time consuming, especially because sometimes we do not know exactly what we want to add until listening to the tracks over and over. We collectively listen to the song hundreds of times over the course of the tracking, mixing, and mastering process, to fine tune individual elements of the song, sometimes causing us to re-track parts to make things fit right.

Finally, after everybody is happy with the song, we call it good!!! The process is long and sometimes tiresome, we all have our jobs, families, and personal lives which are prioritized before the music; but absolutely fulfilling to have a completed song in hand that was created from nothing but an idea from a sound, and a group of very talented and creative individuals! We have finally completed our first two songs as the Rugged Soul Project, and now are back in the studio to begin the long and fulfilling process all over again! We really hope you enjoy the music!

Finding the right pieces to a complex and artistic puzzle 

For a musician, there are few things as difficult as selecting the right group of musicians to spend hundreds, and sometimes thousands of hours working together to create and polish music. Liken the task to putting a beautiful and complex puzzle together; but not the way we all learned growing up (starting with the edges and corners and working your way to the middle), build this puzzle starting in the center. This puzzle started by sifting through dozens of pieces, some of which looked to fit pretty good, to find five pieces that fit together perfectly. You can try and force mismatching pieces to fit together, but ultimately the puzzle will not end up being what it was meant become. Finding these select pieces can take a long time, perhaps you even find pieces to a different puzzle you initially wanted to put together, and might consider building that puzzle instead. But with enough hard work and patience, you will find those select pieces to start to create the picture you had in mind.

We have five puzzle pieces, which fit beautifully together at the center of a beautiful picture. When looking at these five pieces by themselves, you can tell they are part of something special--something far greater than just themselves. One looking at the group of them together might not be able to see what the whole picture around them looks like. But ultimately, as additional pieces are added to the five core pieces, you begin to see just how beautiful the picture can be. Here's to spending the time and effort to finding the right pieces, to make the picture everything it was meant to become!!!