Everyone comes to Rick's

My parents were fans of Humphrey Bogart, and they named me after his character in the film Casablanca, Rick Blaine. I think that’s pretty cool.

So what brings you to Rick’s Cafe? If you’re looking for the man behind the capo, here I am. If you’re interested in my modest careers as either a musician or a graphic artist, I’ve posted a page devoted to each…

December 2020

I’m as anxious as anyone to see musicians get back to work, but I fear we are moving too fast in our zeal to “open up.” In trying to rekindle the economy, we’re fueling the virus. Covid-19 is NOT in decline, it is on the rise. It now becomes even more crucial for each of us individually to strictly observe social distancing, and to wear those masks!

Our time to relax about all of this will come, but it is not here yet.

Lately I’ve been writing my memoirs. I’m not under the illusion that there would be any general interest beyond my own circle of friends, but it’s been fun to do, and it’s approaching book length now.

With the passing of Earl Crabb, many of our mutual friends have stirred up memories of Humbead’s Map of the World. Here is the chapter from my memoirs in which I recall Earl and myself creating the map:
Humbead (pdf, 4 pages)


Click on the pictures, and some will show a larger copy.

For the past few years there have been bi-annual reunions of a band I played in during the late 60s, The Diesel Ducks. (L to R, Ed Littlefield, Hank Bradley, Rick Shubb, Eric Thompson). It was a spinoff of the days when Hank and I played with Doc Watson, and we covered some of the same material; mostly oldtime fiddle tunes. When we get together, our hands feel like they’re 20 years old again, and the music comes out pretty good.


Memories of the Berkely Fiddlers’ Convention. Another excerpt from my memoirs.

Here’s a video of me talking about the beginnings of Shubb Capos, when Dave Coontz and I came up with a new 5th string capo, and cautiously entered into business. The interview was conducted in June of 2010 by NAMM as part of their oral history project.

• For an article about me from the January 1996 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited, written by Sandy Rothman, CLICK HERE

• I’ve played the same instrument for almost all the years I’ve been playing. My banjo…

• My old friend George Jansen is a writer, and recently had his second novel published. It’s about amateur baseball in 1900. I read it, and loved it. More…

• I was featured in Business 2.0 magazine. This was just a one-page piece, which is essentially accurate, but kind of truncates the development of Shubb Capos just a bit for the sake of brevity. You can see it or download it here (pdf)

The same article ran in FORTUNE magazine, as well.

The GALLERY is loaded with pictures, along with a few videos, from our various trade shows and festivals over the years. Come on over and browse through them.

With John Pearse in Amsterdam, circa 1990.
At the NAMM show with the Rhythm Brothers.
In Palo Alto, circa 1965
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