Bluegrass Patriots-Rick Bradstreet Forum

The Bluegrass Patriots

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Rick Bradstreet Memorial Forum

In lieu of sending messages to the Patriots or Andie Bradstreet, please share your remembrances and condolences on this forum.

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Thank you all for your participation in the Rick Bradstreet Memorial Forum.



We're sorry we can't make it to the tribute for Rick. We're out on the West Coast, but our hearts are with you all. Rick was a part of the Fort Collins bluegrass community that influenced and encouraged the next generation to play traditional bluegrass. We tip our hats to Rick and to all the Patriots. Caleb Roberts Open Road


It's getting close to the Mid-Winter festival, and I've been thinking about how great it was to have the privilege to work with Rick's stage crew the last few years the festival was in Fort Collins, and how much I'll miss seeing him this year.

His picking was an inspiration to all of us that try to play a bit of bluegrass. He was always willing to share a story over a beer or give a couple musical hints to less accomplished pickers (like myself). While blessed with great talent, Rick was always warm, humble and approachable.

I didn't know how serious his condition was until about a year ago -- he dealt with it with incredible strength and dignity.

My greatest sympathy to Andie, Rick's family, and the other Patriots. I'll be picking a couple tunes for Rick this weekend. -- John Schmidt, Loveland, CO


In the age of the internet, news can, surprisingly, travel slowly. So when former Coloradans, Bobby Anderson (Grain of Salt), Steve Trismen (1992 Telluride fiddle champ) and myself got together last nite for our local pickin' session, we learned of Ranger Rick's passing. I had only met Rick a few times years ago through another (now deceased) pal, Danny Elmore. But I loved the Bluegrass Patriots and through them, Hot Rize, the Reasonable Band, etc., was initiated into the Great American Bluegrass Experience back in the 1980's. Who could forget the old Adams County Bluegrass Festival and the Ft. Collins Mid-Winter Festival at the Holiday Inn? Rick had a great picking style that was fresh and fun. It was, noticeably and thankfully, "not" the style of other superflatpickers making the charts at the time. His Blackberry Rag and Crossin' the Big Sandy were hits for me and I loved the Dobro on "Willie Roy". Rick's passing, like Frank Edmonson's, marks an era for me when Colorado had its own sound and nationally accepted bluegrass excitement. For such a small scene back then, it had (and still has) many truly great traditional players in the genre. Rick was an essential part of it all. I will miss all those great moments and encourage the Bluegrass Patriots and the rest of Colorado to continue to play and make great bluegrass music!. Respectfully, Steve Burnside and the Rocky Mountain Boys, Black Mountain, NC



My wife and I met Rick and the Patriots in Wind Gap PA. a few years back. Rick was a great entertainer and a wonderfull person. He was humble and considerate of others feelings. This came through his eyes like a bright shinning light. We will always remember him that way. He once sent us a card that had a picture that was painted by his sister-in-law,Connie Smith.He said that he had fished under the bridge that was in the picture and that he used to play his guitar all night while fishing. We will look at that picture and see him there with his guitar and trot lines and a big smile on his face. Jim and Ginnie Douglas, Ruby, N.Y.


My wife Else and I have known Andie and Rick for many years, not as well as I should have and I am sorry for that. I went through a tough time in my life and Rick was always helpfull, kind, an inspiration and truely a good person. I will miss him. Andie you have our condolences. Allen Biesman, Greeley, Co.


My husband Michael and I were so sorry to hear of Rick's passing. We first met Rick in Connecticut at the Moodus Bluegrass Festival and then the following year at the Country Corner Coffee house in South Hadley, Massachusetts. He was a fine musician. We really enjoyed his part of the "flip chart" song. We wish to express our deepest sympathy and prayers to his family and the band. Sincerely, Mike & Mary Robinson, Belchertown, MA


Hard to find words to describe a man like Rick. I only knew him as an aquaintance, from the jam at Avo's, but he made it feel like we'd been friends for years. He always made the young pickers feel welcome at the jams, even if their playing was sub-par (something I always appreciated). I remember specifically once playing Fireball Mail, and he told me to take a solo. As I was shaking my head 'no', a train came by and he remarked, "Come on, no one will even hear you with the train out there." A smile always comes to my face when I think of that time. Rick will be sorely missed, but will always live on. Andrew Hoiberg Denver, Colorado


What a great person. I just found out about his passing. He was one of the most talented people I knew. A real solid guy. Please pass on my condolences to the family and to the guys in the band. Rick had many friends tucked away everywhere. I consider it a honor to have known him. Sincerely, Dave Kyle, Fresno California


Two things that I will always remember about Rick are his masterful instrumental chops and his kind and quiet manner. Andie and Rick were some of the first folks I met when I landed in Fort Collins in the latter part of the 80's, and they made me feel welcome in my new community. For that I will always be grateful.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Andie. I'll see you down the road, Rick.

Andy May, Gladeville, TN


1/28/2003 I never spoke with Rick Bradstreet but he spoke with me through his music and humor on stage. The first time I saw the Patriots at the Black Rose Acoustic Society in Colorado Springs Rick performed his crazy bluegrass flip chart. It was a hoot. The quality of music and performance was always tops. Rick lives on. Phyllis Stark Colorado Springs


1/28/03 The rich, clean round tones of a fiddle tune being played on a dreadnaught guitar is one of the true treasures in life. Rick was a master at it. I first met Rick at the Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Festival in the early '80's at the Adams County Fairgrounds. I was impressed by his guitar playing and musicianship but mostly by his unabashed love for the music. My friend and pickin' buddy Tim Gauthier had the honor to flatpick with Rick and I was always amazed on how he would whip up a harmony or variation from out of the blue. I will cherish those moments. A true gentleman, musician and stewart of the music.

Ray Coniglio


1/21/03 Bluegrass fans, friends and other assorted people out there in cyberland. I just got quite a shock when I logged on to the Bluegrass Patriots web site to refresh my recollection in preparation for the up comming Mid Winter. I did not hear that Ranger Rick had passed on to Pickers Paradise. I met the Ranger at one of the Mid Winter Festivals in Ft. Collins several years ago. I was, and am, a struggling Dobro player. Rick always found time to offer suggestions, "parking lot" lessons and just general encouragement. I will always be grateful to Rick for his unselfish manner as he shared his knowledge and talent with me. He never! ever! came across as arrogant or impatient as he worked with me. I just wish I had lived closer to Ft. C so I could have taken structured lessons from him. I will miss him greatly. I will have to use those old tapes and CD's as learning aids and inspiration. I have a picture of the Ranger, myself and a number of other "Dobro Delinquents" at a Mid Winter in Ft. Collins hanging on my office wall. Today it just became one of my most prized possessions. Thank you Rick, slide on my brother!

Lynn Chance, Colorado Springs, CO


I first met Rick about 30 years ago in Emporia KS and I must say he introduced me to a strange new exciting world. He was the first Flat Picker that I ever met and had the first BLUGRASS group that I had ever heard!!! He was the first guy to tell me about the Festival at Winfield, and after 30 some odd years I'm still going!! Rick played me the first New Grass Revival album I ever heard. I remember sitting in someone's trailer house out near IBP as Bluegrass Feed & Seed was trying to work up Great Balls of Fire. I grew up on Rock 'N' Roll and had only recently discovered the acoustic guitar when I met Rick. He taught me how to play back up guitar to fiddle tunes. (a skill that has served me well for many years) since I spent many years playing with transplanted Dane, Mark Kline, and even more years playing with my good friend and GREAT fiddler, Jeff Pritchard. My 16 year old daughter, Lindsay is now a contest fiddler, and being able to accompany her at the many fiddle contests around the country has truly been one of the greatest joys of my life!! THANKS RANGER!!!

The day that I learned that Ranger Rick had left the planet, I drove to our cabin at Lake Kahola, played all of my Bluegrass Patriots albums, then being unable to distinguish inspiration from Rum, I did what songwriters do!!

If you'll be so kind as to humor me here, it's called "ROLL RANGER ROLL"

Whether Dobo or the Mossman, man I loved to hear him pick.

His Mama named him Richard, we all called him Ranger Rick.

This one's for our old friend and the man Miss Andie loved.

Some folks just don't stay quite long enough.

Roll Ranger Roll like the Colorado wind play us that old song about the Barnyard Dance again.

Heaven help us to accept what's out of our control. Roll Ranger Roll.

In my mind I see you sittin, pickin' on some mountain top.

Where your glass is never empty and the music never stops.

Everyone you run across out there knows how to sing.

You can pick for days and never pop a string.

Roll Ranger Roll like the lightning in the sky, It's just "We'll see you later" it never is goodbye.

May the cirlcle be unbroken and the Good Lord bless your soul.

Roll Ranger Roll

From the shores of Lake Kahola I turned towards the western sky.

I blended me a strong one and I raised my glass up high.

I thought about your family and I said a little prayer.

As the sun sat in the crisp November air.

Roll Ranger Roll like a Rocky Mountain Storm.

I pray your journey's pleasant and the Place is safe and warm.

May you watch in wonder as the mysteries if the Universe unfold.

Roll Ranger Roll

Roll Ranger Roll like the thunder in the night.

I hope and pray you're satisfied what you've left behind.

While many seem to stay to long, some leave before they're old.

Roll Ranger Roll

Yeah Roll, Yeah Roll, Yeah Roll,

Roll Ranger Roll.


Kenny Craig EMPORIA KS. 1-19-03


I enjoyed knowing and playing with Rick. He was a nice man dedicated to his family, his friends and his music. I'm proud to have known him.

T.O. Locker Florissant, Colorado



I first met Rick at the MBOTMA festival in Taylors Fall, MN in 1984. From the start I knew that he was a special man. He took the time to talk to our boys, Chris (6) and Erik (4) and did magic tricks for them. They couldn’t figure out where he was getting the paper from that he was pulling from his mouth.

The Patriots stayed with us at our home for three days after that festival. They did laundry, cooking and cleaning. We had never had so much fun having house guests.

A few years later at our Annual Bluegrass festival Rick came up to me and said “You’re going to be mad at me.” He had caught a four foot bull snake and given it to my son Erik to play with. He did tell me that it shouldn’t bite him if he was nice to to. Erik still talks about the snake and how cool it was that Ranger Rick had given it to him.

Rick always treated people with respect and tried to find the good in people even when the good might be hard to find. He will be missed by our family and all the friends that he made during the bands trips to Minnesota.

Andie, you are in our thoughts prayers.

Lynn Colby St. Paul Park, MN


Living in Fort Collins for most of the 90s, it was inevitable that I'd get to know Rick, especially after Osprey Guitars opened. He was always there with a bad joke and a smile, and last year when I was giving lessons to begining guitar students, he really helped me out a lot. He was truly a great guy, a pure musician, and a friend I now know I shared with a heck of a lot of folks. And he still owes me another lap steel lesson (I paid for two!). Happy Trails!

Tim Armstrong


Although it has been several years since I last seen Rick, his influence has never left me. One of the first people to ever take a 14 year old kid seriously when he said he wanted to write songs. Thank you so much for sharing with me and teaching me that writing is a craft. You will be missed.

David Sexton


Sincere condolences,your great talent will be sorely missed.May you rest in peace. Joe Lonergan (Dunmore East Bluegrass festival,Waterford,Ireland)


Two delightful memories of Rick:

Winfield 1981: 2 AM, and Ranger Rick, Dennis Bailey, Eric Ostenson and myself were cruising the campground searching for another jam session, when suddenly Rick commands: "Quick, everyone walk like Groucho!", and drops into a half crouch, carrying an imaginary cigar, looking from side to side as he creeps along the lane. We all follow his act...

A gig in Denver, 1983: our band (Generic Bluegrass) played a show with the Bluegrass Patriots (and I cannot honestly remember who opened for whom). Andie was the sound person. At the mike check for the banjo, I slipped my mute loosely around the bridge, causing my banjo to sound like a 1910 Electrolux toaster being played through broken speakers. Andie was aghast, and asked me if my banjo always sounded like that. "No," I replied, "sometimes it sounds bad" Rick laughed, and refrained from breaking my (or my banjo's) neck...

He was one delightful, funny, intelligent, kind, talented person; a light has gone out in our world. Rest easily, Ranger Rick

Rick Riman, Denver CO


Rick was my guitar teacher for about 3 or 4 lessions. Of all my guitar teachers Rick taught me more in those few lessions that any other instructor I had. More importantly Rick taught me how to express myself on the guitar, which I have never been able to before. He made a lasting impression with me that I will cherish all my life. I hope to play with you again Rick.


Ranger Rick , what a guy . I first meet Rick when we hired the Pats to play our BlueGrass festival at Shuswap Lake British Columbia many years ago . Glenn and I had a rule that every band we hire must be better than us the Grizzly Mountain Boys and the Pat was the best band we ever had up. We had this habit of re naming the bands as a back stage joke for fun and so the BlueGrass Patriots became the BlueGrass Pastry Farts ! Ranger Rick thought that was very funny ! Range on Ranger Rick , Much love Al Christopherson . Celista BC Canada


sincere condolences. rest in peace.

from Rob Chanders Athy Bluegrass Co. Kildare Ireland. I.B.M.A.


I'll never forget when Rick called me an asshole for not telling him I had a Golden Era. Andie and Rick were running sound and lil ol me was sitting in with the Free Dawgs on New Year's Eve at Lindens -remember Andie? I've read most everyone else's entries, all befitting the great guy that Rick was, but I had no idea how far-reaching and replete the world is with Rick's memory. I'm glad that a lot of folks got to know him. We all share a wonderful legacy through Rick's gifts of humor and music - gifts he accepted so humbly and shared so unselfishly. I just bought a dobro. Now it can begin its quest for the Bradstreet sound, just like that Mossman sitting next to it. Thanks Andie, for being so strong. I'm crying like a baby and I miss him. Hey Rick, I worked up a harmony to Billy in the Lowground, probably isn't as cool as yours, though. And Devil's Dream in a minor key is still one of my favorite impromptu Bradstreet arrangements. Sleep well, my friend.

Kermit Lubbock, TX


There are not many people that we meet in life where we can say, "How wonderful that our paths crossed". My only interaction with Rick Bradstreet was at the annual Mid-Winter Bluegrass Festivals each year, and although I did not know Rick very well, I can enthusiastically say that knowing him was a wonderful experience in my life.

To me music is a beautiful gift, one that we experience on a very personal level. Meeting other people who love music as much as I do is truely a wonderful experience for me. That is why I can say that talking with Rick about music and listening to how much he enjoyed playing music added something special to my life.

When it came to playing the guitar, I had always been one of those folks who had kept that guitar sitting in the corner collecting dust for 20 years, with the intent to really learn to play "some day". It was Rick who inspired me to finally get off my duff and really start playing.

During one Mid-Winter Festival at North Glenn, Rick and I were eating diner in Damons Restaurant and, of course, talking about music and guitars. At one point, Rick stopped me and said, "Look, Wes. Just make yourself pick up that guitar every day and hold it in your hands. Even if it's just for 5 or 10 minutes. Before you know it, you'll be playing that guitar and you wont't want to put it down. That's all it takes!

Well, I took Rick's advice and you know, he was right. I'm no Rick Bradstreet or Charlie Hall (yet), but I'm playing the guitar now and I'm getting better every day.

Thanks, Rick. I'll keep playing that guitar every day and I hope that some day I'll get good enough to play along side you at the big Bluegrass Festival up high!

Wes Davis Colorado Springs, CO


Happy new year!


I had the privilege of meeting Rick and Andie at a party thrown by Dave and Patty Berner in Manhatten Ks. I was a guest of Jennie Bradstreet. Thank you Rick--we sang and played all night long, I'll never forget you! Monica


Lynn & I met The Ranger & Andie over 20 years ago. I remember when the Patriots made their first appearance for the Minnesota Bluegrass Ass'n at Taylors Falls. Rick sat down at a picnic table and traded dobro licks for several hours with the one-armed dobro/banjo playing wonder, Jerry Burtts. It was just a nice unselfish exchange of musicianship with that compassionate personal touch that was so characteristic of Rick. It made a very lasting impression on me. Over the years we've only been able to see or play with the Patriots every 2 or 3 years but we've kept in touch & up to date through our annual exchange of Christmas cards. The Patriots played a festival in northern Minnesota with us this past Labor Day, and we missed the Ranger being a part of that wonderful sound, it just wasn't quite the same. We missed his wonderful picking/singing and most of all his humor and gentle good-hearted nature. We pray that God will comfort Andi, and all Rick's family and many friends. We sincerely consider it a privilege to have known him. Ron & Lynn Colby and The Platte Valley Boys



We called him "Son". Rick called us "Mom and Dad". Rick was a private person and didn't like to be fused over. Rick liked my beef brisket, so I made sure there was some at Christmas, when they came home. He played for us and we sang with him. Many times, we were off key; he just smiled; "let's try it again" he'd say. He loved our Andrea; they were good together. We loved him.

We have so many memories of the Patriots staying overnight, when passing through. We love you all, and our door is always open to you ~ Ken, Glenn, Willie, Danny. Take care of our girl, so far from us.

Mom & Dad Doris & Bob Legler Mission, Kansas


Our paths crossed just a few times in just a few years, but when they did it was always a joy to see him, pick with him and share stories of the road. I didn't know him as well as some, but he always made me feel a welcome friend to him.

To Andie and all the Patriots, you were truly blessed to have held him so close.

Christopher Walz


I want to thank all of you who have submitted something to and/or read this forum. I hope more people enter their thoughts and feelings about Rick because this forum is bringing me a great deal of comfort. I also want to thank you for all of the cards and the contributions to KRFC-fm. Rick wanted to see the radio station happen, but just couldn’t last that long. So please make it a long term commitment if you can to support KRFC or your own community radio station.

I have been reluctant to submit an entry on this forum because I wasn’t sure I could say what I felt without sounding too sad and bumming you all out. I can’t think of a way, so here goes.

Rick and his music were my life. I was able to do sound with the Patriots because I have good ears and I pay attention. I was also privileged and honored to be able to support Rick’s love of music, his talent for performing and entertaining, and his gift of sharing what he had learned with others. I played classical violin in high school and performed with my high school orchestra. I was never talented, and didn’t want to pursue it, but I did understand the absolute joy of being able to entertain and communicate through music.

I have spoken with many of Rick’s students. Rick would give them real work to do and he would encourage them to pick up their instruments daily. He gave his students a work ethic. He was a good example because he was the most demanding of himself. He was talented and gifted, but he also practiced daily with regimented exercises until he went into the hospital in the summer. You cannot perform the way he did and make it look so easy without having a solid work ethic along with the talent.

People use the term soulmates pretty loosely, but we really were soulmates. In some ways, we couldn’t tell where one of us left off and the other one began. We didn’t have to say things out loud to understand what the other was feeling. We didn’t always know what the other one was thinking, but I always knew he loved me and he always knew I loved him. I still do and I always will.

Rick was a very gentle and kind person who loved his family, the Bluegrass Patriots and his friends deeply. He was not able to put those feelings into words as some others might have wanted him to, but he was able to express his feelings eloquently through music. I hope you all were able to hear his love in his music.

I’ve had to be so strong for the past 9 years, always wondering if Rick was coming home after a gig or teaching a lesson or just going to the grocery store. I would wonder if I would find him alive when I came home from work. I had to be stronger than I ever thought I could be when we were told in July that he was not a suitable candidate for a heart transplant. Then when we were told his kidneys were failing on November 16, I had to be stronger still.

I am grateful that Rick did not have to suffer more than he did. He did suffer, not with pain, but by not being able to be part of the Patriots recording they are working on right now. He also suffered because he couldn’t perform with them and he wanted to so much. He suffered because he couldn't play music anymore and when that happened, he was only a few days away from death.

The best way I can honor and love Rick is to continue to work with the Patriots (I think they still want me), work on the new community radio station, and do the best I can to take care of myself due to health issues I have. I will need friends and family to help me do these things. I’m tired of being strong right now.

My heart goes out to the friends and family of Frank Edmundson. He was a good friend to Rick and me and I will miss him. Check out the photo of them on this website. On Thanksgiving Day I was trying to figure out how to contact him to tell him about Rick. That’s all for now. Maybe I’ll write more later. Thanks to our wonderful webmaster for all of his work on this forum.

Love to all of you and especially to the Patriots for allowing this forum to be on their website.

Andie Bradstreet


Yes - I met "Ranger Rick" here in Bath , England, where I've lived for 7 years - during the first few months I was here (1995) the "Patriots" headlined the local annual (then) Didmarton Bluegrass festival held in early September, and I asked Rick to give me a brief lesson in dobro playing , as I'd become intrigued by the instrument - they came down to Bath the following day to play a gig at the Bell pub and Rick found the time (I couldn't believe it really!)to give me (a fairly proficient guitarist)a concise and useful 10 minute lesson (in an upstairs room at the pub they were using as a dressing-room!) in tuning, holding the bar and basic technique for Bluegrass dobro ..I 've never forgotten that kindness of his, because a lesson from a real pro is worth hours of study...and I am sad to learn (quite by accident as a visitor to this excellent site)that he has died so young- he was a character on stage, and off too, I guess, as well as a great + unpretentious musician( he could send himself up, rare!)...My condolences to all his family, friends, and colleagues in the 'Patriots" , Max Whitaker, Bath ,England.


A sly grin, a wink and always a good word. We smoked and joked at many a festival over the years and we wouldn't trade those memories for anything. Apparently it was time for you to move on and spread your brand of happiness in the here-after( We hope they're ready!). You haven't left a void, you've filled a thousand hearts with laughter and song and memories.

Our condolences to Andie and the Patriots and the rest of the Bradstreet family

Kent Taylor and the guys from Quickdraw


The Patriots have added a Rick Bradstreet Photo Album. Please send any photos (in jpg format) to for inclusion in the album.



I only had the pleasure of hearing "The Patriot`s" live on 3 or 4 occasion`s,but they left a great inpression of one of the happyiestof band`s, and great music, I`m sure the band and all the Fan`s will miss Rick! Happy Trail`s Rick. Bill Andrews. Belfast. N. Ireland.


I've been out to this page a dozen times. I guess I don't like saying goodbye. I hadn't had the chance to see Rick in a few years and consider myself fortunate to have known him. Unlike some of us, Rick only knew how to play the cool notes. He was a real inspiration as a musician, and a real world class guy to boot. Rest in peace, old friend.

Scott Tichenor


It wasn't until we got Bill's message in our Xmas card that We Knew, & Jim and I stared at each other, and Jim whispered 'not Rick Bradstreet'?, and I thought the same, and then, 'Oh, Andie', and Ken & Ruth, and Garry & Larry ~Yes, Rick touched many lives in so many positive ways. Great Dobro players are so rare, especially in the keenly clever. Heaven's one up on us now. Rick will be truly missed & remembered. Jim & Rita Scribner ~ Emporia, KS


I remember the first time I ran across Rick Bradstreet. It was backstage at a flat-pickin’ contest in Henderson, CO. My friend Ray Coniglio pointed him out to me and said, “That’s Rick Bradstreet. He’s got a killer version of Blackberry Rag.” Did he ever! He had a killer version of anything he played.

That was years ago, and I regret not getting to know Rick sooner. It wasn’t until recently that I began spending time with Rick. Over the past few years, I've had the privilege of picking with him on many occasions; never enough.

Rick was always a hoot and inspirational. I learned something new whenever we got together. Once, Rick, Willie and I were getting ready to play Blackberry Blossom and Rick put a capo on the second fret of his Mossman. I thought, maybe he wants to play this in the key of A. I soon realized that he was going to play in the key of G with a capo on the second fret. He played masterfully. What a wise guy! His sense of humor was subtle and outrageous all at the same time. When I got home that evening, I tried to play Blackberry Blossom in G with a capo on the second fret. I finally came to the conclusion that the idea was just plain twisted. Twisted or not, Rick set the benchmark for musicianship.

I truly admired Rick for his musicianship, but I admire him most for the way he comforted his family and friends during his transition from this life. He touched more people than he knew. He has left us with new standards of courage, positive thinking, and dignity. Thanks Ranger.

Tim Gauthier


In the short time that I knew him, I was impressed by Rick Bradstreet as a musician and as a human being. He was one of a kind, a really funny guy you just wanted to be around. And he was one fine flatpicker.

I send my condolences to Andie and the Patriots, and all the friends and family of Rick Bradstreet. I'm sure everyone in Blue Highway feels the same. We've lost a good one.

Tim Stafford Blue Highway


The first time I saw Rick was at the Henderson bluegrass festival either in 1979 or 1980. Our band and fiddle player were there to compete in the band, banjo fiddle and guitar contests.

I sat mesmerized at the incredible version of "Black and White Rag" this cat was playing. Not too fast and without all the standard "contest" licks, Rick worked and caressed the song the way all of us should play.

That pretty much says it all when I think about Rick - talent and taste with concern only for the music.

It was a real privilege to have known and played some with such an accomplished player and fine person. You will be missed and remembered.

Pat Browne


Unfortunately I met Rick only twice in my life -first in 1984 at the Taylor Falls, Minn., Bluegrass Festival and at Ron Colby's house, the second time on the Patriots' Scandinavian tour in Tondern, Denmark, - was it six years ago? So, some might say I hardly knew him. But when you pick with someone a lot is expressed without using many words. He was the one who saw me off in the morning after a long night of pickin' and a few hours of sleep, which I had on the carpet in his hotel room. So I am truely sorry that a very positive person has gone from this earth. It is nice to imagine him continuing his music on a higher level now. See you there, Ranger Rick. Helge Brink, Berlin, Germany


Although I loved his music, I loved his company even more. Rick never failed to put a smile on my face and I always felt better after having been in his presence. I mourn his lost, but I wouln't take anything for the moments I spent with him. Andie we love you and will hold you in our prayers.

Wayne and Deb Bledsoe Bluegrass Now Magazine


Rick was a very special person. His sense of humor and great musical talent will be long remembered by all of his friends and fans.

We will all miss him and his music.

Suzanne Denison, California Bluegrass Association


He taught a way-too-old-to-learn guy how to pick well enough to not scare the cats.

He could make a twenty-year-old Ovation held together with duct tape sing like it didn't care.

He laughed at me, and I did him, too.

Adios Ranger.

Dan Kilcommons


I've had the immense pleasure of being Ranger Rick's friend for almost twenty years now. We both shared Kansas musical roots and his band, The Skunk Valley Boys, and my band, The World's Largest Prairie Dog, travelled the same Kansas bluegrass paths, although I never saw them and didn't actually meet Rick until we were both in Colorado (I'm pretty sure we picked together at Winfield a time or two before that, though). Rick never ceased to amaze me with both the depth of his musicianship and his sense of humor. I'm pretty sure there wasn't a song or a joke he didn't know. I've had some great times with Rick and the rest of the Patriots (late nights at Adams County and at BT and George's in the Black Forest come to mind).

After quite a few years of occasionally jamming with Rick I was really excited when he joined up with me in Cowtown Boogie to play some good ol' Western swing music. Although we didn't play nearly enough, the times we did play will always be special to me. The communication that happens between musicians is something that is hard to put into words, but there were times when things were clicking so well with us that I couldn't help but laugh just from the sheer joy of the moment. I'm truly fortunate to have been able to have those experiences with the Ranger.

Since we first learned of Rick's heart condition some years ago I have felt that the time I have been able to spend with Rick was a gift, one that I will always treasure. Rick, it's just now coming home to me that I won't get to pick with you or laugh with you again, at least not in this life. Thanks for sharing your friendship, your musicianship and the courage with which you faced this last challenge. And, by the way, don't worry about Andie - we're all there for her.

Ron Lynam


Rick was always the same person no matter when you would cross paths with him. We played several festivals over he years with the Patriots, and shared more than one meal when we would meet on the road going to different shows. Rick always had the best humor with perfect timing. His dobro playing was always just right for the piece being played.

But it's not the professional musicianship and entertaining stage presence that people are remebering the most, it is the man and his personality, character and big warm friendly smaile. What a testiment to his living amoung us.

Prayers and blessings on Andrea and the extended family, and all the Patriots.

David Wilson Dudley Murphy Steve Duede

Radio Flyer


I never really knew what bluegrass was until the early 70's when I met 18 year olds Rick, Bill Greer, and Layne Bowen, along with the elderly (early 20's) Steve Markley, who formed the Bluegrass Feed and Seed Company band in Emporia. I remember Rick picking the Black Mountain Rag on his flat top and dazzling at the synergy produced by these incredible young musicians, and I remember the joy that we all experienced from being there with them in the basement of the Heidelberg. My thanks to Rick, who did much to foster in me a lifelong love for the music that he held so dear. Greg Swick


I will always remember when I first met Rick. I was on my way to Montana in the fall of 1980 and stopped at the Adams County Festival on the way. Rick had just moved to Colorado from Kansas. Neither one of us knew anyone, so we hung out together and backed each other up in the flatpicking contest. Even on our first meeting, I could tell what a sincere and genuine guy he was.

My other fond memory of Rick and the Patriots was picking in a motel in Victorville, California. We kept having to move from room to room as the manager would try to shut us down because we were too loud. Imagine that.

Rick, my life is a better one because of knowing you, as are all the other lives you touched. We'll meet again someday.

John Lowell


We were on stage at the Dunmore East, Ireland festival. Rick started in on "Peach Pickin' Time in Georgia" when a young man, a very drunk young man, stood up and started dancing (if you could call it that) right in front of the stage. The crowd was trying to ignore him when he started taking his clothes off little by little. He was quite distracting and the atmosphere was getting tense. As the song went on, nobody knew where this was heading or how it would end. Right before this guy was about to achieve his 15 minutes of fame at our expense, Ranger Rick, in mid-verse, chimed in "Hey buddy, I hope you realize this song has four more verses". The crowd exploded in laughter and the drunk picked up his clothes and left. Professional show business.

Rick was and will always be a big part of my life. I'll always be playin' those licks he showed me and I'll be tellin' those jokes and singin' those songs of his. The Patriots shall indeed press on and Rick will always be a part of us.

Brush away the tears, Andie, we love you.

I'm gonna miss you Ranger, see you later Pard.

Glenn Zankey


I'll always remember Rick as a carefree guy with lots of talent. He was one of the first people I knew who had e-mail, and he once sent me a five-page list of nothing but songs about coffee. He had to mail it by post, because I was still in the Dark Ages. His skill with his instruments was enormous, but he took it all for granted. When I told him all the reasons I could never play guitar as well as he could, he just said I had to think past that. Rick, I'm sure we'll meet again, so stay in tune. I'll need a long time for lessons. Save me a seat, ok? Bob Terrill


Andie and Patriots, Rick was one in a million.He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. I am glad I got to see him recently on what was probably his last outing to the grocery store. He had a smile and a hug for me just as always. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Beth and Shawn Miller


Rick had such a good heart. I was blessed to know him & pick with him & will miss him very much. Crystal Kerr


Andie, Ruth and Ken, our thoughts are with you at this sad time.

Rick, I’ve read all the stuff in this forum. These good folks have all benefited greatly from having known you, laughed with you and heard you pick the strings. Here are a few things I forgot to thank you for when we visited a few weeks ago:

You and Layne visiting Garry and I at the Cave on Sherman Street in 1971 and listening to John Hartford records. The Baptism at Big Springs on the day the need for Buster’s Rules of the Road first arose. You and Russ playing and singing Muleskinner Blues at the City Lights. The way my Mossman sounded when you played it in the contest at Winfield. The Skunk Valley Boys singing Southbound Passenger Train at the Fireside: you sang the lead, Andie was on the board. Playing Coming Down From Rising Fawn and Old Brown Case at the wedding when Kathy and I were married 26 years ago. Jeff Prichard, Mark Kline and you tearin’ it up at the Barn. The Copenhagers ganged around you, soakin’ it up. Seeing you at Christmas time for the last several years and getting my annual guitar lesson. The arrangements you made for me to send my guitar to Denver with “strangers” so you could give it to Bob Westbrook to overhaul in Cheyenne. The way it sounded when it came home. The way you always stuck to the melody and essence of the song but added lots of joyful, interesting twists and turns. Come to think of it, it worked pretty well when you played guitar too.

Bill & Kathy Wiseman Ottawa, Kansas


Dec. 5, 2002 Rick's dad just informed us of Rick's death. We were in the throes of moving, and had no way to communicated. I am related to Rick. His mother Ruth and I are second cousins. I met Rick once, when his parents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. My husband Dick and I were invited for the occasion, and what an occasion it was. Rick sang for us with his mellow voice as he played his guitar, as did his brother Larry. We enjoyed every minute of it. Now he can sing with the angels. My condolences to Andy and to the BluegrassPatriots who have also become family to each other. You will all miss him. Rick always reminded me of my brother Dirk, who not only resembled Rick, but also sings with the guiter and also with a choir in Kingston, Ontario. Liz Webley, formerly Van Rooyen


I remember how surprised I was when Rick's Uncle Gene informed me that one of his favorite nephews played bluegrass dobro, the instrument I wanted to try to learn and didn't know what to buy or how to get started. Without knowing me, he took the time to call me with valuable suggestions regarding instrument selection, proceedures for learning and playing, and of course tons of encouragement. After getting to know him, along with the rest of his family and of course Andi, my wife and I soon learned that he was a very special person. During our last visit in Fort Collins, he stated, "just remember, whenever you're playing, you're playing for me." Those words will always be remembered, and the the kind and patient individual who spoke them. We will never forget Ranger Rick.

Jim and Gloree Clausen Sioux City, Iowa 12-5-02


When I tell my friends about my Uncle Rick and him playing the dobro, they wonder what a dobro is. I guess since I've been around bluegrass music my whole life, I assume everyone knows what a dobro is. I remember when i was young,, some of the best memories were of Rick, my dad, and all their friends playing music at our house. I remember thinking, how in the world can he play all those different instruments? It seemed like every other song he had a new instrument. I also remember thinking, boy, he must have alot of money to take all those music classes. I know now that it was just talent. I also remember a few years ago, my dad invited me to a bluegrass festival in Ft. Collins to hear The Bluegrass Patriots play. I remember how proud I was to tell everyone he was my uncle. I could see how everyone admired and respected him.

I wish my son Levi, could have been their to see some of his magic tricks and all his pranks. He would have been very impressed, since he is a prankster himself. I remember once, Rick tried to con me into putting a bullet hole sticker on my grandparents sliding glass door. He tried forever, but I wasn't going to be the one in trouble when my grandpa saw it. I have so many great memories of Rick and Andie. They were always smiling and so nice to everyone. I'll miss you Rick! Jennie Bradstreet


I thought I knew everything there was to know about music. Then, in the late 80's I got a job at KCSU radio and realized just how little I knew. And, in the best possible and most wonderful sense, I still feel that way. Rick was among the many, many special folks who taught me what an infinitely large place this world of music is, and always will be.

My favorite memory of Rick was when he and Glen Zankey came in and cut a promo for the Bluegrass and Folk programming -- they found the scratchiest, tinniest recording of a banjo they could and said something like "Do you think bluegrass music is only played by toothless hillbillies in the background of four-wheel drive commercials? Well, we have news for you!" At that point, the sound of a very expensive stylus ripping across the thick, chasm-like grooves of that poor record came blasting across the air. Hot, modern bluegrass then poured out of the speakers, and Rick and Glen told folks when they could tune in to hear more.

I also remember the year I lived in Alaska, and the Patriots blew into the last frontier for a bluegrass fest. It was nice to see people from a place my wife and I consider home. Rick gave me a Patriots CD. Later that summer in Anchorage I found a piece of fossilized walrus ivory that I thought would make a nice nut for his dobro. Even though we’ve been back in Colorado many years now, I’ve yet to come across where we packed it away during the move. I guess I’ll have to give it to him later.

Carson Block, Fort Collins CO


12/5/2002 I think it was 1980 when Rick and Andie first came into the Fort Collins Bluegrass scene....We all bonded as "kids from Kansas". I remember Sunday monopoly games between jam sessions with lots of laughing and silliness. I took a couple of guitar lessons with him before he became a teacher, and his teaching skills were apparent back then. I was glad when he started to teach professionally because he had so much to offer musically.

I was honored to be Andies maid of honor at their wedding reanactment for their Fort Collins friends.

One of my favorite memories were the making of slide shows in the 1980's. At that time I was getting my teaching certificate and I had an assignment to make an educational slide-sound show. My topic was "A lion as a symbol in Art". Rick graciously played the dobro throughout the presentation. We had so much fun making the presentation, we decided to make some sound-slide shows for the fun of it, so we started "Half-Baked Productions". Our first production was for an upcoming chile cookoff contest. Rick's commercial was called "Exercising with Ranger Rick", A theme he carried through into the next slide show - "E.T.T.H."(Extra terrestrial top hats)...polish top-hat chickens from outer space invading earth, complete with commercials. This was all really silly, but we thought we were really cool and clever!

I don't think Rick felt very well for the last decade, but he did his best to live life to the fullest. He had a wonderful laugh, and he was laughing right to the end....I can still hear him say "we had some good times pardner"..... And we did have some good times Rick, I'll miss you.

Susan Dailey


That last post was not meant to be anonymous! I forgot to sign it. Mike Bub Del McCoury Band Nashville, Tennessee


Double dose of sadness this week with the news of two of Colorado's finest passing away, Ranger Rick and Frank Edmonson. Rick was the sort of musician on and off the stage we all want to be, but most never become. I enjoyed his humor, playing, taste in beer (whatever is in the ice chest!) and his always glad to see you demeaner. I can only imagine the emotional weight of this loss to the Band. Press on boys, I'm sure Rick would have it no other way.

12/5/2002 many things to remember about Rick. I remember doing guitar workshops with him and marevling at how patient he was with all the beginners in the crowd. His sense of humor, willing smile, and overwhelming kindness is a treasure I will miss for a very long time.

I remember the time we were doing sound at Mid-Winter and Rick "Spaghettied" all my cords on the floor- smiling while he did it. He did it after the show was over and smiled...then helped me untangle the mess. Had he not done this, it would not have taken twice as long to get everything untangled, but I remember as we worked together, we had this great conversation about the festival and playing music. WOW!!!What a guy to want to spend some extra time just chatting.

Another time was at the Happy Jack festival. We hired Matt Flinner to come and play banjo for us and Rick, Matt, and I got into a picking session....wooooo man was that one good. Ricks musicianship was always splendid.

Thanks Rick - for all you were as a person, a friend, and as a musician. I think of you every time I set up a sound system, see a Mossman guitar, or get into a discussion about capos.

To my pals in the Patriots, please know I am thinking a lot about you guys at this time. Thanks a lot for setting up this forum. It is a delight to read about Rick's life through his friends and to know how many people he really touched.

Andie - words cannot express how my heart feels. You are very much in my thoughts and prayers.


Steve Gilmore


I didn't know Ranger Rick personally but I'll always remember a jam session in a kitchen in Fort Collins in the 70s where he sang Peach Pickin Time In Georgia - I'll always associate that tune with him. Thanks Rick - Mike McCarthy, Twin Falls, Idaho


Here in Ireland we regard the Bluegrass Patriots as friends, so it is with great sadness that we learn of the death of our great friend Ranger Rick Bradstreet,We have only fond memories of Rick which we shall cherish. Mel Corry,Lurgan Co.Armagh Ireland


All the Bluegrassers in Alaska will miss you Rick. I'm so glad I got to see the Patriots perform at Hunter Creek Bluegrass Music Festival out in Palmer,AK. in recent years. I pray that God will comfort all the family. Steve Oudean



Rick, you left us much too soon, but your presence will be felt at every Patriots performance and every musical event from now on. I'll never forget how surprised and flattered I was when you you asked if we could get together for a piano/guitar jam. Sorry we didn't get it done, but let's do it later.

Andie, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Warren Ward


I was able to visit with Rick a few days before he left us and I am thankful we could spend a couple of minutes talking. I ask him to save a place for me so we can get together and pick again and the answer was "I'll do it, brother." He has been and will continue to be an inspiration to me and many other musicians. To Andie and all of the family, thanks for sharing him with us, we are all better for having Rick in our lives... Gary Cook


I met Ranger Rick the summer I shared a house with the Dark Horse band in Fort collins. He was a kind man and a credit to The Bluegrass Patriots.I know he will be missed. It never occurred to me that any and all of the Bluegrass Patriots would not always be with us. I am saddened by by his passing. Please Bluegrass Patriots take good care of your selves we love having you in our lives and we love your music. Sincerely,Richard Gelardin


Although I had only learned of the Patriots and "Ranger" Rick in 2000, I'm grateful for the two years of music and smiles Rick brought to crowds in Fort Collins and around the country. He'd be in the dictionary under "musician" if it were up to me. What a grand life!

Brian McNoldy


I have never liked the phrase "passed away." Although I never heard it from Rick, I've read the other messages here and it seems very appropriate to envision him EXPLODING into a new universe.... where, I'm also sure, he's making someone laugh, and/or smile, and/or appreciate being there with him in a thousand different ways. That's Ranger Rick!

I'd love to be able to reveal some hidden quality that he expressed only to me, but Ranger didn't live that way. He was the same with everyone: genuinely interested in you and incredibly giving of himself. As with so many others, he greatly influenced my appreciation of Bluegrass music, and encouraged me at every opportunity. ..for which I will always be grateful.

I will miss having him "make my day" with something that was totally unexpected, but I won't miss him... because he's still here, in my heart.

Jan Peterson


My favorite memories of Rick are of him playing songs for my family and me at Christmas time. At first he'd always refuse to play and say he didn't want to, but soon he'd be playing up a storm. He could always get everyone in the family to sing along, and he could make everyone laugh with all the funny songs he knew. One of those funny songs was "Christmas in Harlem". My uncle Rick and uncle Garry would both play and sing this song every christmas.

Another thing that I always loved about Rick were all of his gag gifts that he would always have for me, my sister and my cousins. He would always be giving us whoopee cushions, and he would tell us exactly where to put them so that our moms and dads would sit on them. Rick had a wonderful sense of humor and he could always make you laugh.

Rick has been (and will continue to be) a major influence on my music career. I teach elementary music now so that I can pass on the value of music and sense of humor onto other children, just as Rick did for me, my sister, and my cousins.

I'll never forget you Rick!!!!

Sara Bradstreet



Ranger Rick, With your ready smile, We're glad we knew you Here for a while.

Mike Dow


I am very saddened to learn about the departure of one of my favorite people. Rick was always a joy to be around. No matter what mood or situation you were in, Ranger Rick had a great gift in his ability to make you smile. I'm sorry for the loss...for the Patriots and the rest of humanity too.

Pete Simon


Take Care......Thinking of you all, the great music, great smile, kindess, thanks! Deni La Rue


OK....Here I go. I'm so touched by all these voices from all over this big bluegrass world...I feel like we are all standing here together now in a great memorial jam session for our good buddy, Ranger Rick. He had to walk a pretty long and rough road over the past months. He was unfailingly cheerful, courageous and philosophical even in the last week of his wonderful life. I got to be there almost constantly for the last three days with Andie and their spunky little pup, Athena. It was an unforgettable experience. I was awed by his spirit and will-to-live as long as he could. On the day before he was released from his tired and worn out body, he gave Karen (his wonderful favorite visiting nurse), Andie and I one of his famous 'double dimple' 1,000 watt smiles. I'll just never, never forget that moment. What a great big loving heart he had! Jo Ann Hedleston (Zankey)


How can we express all the lpve and memories of 48 years as parents of Rick? How can we tell of all the daily events that made our memories?

We think of his birth in Sioux City, Iowa, when Rick was so anxious to join the family that we barely made it to the hospital! Then came the first days at home where he quickly learned that a loud shriek and pointing would get him anything his heart desired. As a result, he never spoke until he was three years old and never wasted words from then on. There was also no need to walk early as everything was brought to him. It wasn't long though before he found that he had to keep up if he was going with his older brothers, Larry and Garry. Rick always brought up the rear, shouting, "Wait a me, guys!" It wasn't long before he became a part of the action.

Rick had no problems in school; he started at the age of four, always pulling good grades in his classes. He was always inquisitive, always trying to see how things worked. He loved magic and playing tricks on people which did get him in a tight spot a time or two. The wonders of space came alive in our basement workshop where he built rockets that we took to the country to fly after one was fired against the upstairs floor. When the astronauts started flying, he would explain every move to his mother, as they sat in front of the TV. When our work with IBP took us to Emporia, Rick went with us to finish school there. Yes, he was one of those who climbed up on the high school and hung the Coors Beer banner across the front of the building. Larry was in the Army in Germany and Garry was in his senior year, living with Grandma Bradstreet, graduated and came to Emporia.

It was a fateful move! Rick had his heart set on playing the banjo after seeing one advertised in the Sears wishbook. On a trip to Topeka he talked his mother into buying him the $40 Sears banjo! The plinking started and it never ended! He took to it quickly, you all know he had an exceptional musical ear and it wasn't long before a guitar showed up. He would go to his room, shut the door and play for hours. Of course, it led to building a pick-up band to play in saloons, which we tried to discourage, but he kept following his musical path, making his dream come true.

Then he and Russ Larsen decided to see what was on the other side of the road and moved to Ft. Collins, Colorado. He and Andrea came back home to be married, a bright spot in our lives,but soon distance kept us apart. He made a special trip back once to play a concert for our Emporia 5th grade children. He was always doing trhose special things for others all through his life. We'll always treasure the few Patriot concerts we were able to attend.

We never got to spend much time with him in these later years but the love between parents and son never faltered. We will always remember our last days together as we reminisced, when he took us to ther KU basketball games in his bedroom, and that last Friday when he asked for his guitar and played his last set for the family as Garry sang. We remember his last wishes, asking for our approval to be taken off the life support, and then reading the excerpt from "Little Big Man" where the old chief defies death and thanks the deity for making him a human. May we all accept death with such strength , dignity and honor as we go to be with our Maker.

We thank you all in our extended family who helped make his short life memorable and complete, we love you all. We especially love you, Karen, you nursed all in this difficult time. Most of all, Thank you, Andrea, for being you, a wonderful wife and daughter.

With our love, Ruth and Ken Bradstreet


Dear Rick, Hope this letter finds you in time for Christmas. I suppose there’s lots of red tape involved in getting settled in a new place, organizing a new band, scheduling barn parties, locating all the congenial watering holes, and so on. We’re all sorry to see you go, of course, but nobody gets to hang around forever. I still remember you and Layne slouched down in a booth at The Office and cadging drinks out of the pitcher while Garry and I were distracting the bartender with our instruments. I’m glad you didn’t listen to us closely enough to ruin you completely. I know you could always tell when I was getting ready to come in or to turn around or to take a break, and I accept responsibility for that. However, as it didn’t seem to have any permanent deleterious effect on your playing, I don’t feel too bad about it.

Anyway, keep out of trouble, and if you happen to run into Chuck in your travels, please say “Hi” to him for me, and tell him I haven’t sold the farm. All our best, buddy.

Bob Curry


So sorry to hear about Rick. The thing I remember most about Rick (besides his musicianship!) was his smile and his whole-hearted acceptance of us as fellow musicians and friends; even after only a brief time together. He was always a kick to be around and a very warm guy. I can only assume that he was that way with a lot of people. We covered one of his songs for a couple of years in our show toward the end of our time together as a band (was it called "Cold and Lonely?" - "It might go ten below again tonight...").

I haven't seen Rick for quite a few years, so I have no idea if he was in bad health or not. Condolences to all his friends and loved ones. We'll miss him up here in the northern Rockies.

Phil Round Snake River Agency (formerly with the Loose Ties bluegrass band)


I never had the pleasure of meeting Rick, but have enjoyed his music over the thousands of miles. My most sincere condolences on behalf of the Scottish Bluegrass fraternity.

Mike Murphy, Cleland, Scotland.


I've known Rick since I was a little kid. He was a great musician but much more importantly, he was a damn good guy. He influenced me musically and as a person, which is something I can never find words to thank him enough for. Last time I saw him, we got up on stage and did "Walking After Midnight." I will remember you and remember you well, Ranger Rick. Julie Elkins


I was so sorry to hear of Rick's passing. I remember him fondly and missed him when I saw The Patriots in September the last two years. He was always so much fun and he always greeted me with a big hug. He was a fine musician and a wonderful person. Delbert thought a lot of him too.

Erma spray


I met Rick through his brother Gary in Emporia in the first years of the Seventies. Gary was and still is a dear friend. I remember Rick making fun of my love for Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix (I was in a rock band) and his hilarious imitations of Bob Dylan. I listened to him and various ensemble agragations for many years but have not heard him play for some time now. I know he will be greatly missed by family, friends, and fellow musicians. My condolences to you, Andie, and to his brother Gary, Layne Bowen, Bob Curry, Bill Greer, Dave, Joe and others that I'm forgetting who were a part of those early groups. Those were great times and Rick was a great musician and person. Thanks Rick. Bob Yoos.


It's hitting me hard how much I miss you my friend, and I will never ever forget when you came to see me in the hospital after my terrible bike crash and I was so depressed and you sang me a song you had just written that did not have a name yet, but it came to be known as "Dreaming My Way Back Home." Then you went back to the Bluegrass show on KSCU radio and played "Wreck on the Highway" for me, and you made me laugh. I will never forget you, my dear friend, and I hope you are now jamming with John Hartford and having a blast. Love from Terri Watson, Fort Collins, CO


The first I remember meeting Rick was at the Adams County Fairgrounds, must have been in the early '80s. There was a mess of us there, the Montana contingency, including Fred Zipp and probably Jay Marvin and me. The pickin' was endless, it seemed. All day pickin' late night pickin', early morning pickin'. We all ended up at Rick's camp for breakfast one morning. Rick reached in his cache for cans of corned beef hash. Out came two cans, one of corned beef hash and one of Strong Heart dog food. We all laughed. After opening the cans we realized that the contents of both looked & smelled quite the same. I'm not sure to this day whether it was planned or not, but Rick sure had fun with it & kept us laughing.

It was always a pleasure to pick standing next to Rick out in some camp ground or parking lot or motel room or on stage in some Grange Hall or some dim lit saloon, or to sit in the audience and listen to his expressive solos & back up work. Or to see one of his routines and experience his wonderful humor. I was always particularly envious of his tasteful guitar pickin'.

My heart goes out to Andy and the boys in the band. Rick, you are a kind wonderful soul, you are well loved and you will be missed. See ya on the other side ...........

Larry Barnwell


What I remember most about my cousin Rick is the necklace he sent me for my 18th birthday and his love of music. My deepest sympathies go to his family, Andie, Aunt Ruth, Uncle Ken, Larry, Garry. My thoughts are with you all. Karen Handke


I met Ranger Rick through hanging around Osprey Guitars and Avo's. We never got to play together, but we laughed together a lot. Many times I'd be on my way home from work with a bad joke stuck in my head and hope Rick would be around so I could infect him with it. Often I'd go out to hear a band and find Rick sitting in with them. Who hasn't he played with around here? Leon McAwful on table steel... I was away for the summer and was pretty shocked to hear of his illness when I returned home. I wasn't expect him to check out so soon. There's a void around here. But where ever folks get together to laugh and make music, Rick's spirit will be around. Blessed be, my friend. Paul Honeycutt, Ft.Collins, CO


Cousin - I never knew you well but after reading all of these touching words from your friends, family and collegues, it appears as if you were indeed a very wealthy man. To the Bradstreets - my thoughts and prayers are with you. Jack Van Vliet - St. Paul Mn.


i remember the first time , i heard Rick , it was one cold afternoon in a hotel, in dunmore east , waterford , IRELAND, it was"nt at all what i exspected, his dobro, and guitar picking brought a ray of sunshine, to another-wise bleek afternoon, when i asked why he was"nt playing guitar with the patriots, he replied? the band has a great player allready, ( i thought how unselfish , ?? until , next time barney bowes,


On behalf of the Members and the Board of Directors of the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society, I would like to extend our sincere condolences and thoughts to Andie and Ranger Rick’s family, the Bluegrass Patriots, his many, many friends, and all who were touched by his wonderful sense of humor, warmth and superb musicianship.

Rick’s dedication to bluegrass and his enthusiasm for sharing the music on stage and off as a performer, teacher and mentor was a joy to behold. Bluegrass in Colorado will be a little more ‘high and lonesome’ without his presence. We will miss him. He will always hold a special place in our hearts and memories... and in our music.


B.J. Suter Colorado Bluegrass Music Society


Rick was special, both as a person and a musician. One of those people you feel comfortable with instantly, and inspirational in the way he enjoyed people and life to the fullest -- even when facing death in his last days.

And what a fine musician. His playing had so many little surprises while still keeping a solid sense of taste and timing. That is a really appealing way to play!

Rick was full of other surprises too. I'll never forget when, completely unexpected, "Nigel", an amazingly dressed rock star (yellow stretch pants I think it was), jumping on stage with Hot Rize (or was it Red Knuckles?), wanting to jam with his dobro. And jam he did! We were laughing and amazed at his going out on such a limb for the folks at the Rocky Mt. Bluegrass Festival.

The world is a better place for Rick having been there. We're lucky to have had him for a while. Andie and the band, Joan’/Nondi and I send our best to you. Thanks for sharing Rick with us.

Pete Wernick


What an inspiration to musicians everywhere. I grew up in bluegrass knowing Rick and drawing motivation from him. I have never met anyone so willing to help others suceed. Rick you will be greatly missed!!

Trisha Isenberger Peterson, Loveland, CO


I first heard Ranger Rick stories from Bob Curry in 1981 while I was living in Lawrence, KS. Six years later I moved to Colorado and finally met Rick and Andie. Rick was everything Bob told me, and more. A great player, entertainer, and a true gentleman. For the next several years we (Heartland) played many bluegrass festivals with the Pats. Rick always amazed me with his tasteful playing and stage antics. And after the show he was a great guy just to hang out with. He will be missed.

Rick Desko, Overland Park, KS


Boy, Rick, you've left a big hole. Like so many others here, I remember a guy who loved to play, to laugh and joke, and always had a smile. You encouraged our band, you were SUCH a creative player, and I loved picking with you. One of my fondest memories is roping you into doing a fingerpicking workshop with me at Mid-Winter, and the fun of just picking and laughing with you.

Many happy trails; we're going to miss you.

Charlie Hall


I had the great good fortune to take guitar lessons from Rick for a couple of years, until spring 2002. Although I’ve seen the Patriots play many times and had admired Rick’s musicianship from afar for years, I really knew Rick only in the guitar-lesson context. I can’t express what a gifted instructor he was: patient, friendly, warm, open-minded (he loved and could play any kind of music). But above all, he was generous. He shared everything he knew with you, and cheered for you when you made even a little progress. Whenever I was having trouble getting a concept, he considered it his downfall, not mine (all evidence to the contrary!). He would cock his head and say, “Now let me think about how I can say this to you a better way.” My favorite lessons were the ones he started by saying, “Let’s not have a lesson today. Let’s just play music.” What a gift to have shared that little lesson room space with him for those hours! I once told him how much I regretted not having taken up guitar when I was a kid. He just shook his head and said, “You have to start where you are, set your goals, and don’t look back.” (He amazed me by saying that his goal was to play every lead line he knew on just four strings of the guitar!) I never play guitar (especially swing chords) without thinking of him. He told me to “forge ahead.” I will. Thanks, Rick.

Michele Crockett


I'll never forget Rick taking the time to meet me at a Wed. night Avo's Jam, just to help me get started with my banjo. His instant warmth and genuine nature shined right through. Even after years of moving away from Fort Collins, he never hesitated to come up to me at Festivals and make sure I was still working on my playing. I'll never forget those subtle kicks in my pants to keep after it. Well Rick, I'm still at it and will be forever. Thanks Rick.

My heart goes out to the whole extended Bluegrass Patriots Family.

Kevin Dirk, Paonia, Colorado


I don't remember ever having a conversation with Ranger Rick that did not include some laughs, even in a phone conversation in August ('02) when I phoned after learning how ill he was. I will forever be indebted to him for sharing his peaceful perspective on crossing over, for his excellent music and for always being himself in any situation. I look forward to one day joining him in that big "jam session in the sky" and send sincere condolences to Andrea and the great guys who call themselves the Bluegrass Patriots.

Greg Cahill


I'll miss Rick--his smile, his friendship, his warmth, his hugs, his way of taking a complex musical idea and expressing it simply in words and eloquently on an instrument. A light has moved from the earth to the sky. If there is a heaven, I bet it's one long bluegrass festival and Rick's up there pickin' 'n' grinnin'. My deep sympathies to the family and the Patriots. Love, Sandy Reay


What a tough day to return to the office after a long weekend...first I get a phone call from Denise Stiff telling me that former Hot Rize sound man and now Alison Krauss road manager Frank Edmonson passed over the weekend--and now Ranger Rick. What a sweet, self effacing, tolerant guy. I met Rick, along with the other Bluegrass Patriots, at the annual California Bluegrass Festival in Grass Valley--over the years, Chris (Lewis, my partner), and I came to know and love that band. They seemed to play the festival every other year, and we always looked forward to having the guys camp near us--we shared a lot of laughs and a lot of good music during those years, and Rick was always in the middle of all of it, the jams, the gossip, and the tomfoolery. Never as boisterous as some of the guys in the band (are you listening, Willie?), Rick was always a quiet comforting presence, and he was a game fellow, up for anything musical. I know he had been in less than the best health, but I never figured he'd go away before I made it back to Grass Valley and saw the guys one more time. Now I know I won't, and it hurts. Randy Pitts Keith Case and Associates Nashville,Tennessee


Though I haven't seen Rick since I left Colorado about 6 years ago (unless I ran into him at a Wintergrass Festival in Tacoma - my memory isn't that sharp - were the Patriots out there anytime since 1997?), I have many memories (some clear and others less so) of him from various bluegrass events over the years, and from the slide shows that Susan Dailey (McDonald) used to put on at her and Willie's barn. I remember the "Ranger Rick Excersize Program" - showing him raising cans of beer in each hand from waist level to his mouth (in case any of you have missed the shows) featured as a prominent commercial. He was a funny guy, a fine musician, and a friend (though he once ran off the stage in the middle of a Patriots' gig and grabbed me by my shirt collar and said, "enough already" after I was encouraged by another Bluegrass Patriots fan into joining her in trying to hit him with paper "spitballs" blown through a straw - and one of them unfortunately made contact and distracted him in the middle of one of the band's songs). I guess I deserved the reprimand for acting too silly (though I was trying to pester him in a friendly sort of way). I guess I remembered that incident well. Of course, as far as music goes, besides playing fine dobro, his guitar duets with Glen were always a treat to hear, and also memorable were the general age of the "wires" on his guitar. To this day, if people complain that my strings need to be changed more often, I would bring up the age and tone quality of Rick's vintage guitar strings to convince them that my strings are good for at least a few more months. I was hoping that with all the various medical advances, that maybe he'd be around for some time yet (and hoping that I could again see him and maybe play some music when and if I got back to Colorado for a visit). Well, it is very sad that he won't be around longer and his friends and fans will just have to remember him as a musician and person the best we can. People shouldn't leave so early in life. My condolences to Andie and the Patriots on their loss.

-Peter Schwimmer, Portland, OR


Whenever I think of Uncle Rick I think of being a young girl and singing along with his songs at family gatherings. I think of him teaching me magic card tricks at Grandma and Grandpa's house. (He would always let me practice on him and he would pretend to fall for it!!!) I think of his HUGE smile. I think of his AWESOME musical talents. I think of his comical wit. I think of our last conversation as he told me to think of him when I looked into the sky at a full moon and how he would be there. I think of the bravery in his voice as he told me he would become a Super Nova. I think of what a wonderfully talented a special person he is and how very much I will miss him. Aunt Andie, I love you. -Dawn Bradstreet


Rick was my friend. We didn't get to spend a lot of time together, but I treasure each meeting. He played my kind of music -- he talked my kind of talk -- he made me proud to know him. I'll think of him each time I play a "Patriots" song on my radio show. The world could stand a few more Rick Bradstreets. Dave Rousseau


We came to know Ranger Rick over the many years of hanging out with the BGP, in Ft.Collins, all over Vermont (especially at our house), and even in Canada. Neither of us could ever hear a dobro without immediately thinking of him, and it seems that recently we have heard that sound everywhere. I had a sweet and compelling conversation with Rick just a month ago, about his upcoming journey. We should all have his grace, humor, and thoughtfulness as we head there...

Lots of love to Andie, the Bradstreet family, and the Patriots -- Lee Monro and Elvin Kaplan


Ruth & Ken, It's tough to lose a child. We cry for you two sweet people. God bless you. Love, Jacque & George


The first time we attended the mid winter festival Rick introduced me to the concept of the Dobro bullies.It was great fun and worked in California too. The Dobro bullies lost their general but the troops will carry on this grand tradition. He was a great musician and also a great friend who's practical jokes kept you on your toes. The sorrow of losing you will never overshadow the joy your friendship brought into our lives. Our hearts are with you,Andie Gerry Szostak & Aned Halverson, Windsor CA


Old Time Pickers and Fiddlers, Cottonwood Falls Grade School Gymnasium. 197 . . . 3? Black Mt. Rag on guitar, center stage. I couldn’t believe it—someone this great in CWF? Every note crisp as a new dollar bill. Remember that, Bill? Layne? Steve? It had to be you guys with him, but (sorry) it’s that guitar I still hear, that big boomy smile I still see.

Winfield, year after year. Emporia, The Maverick, Thursday night (?) after Thursday night. Russell: Sing Song Kitchy, Marie. The hippie mall. Curry barn parties, head of the Verdigris. Emporia bars, farms, goose cookoffs, hang me up beside someone who’s red and white and hairy, buster’s all-night chinese pizzeria and bait shop.

Denmark. The case of the mysterious windshield wiper. The case of no-alcohol beer. Ken? Istedgade. No hill for a climber. Sweden, the dog show. Every day another day in paradise. Meta. Middelfart. Ft. Collins—when you took my kids for an afternoon. They remember that.

Everywhere I remember you, Rick, I remember you as an excellent musician. Always inclusive, always helpful—everyone who knew you knows that. What an excellent human being you were. We were all pretty damn lucky to know you. So long.

Mark Kline


The Ranger, that's who he was, such a great [and warped] sense of humor, such a great musician, a wonderful teacher and mentor to many, he lived for his music and unselfishly shared it with all. I will always remember the bawdy songs late at night at some pickin party, his singing cowboy songs with Russ, the great Ranger Rick cannonball contest even without a diving board, his mischievous grin, too many pitchers at Washington's, his appearance in the may day slide show, and too many other fun things to mention. It was Rick and Andi who got me involved in the Rocky Mountain Breakdown show and trained me to be a DJ, that in turn led me and others to create a community station here in Ft. Collins. We will make it happen for you Rick!!!!

Greg Krush


We just heard the sad news of Rick's passing last night at our Bluegrass Patriots concert. The band put on a show that was more a tribute to Rick than just a concert. The sadness and happiness entwined to help us remember all of the joy that Rick brought us with his music and wonderful personality. Play on Rick, we'll miss you. George Butterfield


Rick's passion for music and life was an inspiration. We will always remember his quick smile and great sense of humor. His music touched a great many people and he will be missed by those who cared about him. Go in peace, Rick. May your next journey be filled with even more music, fun and love.

Amy and EP


I liked Rick. He made me laugh and always smiled. I really can't recall a time when he wasn't smiling.

He was an icon for the Colorado music scene for many years with his guitars. He was a master of both musical instruments and of life's inter-personal relationships. He had character and an obvious sense of well being.

I liked Ranger Rick and it was obvious that he liked me. I can't believe he's gone. My sincere condolences to Andie.

Barry Willis


I liked Rick. He made me laugh and always smiled. I really can't recall a time when he wasn't smiling.

He was an icon for the Colorado music scene for many years with his guitars. He was a master of both musical instruments and of life's inter-personal relationships. He had character and an obvious sense of well being.

I liked Ranger Rick and it was obvious that he liked me. I can't believe he's gone. My sincere condolences to Andie.

Barry Willis


Ranger Rick has been one of the biggest influences in my music. I've known Rick and Andie for over 25 years but only in the last few years can I say I know them well. After Rick & I played an acoustic set together at Mid Winter several years ago started a long lasting friendship I cherish dearly. He took on the task of trying to teach me swing. Imagine that, a folkie that can't even hold a pick, what a challenge!!! Many lessons were spent talking and jamming then going to Avo's to check out who was playing that night. I'm going to miss the Wed. visits we've had during the last few months.Rick was the reason I finally made it to Winfield this year. Rick's passing was done on his terms, in his own home, in his own bed,and Andie at his side. He left us with such grace, dignity and kindness. His smile will always be in my heart. Andie you have done such an incredible job in Rick's care. You are one of the most organised people I have ever met. I know the hard times are just beginning for you. There is a void in your heart no one can fill. Just know I'm here for you. The Angel Band just got a new picker. I'm determined not to be sad by Rick's passing but rejoice in having the opportunity to have known him. It's what he would want. All my love. Barbara Solow


"Ranger Rick" will be missed by all. I really enjoyed his guitar and Dobor playing. I feel fortunate that I was able to video tape him playing with the Bluegrass Patriots several times the past few years. The music he played will live on with the CD's and videos that were recorded. We will always miss you "Ranger Rick." God bless you. From Tom McWay.


We the members of Homemade Jam were truly honored that Rick consented to play on our cd. Rick exemplified the qualities that make bluegrass musicians special, and the Bluegrass Patriots outstanding. We will miss you sorely, Rick. God bless. Lynne, Sarah, Sandy, Kerry and Nancy.



On behalf of the Board of Directors of the California Bluegrass Association let me extend to Andie and the Bluegrass Patriots our sincere condolances at the passing of Rick Bradstreet.

The Patriots from their first set in the late 1980's on the Grass Valley stage, became instant favorites of the patrons of the CBA Fathers Day Bluegrass Festival. We looked forward to their semi-annual appearances and were so happy that they could perform at our 25th anniverasry festival. We also looked forward to the fact that Rick and the rest of the band enjoyed staying up and picking with the locals which further endeared them to Californians.

Maybe I'm just having my own mortality issues but Rick's passing seems to have hit me very hard. I'll miss watching my friend Layne Bowen greet Rick at Grass Valley knowing how far back in the music they go and how glad they were to see each other. Yea. I'll miss the flash cards too.

It's good to have friends.


Mark Hogan Board of Directors California Bluegrass Association


Dear Andy, You have my thoughts and prayers. Thank you so much for letting uscome up and say goodby. We wont forget it. God Bless. Love , Nondi


Rick was a good pal. I admired his talents as a musician and his fun-loving spirit. I also admired the way he fought the good fight these last few years. He always made light of his illness and was very careful to not dampen the spirits of others with his problems. He would always have something positive to say or make a little joke of some kind about his health. He handled things bravely and with class. We will miss him.

Our thoughts are with Andie and all of Rick's family.

Fred Henry


My heart aches with this sad news. Rick was such a special person and I feel blessed to have known him. Although I've been far away for several years and haven't seen him, he's often been in my thoughts and prayers.

My sincere sympathy to Andie and his brothers, the Bluegrass Patriots.

Jane Laughlin -


11/30/02 My thoughts and prayers go to Andie and the Patriots.It is a sad time for all. Rick will be missed.

Helen Ward


My Sympathy goes out to Rick's family and to all who knew him. When I lived in colorado Rick was my guitar teacher and mentor. I spoke with Rick on the phone this summer on my way through town to Telluride while having a chance to watch the Patriots play an outdoor concert in Fort Collins. Although Rick wasn't feeling well he made my day by being excited to hear from me. That was the way Rick was. Just before moving back to Ohio I was lucky enough to win the band scramble at the Midwinter Festival in Denver and having never played anywhere before this was really exciting for me. Rick was as excited as I was. I will never forget him. Mike Rumancik Avon , Ohio


We will miss Rick alot. Kayla, Tammy, Dan Van Vliet



We are sad to here of Rick's passing. He is my cousin and my family and I will miss him alot. Always at Christmas time we would see each other and I always looked forward to seeing Rick and listen to him play music. It was really nice to see him take a intrest in my daugheter's piano lesons.I know that somewhere in heaven there is some good music being played. We will miss him alot


We were so sad to hear of Ranger Rick's passing. Our sincere condolances to Ricks family & The Patriots. We enjoyed getting to know both Rick & Andie at the various festivals, especially the two at the Evergreen Elks Lodge. Going to the Mid Winter Festival in February will not be the same. We will miss him greatly. God bless, Ron & Mary Louise Vermillion


Glad I had a chance to play music with Rick, who was a great picker and a nice guy. Will miss you, Rick. Steve Markley


One of my fondest memories is of sept. of 1972. Rick and I had recently graduated from high school. We piled into my parents borrowed Chevy II and headed for the first ever Winfield Bluegrass Festival. Taking old highways down from Emporia, Rick sprawled across the back seat and played and sang songs the entire way. I marveled then at the number of songs he knew. After Winfield, of course, a whole new world opened up for us. I don't think I have ever met as versitile a musician as Rick. I recall one day not long after Winfield when Rick picked up my mother's mandolin and played several tunes in quick succession. I asked him where he had learned to play the mandolin. He replied that this was the first time he had ever held one. That's just the kind of natural ability Rick had with music. I feel honored to have been included as a member of Bluegrass Feed and Seed with such extrodinary musicians as Rick, Layne and Steve. In our youthful enthusiasm, we played for the pure joy of it. I am also thankful that Rick continued on in music, so that he could share his remarkable gift with so many others.

William Greer


"Ranger" Rick was a fine human being and a friend of mine. He always played a special dobor instrumental on the gospel set of the Patriots at the Memorial Day Fest in Colorado, because he knew that it meant something special to me..Thanks Rick..See you later..Dick Pierle


I'll never forget the long hours of driving with Ranger. Driving is something every band has to do. It is not glamorous. I'll never forget the little bag of tricks Bradstreet took with him everywhere. What better way to break up a boring drive through(fill in the blank) than to pull out the clown mask...or the gorilla mask and entertain the kids driving around with their parents in their mini vans... Or to have Rick pull out the "One big area" tape just as you thought you couldn't travel any further. He had other tricks which I can't mention here, but most of you know them.

I remember Rick taking the time to show me things on the guitar and asking ME? if I'd like to get together and play a few. That's like Einstein asking the chimp for a game of chess. But it made me feel good. And is there anyone better at filling spaces in songs than the Ranger?

I submit that I will sorely miss the humor of "Exercising with Ranger Rick" and I'll really miss "Peach pickin' time in Georgia" Now that I'm listing things I will miss....I begin to realize how many things I really will miss. Thanks for all the good times buddy. I'll see you at the BIG BAR in a few years!

Willie McDonald


I've played bluegrass music since 1965 with several wonderful groups, including the Bluegrass Patriots since 1980. Without a doubt Rick was the best instrumentalist I ever shared the stage with. His precise timing and expressive dobro playing helped create the "Patriot Sound" for over two decades. For years each of our sets included "The Ranger Rick Show" where Rick would uncase his big Mossman guitar and treat the audience with his powerful and original guitar styles and soulful singing.

Rick also knew how to entertain a crowd as anyone lucky enough see his concerts could attest. His famous "flip cards" earned the Patriots encores everywhere we played and his playing was full of delightful, devilish and subtle notes and fills.

As a band member Rick was dependable, loyal and a team player - the most important qualities a musician can bring to a band, in my opinion.

During a decade of declining health I heard not one complaint from Rick as he faced his future with courage, grace and determination.

Thank you, Rick for all you gave to our band and to your host of fans and fellow musicians around the world. You will not be forgotten.

Ken Seaman Bluegrass Patriots


We are so sad to hear of Rick's passing.All of us who got to know him on "The Patriots"Irish visits loved him for his great music and wit. He is a great loss to Bluegrass Music.Our taughts and sympathy are with you Andrea and The Patriots. Tony & Clem O Brien Ireland


Rick's music brought so much joy to my life. What a warm and generous person as well. I really admire the strength and courage it must have taken for him to keep that warmth, friendliness, and positive attitude as he faced his final illness. My sympathy to all of Rick's family and friends -- and he had a LOT of friends.

Barbara Liebler Fort Collins, Colorado


I first met Rick back in the late 70's ~ he was then, and has always been, one of the friendliest people I ever knew...always a big ol' grin on his face, and never a harsh word to say about anybody. I've followed his career over the years, and from his humble beginnings playing the bars in spreading the "gospel of traditional bluegrass" worldwide, he always played from his heart...and remained true to his roots. There is no sweeter tune, than one that comes from the heart. My heart is heavy today. Ah, the natural senescence of life....will the circle be unbroken....

"As you roll across the trestle Spanning Jordan's swelling tide, You behold the Union Depot Into which your train will glide. There you'll meet the Superintendent God, the Father, God the Son, With the hearty, joyous plaudit "Weary Pilgrim, welcome home."

Requiesce In Pace, old friend ~ I'll see you on the other side.

John Eddy Topeka, Kansas


I am truly saddened today to hear the news of Ranger Rick passing on. It was beyond fortune to have had the opportunity to meet Rick sometime in the early to mid '90's and get to play music with him. I'll never forget his picking with Brad and myself, showing us much of the ropes we're still climbing today - he was truly one of the nicest, sincerest people I have ever met in the music world, hell, for that matter in any walk of life.

I remember one day jamming with Rick, and I mentioned that I thought that dobro was pretty cool, and it might be fun to try picking one someday. Well, without hesitation Rick says "take mine home for a week or so and see what ya think..." Now what kind of person would hand over his axe, his main axe, to someone like that??!! I was shocked, but realized that's just the kind of guy Rick was.

Andy, Patriots, and everyone else who knows and loves Rick, my prayers are with you. As Bill said, "We've come hither to go yonder..."

Rest in peace Ranger.

Kip Beacco


My fondest memories of Rick include trips to Winfield where he thrilled the crowds during the flat-picking championships.

I'll always remember playing 'Spades' with him as my partner in Copenhagen. We knocked the socks off our opponents! He will be remembered fondly, as not only a stellar musician, but an all'round nice guy with a great sense of humor.

My heart goes out to you, Andie, and you have my deepest sympathy.

Elaine Goldberg


Rick was a real nice fellow. He will be missed.

Stephen Johnson


Deep wet moss and cool blue shadows Beneath a bending fir, And the purple solitude of mountains, When only the dark owls stir- Oh, there will come a day, a twilight, When I shall sink to rest In deep wet moss and cool blue shadows Upon a mountain's breast, And yield a body torn with passions, And bruised with earthly scars, To the cool oblivion of evening, Of solitude and stars.

Bo Bonner-Johnson and The North Fork Band


I was deeply saddened by the news of Rick's passing and send my sympathy and love to Andrea and the Patriots.

Rick was an inspiration to my dobro playing to the point that I purchased a blonde guitar like his. Though we only saw each other a couple times each year, he always took time to talk, answer my questions or show me a lick. I was proud to be one of his "dobro bullies" and to have been his friend.

"Slide to live, Live to slide!"

Stew Levett Colorado Springs, CO.


There is a new star shining somewhere in the night sky. I know this because because Rick told us that he would become a "Super Nova" and I truly believe he was right. As Rick's older brother, my memories are different from those who knew him as a friend and fellow musician, so I have a different perspective on his life and contributions. He was a family member who always made a positive impact on all of us and I know he had a influence on my daughters who loved him dearly. What most impressed me about him was his courage to fight his illness for so many years and then in the end, to find a way to make his final days such a positive experience for his family during our final visits with him. I am proud to have been able to call him my brother and look forward to being re-united with him in the future.

Larry Bradstreet


My thoughts and prayers go out to Rick's wife and his extended family. I haven't had the pleasure of hearing the Patriots "live" since I moved from Colorado but my fond memories of evenings at the hungry farmer and beautiful music are more special for Rick Bradstreet's infectious grin and inspired playing.

Robb Broadhead


I would like to offer my sincere sympathy to Rick's wife and family, fellow Patriots and friends. Irish bluegrass enthusiasts enjoyed Rick's excellent picking and singing on the Patriots' tours a few years ago, and looked forward to hearing him on next year's tour. May he rest in peace.

Denis McCarthy


I started playing music in highschool with Rick back in Emporia, Ks. in the early 70's. Rick and I were in our first band together, Bluegrass Feed and Seed with Steve Markely and another highschool pal, Bill Greer. Those were some of the best days of our lives, living and breathing the music as young people are happily able to do before the realities and responsibilities of life start to take over. I feel blessed and honored to have played with Rick. Rick is still my favorite guitar player ever. He was a musical inspiration to me and a good friend. I'll miss you, Rick, but I know you're still pickin' somewhere. Layne Bowen, Santa Rosa, CA


Every memory I have of Rick brings a smile to my face. I still chuckle when I recall the Patriots' first Grass Valley festival & Rick's concern after their set that I might have been hurt when he dedicated 'Mean Woman' to me simply because I may have been the only person there who knew the song. On or off stage Rick seemed to really enjoy life, playing music, being with friends, making friends, and much more. I was delighted when Jim & I finally made it to Mid-Winter & met Andie as Rick had glowed whenever he had mentioned her. My prayers and love are with you, Andie, and the Patriots. Words that may comfort you seem hard to find...Where is that flip chart that Rick used for the 'bluegrass song'? Joyce Everett, Loomis CA


Rick was my uncle i really did not get to see him or Andrea much but at christmas time he always made crhistmas special playing for the family after diner and singing with the kids. Vanessa and I will miss him very much this time of year but we will always have our memories of him in our harts (Rick we love you)

Rob, Vanessa, Bryce, Blake, and Bayleigh





Rick's music made this world a better place. We will both him and his music. Ken and Marilyn Johnson Emporia, Kansas