was born July 10, 1950 in the Bronx,
It was while attending
In 1970 Rick joined a group of three friends in forming a band called Mirkwood. The philosophy of the band was to avoid playing anything that might be a commercial tune while concentrating on original songs and obscure country, rock, and folk covers. This philosophy culminated in the group finding local critical acclaim, about three years of gigs in local colleges, no money and a date at the Cafe Wha? where, for lack of a better descriptive title, they were billed as a “hard folk” band. Obscurity and band breakup followed.
Rick continued to play as a solo act and with sometime partner Drew Gorman opening for such people as Robert Klein, Stories and Steve Goodman in various colleges in the Northeast. Rick was also firmly ensconced in the tri-state (NY, NJ, CT) bar and club scene doing a mix of country, rock, pop, folk and original tunes.
During the mid-70’s he found himself working at a coffeehouse called “The Fair Harbor” as second string house musician and sound man. Here he befriended more infamous folk singers like Joe Heukerott, Guy Davis and Lyndon Hardy and Jay Ungar. Lyn & Jay hired him to do sound for square dances and it wasn’t long until he was playing along with them.
By the late 70’s Rick was expanding into the Irish pub circuit and
sitting in on a regular basis with the
By 1979 Rick was a member of the Hudson River Sloop Singers and sailing on
large traditional boats whenever possible, often being paid to play on board. It
was a short step from there to actually learning how to sing sea shanties and
using them aboard and at museums. Judy Gorman/Jacobs asked Rick to sing backup
on her 1982 release, “Right Behind You In The Left Hand Lane.” In
1984 Rick sailed on the schooner “Voyager” to Bermuda and
By 1990 Rick was hired by
In 1992 Pete Seeger included “The River That Flows Both Ways” on his release, “Family Concert.” Rick also appears in the video of the same.
In April 1995 Rick received his 100 ton Masters License from the Coast Guard
and has since been employed as a captain on several vessels. From 1997 thru
2000 Rick was the captain of the schooner “Argia” sailing out of
Rick released “Phillip Hole The Singing Gravedigger” in 2001 and “Phillip Hole Dig It” in 2004 featuring humorously morbid and morbidly humorous songs that he has performed at the NY Renaissance Faire during the summers of 2001 to 2006 where he appeared as the aforementioned Phillip Hole.
In March of 2006 Rick released a CD of some of his favorite western music entitled “Cowboy Up”, which includes his first yodeling and tenor banjo playing on tunes written by Woody Guthrie and Gene Autry as well as a few songs of his own devising.
Excerpted from the NY Times 8/2/92 by Herbert Hadad
… the Bronx-born Mr. Nestler owes his river credentials to another
accomplishment. He is a singer and the writer of the song “The River That
Flows Both Ways.”It has become a sort of anthem for those who care about
the river, and Mr. Nestler himself has become known as the Troubadour of the
The album,”Pete Seeger’s Family Concert” from Sony Music, was audio taped and videotaped simultaneously. “Just like they do it for Rock and Roll,” Mr. Nestler said.
He has been a taxi driver transporting customers...into
He has been an actor. “I made the most money in Rawhide,” he
said, which is a theme park in
I taught myself to play music pretty much,” said Mr. Nestler, who plays the guitar, tenor banjo (and) autoharp and performs as a member of the Hudson River Sloop Singers. Conceding that he does not read music, he said,”Friends showed me a couple of chords.”
Mr. Nestler’s voice is baritone. ”Pete calls me a whiskey tenor,” he said. “I am somewhere in between.”
He made his own album, “Spending My Days,” in 1986 on the Gaff Rig Music label”It’s a long playing record, and I’ve got a few...left. "he said
Mr. Nestler, who was once involved in events aimed at shutting down the nuclear power plant at Indian Point in Buchanan, reflected: “My job is to show up, keep people in good spirits and raise money. I know the F B I has got our pictures” from performing at Indian Point. “I could get them through the Freedom of Information Act.”
“But there’s always that fear,”he added, “that they wouldn’t have anything on me. It would break my ego as an activist.”