Rik Emmett was a relatively unknown singer/songwriter/guitarist on the local Toronto scene in September of ’75 when he joined a newly-formed hard rock trio called Triumph. By ’79 three albums had gone platinum in Canada and two charted in the States, receiving serious radio airplay. By ’81 Triumph was firmly established as one of the premier touring rock acts in North America, with generous FM radio airplay support and heavy rotation on the fledgling MTV cable channel. In the next seven years, the band released ten gold albums, with four turning platinum in Canada. In the U.S., two went gold.
Emmett’s name frequently appeared in guitar magazine polls and he won several prestigious awards, including Best Lead Guitarist in a national poll in 1981. Rik has said many times in interviews that he always felt the need for the band to try and live up to the name it had chosen for itself. He left the band to begin a solo career in ’88. As one of the band’s original members, Rik was inducted into the Canadian Rock Hall of Fame in ’93, the Music Industry Hall of Fame in 2007, and the Junos Hall of Fame in 2008. Triumph reunited briefly for concerts in Sweden and Oklahoma in the summer of 2008.
A duo project with Dave Dunlop called Strung-Out Troubadours won both Duo Of The Year and Album Of The Year honours at the 2007 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards.The follow-up CD, entitled Push & Pull, was released in the late spring of 2009. In the fall of 2009, the debut CD of an acoustic guitar trio (the P.R.O. Trio) with Pavlo and Oscar Lopez, entitled “Trifecta”, was released, in advance of the heaviest Canadian touring schedule that Emmett has been involved in since the ‘80’s, commencing in January of 2010 and continuing throughout the year. The album was nominated for a JUNO award as Instrumental Album of the Year.
In November 2016, Emmett released a new band album titled “RES 9”, featuring Alex Lifeson of RUSH and James Labrie of Dream Theater.
A guitar magazine once wrote that Rik Emmett was “… his own worst enemy. He’s one of the only guitarists out there who may be too talented for his own damn good”. In a digital sound bite world, this offers insight on a music biz lifer, recognizing a unique artist, still going strong. For 44 years, as his own worst enemy, Rik has tried to base his choices on being a loyal friend to his gifts, instead of a slave to circumstantial fashion (with luggage to match). Rik holds true to his dreams of the magic power of the music, and does his best to share that with every audience, of every stripe, every night that he performs.