Ricky Maymi scores gig with Wild Swans 

Sometimes stealth is an artist’s best weapon — just quietly going about your craft, right under everyone’s noses, until you’ve amassed a staggering catalog of work.

Such is the case with San Francisco’s own Rick (AKA Ricky) Maymi, a guitarist who’s been involved in more top-notch bands, sessions and worldwide tours than almost any musician in town.

When we bumped into him this week, he was literally racing to the airport (his helpful mom at the wheel) to catch an afternoon flight to London, where he’ll be playing a set of concerts with Britain’s legendary Wild Swans, starting in Glasgow and ending in Liverpool — the band’s first out-of-town gigs in two decades.

“I’ve finally got my own album coming out this summer,” he reported, and it’s true — he tracked the upcoming “David Neil” set with his longtime Australian chum/collaborator, Steve Kilbey of The Church.

We personally have known this talented guy since he was a teenager, sneaking into hip Monday-night shows at the I-Beam (and hats off to Cathy Cohn for running possibly the coolest Bay Area nightclub, ever).

Now in his 30s, Maymi started out in the controversial Brian Jonestown Massacre, before branching out into Mellow Drunk and The Imajinary Friends. He’s also backed Smallstone, The Black Ryder, Sonic Boom’s outfit Spectrum and many others, even performing with Kilbey in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne with the surviving members of The Triffids, in tribute to their late frontman, David McComb. And if you remember the brilliance of Triffids catalog gems like “Calenture,” you’ll know what a huge career coup Maymi just experienced.

Until his album hits the street, you can keep up with him at www.mellowdrunk.com, www.myspace.com/theimaginaryfriends, and on Twitter.

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Tom Lanham

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