Don Richmond web
Cancer blog here. Thanks to all for helping in my resurrection!
Hello, my dear friends out in the wide world! Thanks for stopping by my oft-neglected website. There's just too much going on in so-called real life to get to the cyber-reflection of it sometimes, you know? But anyway, hopefully there'll be occasionally updated info on the activities of Don Richmond (that's me), The Rifters (the band I currently play with), Hired Hands, Howlin’ Dog Records and Recording, and music in general in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. You can order recordings from Don, Hired Hands,my old group Tumbleweed, or lots of other people through the Howlin' Dog Records link. You can also order a copy of my book Getting Your Music Past the Fear (to order, clickthis link) or look at some excerpts. Check it out, and let us know what you think!
About Don Richmond -
Don is a multi-instrumental musician and singer-songwriter, performing on guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, pedal steel guitar, dobro, harmonica, accordion and trumpet. He has been making his living playing music in the Colorado - New Mexico area since about 1970. For 17 years he was a member of the Colorado band Tumbleweed, whichachieved a strong and devoted following around the region for their varied country-rock-whatever-they-wanted-to-play sort of show. He made the move toward more acoustic-folk-bluegrass music with Rock Bottom Band, and later Taos-based Hired Hands, and thus began performing more in New Mexico in the Taos and Santa Fe music scenes. Don has released six solo recording projects as well as four with Tumbleweed,three with Hired Hands, and one with theRifters, the band Don has been playing with since 2004. Don also owns and runsthe recording studio Howlin' Dog Recording and has recorded and often played on numerous recording projects (and live shows) by area artists such as Chipper Thompson, Kim and the Caballeros, Bill Hearne, Rick Fowler, Michael Hearne, and many others.He has composed and recorded musical soundtracks for three documentary films seen nationally and internationally; Still Waiting - Life After Katrina, seen nationally on PBS, the civil rights documentaryWe Did It All Ourselves, aired on PBS and seen at international film festivals, and Roy Bedichek's Vanishing Frontier thatalso aired nationally on PBS. Don has also been Artist in Residence and Aesthetic Institute Instructor with the Colorado Council on the Arts and has authored a book on the psychology of creativity and performance titled Getting Your Music Past the Fear,available through Amazon. There is also a website devoted specifically to the new book -www.gymptf.com .
January 2013 -
Well, since the world did not come to a screeching halt this past December, I figure it might be time to update my various websites. I'm going to be working on completely redoing this one and some of the others on an updated platform of some kind or another - this one was done on Front Page back in the Dark Ages, and I can't even get that version of Front Page to run on any computer I have, so it's been a bit hard to update things. So it's time to move on. It should be an interesting ascension of a new learning curve - time to exercise that brain a bit!
Overall, things are going marvelously well in life in general - the studio is cranking, booked for six months in advance more or less, and the Rifters are playing a lot and playing well, and I'm still doing some solo gigs as well. Life on our homestead in the country is beautiful and blessed - not without challenges, but what fun would it be otherwise? I need to write more - if I have a New Year's resolution, that would be it. Nothing to it but to do it, and stop letting myself talk myself out of it by telling myself that there are a bunch of things I "should" be doing. There's some kind of fear thing going on there, leading to a strange avoidance. I'll be working on and through that - tired of it and ready to move on.
October, 2010 -
My new CD, Like Lazarus, is finally out. It's been a long time coming, but I think the wait was worth it. I'm proud of it and I think it's a good piece of work. There's an info page on this site that has more about it, and you can order it through theHowlin' Dog Records website. I feel like it sort of puts a cap on the whole cancer adventure I went through starting in July of 2007. I've digested it, and it's certainly had an influence on some of the tunes on this new CD, and it's certainly had an influence on me. I hope I continue to learn and embody the lessons that it has had to teach me. But I'm also ready to move on, to continue to engage life in ever more expansive ways. Onward and upward!
The Rifters are also working on a new CD, which we're planning on having done by summer of 2011. It will be a good one - we're sure of that. Another project dear to my heart is a CD I'm doing with my two brothers Ed and Jim Richmond, as the Richmond Brothers. (Clever, huh?) It's a bunch of cover songs that have influenced us over the years, from wide and various sources. There's a bunch of great tunes that I think folks are going to really enjoy.
As of August 28, 2007 -
I'm just coming out of a very life-changing event - emergency surgery to remove a part of my colon and being diagnosed with colon cancer. (That's what the link to "medical condition" at the top of the page means.) It does change the world. Things shift their priorities in a big way. It's a great reminder to get back to joy in life, to personal connection, seeing the kids and grandkids more, getting away with my wife, going to the mountains, and all those kinds of things that feed the soul and strengthen the spirit. I have been over-balanced towards my work for the last few years, working harder all the time, even while saying I was trying to slow down. Even though I don't think anyone loves their work more than I do, the joy was being squeezed out of it, and I think that played a part in my illness. So although I look forward to getting back to work, both in performance and in the studio, I plan on using this new tool of cancer to guide me in shaping the next phase of life. I don't want to go back to being flat on my back being cut open, and the complications and stuff that came after it - it was not fun.
But there is good and exciting news on the music front amidst all this - the PBS documentary Still Waiting - Life After Katrina, which I composed and recorded the music for, is being shown nationwide - this very night in my home state of Colorado. I'm excited - it was a great project. There's more info on my site here or at the home page for the moviehere.
Another thing that my illness is prompting me to do is to get to work on my next CD. I've been putting it off for a long time while being busy recording lots of great music for lots of good friends and great people, all of which I've enjoyed and been grateful to be able to do. But like the shoemaker whose children go barefoot, I need to do some recording for myself and a group of songs that need to see the light of day out in the world. Of course I hesitate to start, because I am my very worst recording client, but sometimes you just have to mush on, you know?
As of December 22, 2004 -
The big news for me in the last couple months has been the publication of my book Getting Your Music Past the Fear which has been selling briskly in this little corner of the world. I'm going to be working at getting it out on a wider basis after the first of the year, which will certainly be a new adventure. My recording studio work has been cranking, with projects ranging from the excellent punk band "Poor Substitute" from Pueblo to an upcoming singer-songwriter from California by the name of Jared Mell to a new CD by the classic Spanish Rock band Indian Nickel to a new Cowboy sort of project by Will Dudley. Lots of great music in lots of different shapes and styles. It keeps me flexible. For more info on the studio go towww.howlindogrecords.com and follow the link to the studio.
Otherwise, as it said in my latest email blast -
Hello there friends and neighbors, and Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Superb Solstice, and Happy New Year!
I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the big inward breath of the dark and cold of winter. Of course, in the Holiday frenzy, it may be more of a panting gasp, but I still think of this time as a time of reflection about things, planning the new year, making ridiculous lists of New Year’s resolutions, and things like that. And of course, also a time of gathering and reconnecting among friends. Amidst all the craziness, I still love the holidays. I hope they treat you well, and that both your giving and receiving are blessed.
Meanwhile, making music in this beautiful part of planet earth has been going great. The Rifters are cranking, sales of our new CD have been great, and we’ve got some dates to share with you for 2005. One special event I want to mention is our New Years Eve celebration at the Sagebrush Convention Center. Our good friend Gordon Burt, fiddler extraordinaire, will be joining the Rifters for that performance, and we’ll be cranking up our own brand of fireworks for the evening. Anyone who is familiar with Gordon’s playing (or who has seen him in numerous appearances with Hired Hands) won’t want to miss this gathering. The Sagebrush has priced this very reasonably – I believe it is $17 per person – and I believe that includes some complimentary champagne and posole (not mixed together or anything). You can call the Sagebrush at 505-758-2254 for more information or to make reservations. Please join us if you can – it will be loads of fun.
I also want to use this e-mail to spread the news about a new event in my professional life, namely the publication of my book “Getting Your Music Past the Fear”, published by Booksurge Books. It is a self-help sort of thing targeted to musicians, focusing in on the inner processes of putting out the music and of clearing the path by which the music comes out. In many ways, it is a record of me teaching myself these same lessons over the course of my life spent playing music. I’ve been plugging away at the book for a dozen years or so, and it feels very good for it to finally see the light of day. Anyone who is interested in ordering a copy can just send me an email with their physical address and I’ll get one out to them with an invoice (the price is $18). The book can also be ordered direct from the publisher at Booksurge books, or from Amazon, or at any bookstore.
Also, if anyone wants any last minute CDs of the Rifters, Hired Hands, or Don Richmond for Christmas gifts, just send me an email and I’ll do my best to get them to you, or straight to a gift recipient, right away. I’ll also do my best to keep performance schedules updated on the Rifters website (www.rifters.net) and my website (www.donrichmond.com).
So be most well, dear friends and neighbors, stay warm, come out and dance when you can, and keep in touch. We’ll keep you posted with developments from this end.
Best wishes to all,
As of August 26, 2004 -
My websites have been languishing because I have replaced the computer that I use to work on them and it took forever to get all the software re-installed and re-configured so that it would communicate with the web servers again. Well, not exactly forever - just longer than I ever seemed to have to dedicate to the project. But here we are.
Life is good. As I write this, The Rifters (see www.rifters.net as soon as I get a site up there) are having a CD release performance at the Sagebrush Inn in Taos tomorrow night to celebrate the release of our first CD together as a band, and I think it's a good one. The comparisons to the Hired Hands CDs are inevitable, but I think it holds its own with any of them. We're excited. If you want to order one, you can go the Rifters website, the Howlin' Dog Records website, or just send me an email at DonRichmond@worldnet.att.net with your mailing info and we'll get one out to you with a statement, and you can send us a check.
The biggest news for me is that my book, Getting Your Music Past the Fear, is done! Glory, Hallelujah! I've been working on it for only a dozen years or so, completely wrote it once in a different form, threw that out and started over, rewrote that version more or less completely about 5 or 6 times, edited, revised ad infinitum, but now it's time to put it out and let it do what it needs to do. I'm keeping someexcerpts and info on this site, but follow this link toBooksurge Books to order a copy, or go to www.gymptf.com for more stuff.
Another exciting project for me has been doing the music for a new documentary film called We Did It All Ourselves, which is about an amazing series of events in the struggle for black civil rights in southern Tennessee and northern Mississippi during the 1950's, where hundreds of black families were evicted from their homes and refused service at stores and businesses just because they were attempting to register to vote. The people ended up living in tent cities for months on a compassionate black farmer's land. It's an incredibly powerful story of things that on one hand make you ashamed to be a human being and on the other to be proud to be one. I'm going to put up a page on this website about it and also some links to follow for more info.
My recording studio (Howlin' Dog Recording) has been cranking and keeping me busy as usual. This year I've been privileged to be part of some great projects with people like Bill Hearne, Rick Fowler, Eileen Kalinowski, Leigh Ann Phillips, Justin Cowan, Lori Kester and others. I am always honored to be part of people's music and immensely grateful for their trust in putting their music in my hands. Follow the Howlin' Dog Records link to see more on some of these projects and/or to order CDs.
My Latest CD No Man's Land has been moving very nicely and has gotten great response. I've been wanting to get back to writing for the next one, but that's something that all too often gets pushed off to the side in all the craziness. But that's my problem, and I will indeed make room for the Muse. She needs space and emptiness, in my experience.
So I'm going to get these pages up before it's another 6 months before I do, and move on. More updates coming and thanks for reading!
As of July 28, 2003 -
Okay, so I haven't been doing any better at keeping my websites up to date. Ah well, today is a new day. The world of being a musician and recording engineer and producer in Southern Colorado/Northern New Mexico continues to be full, fascinating, challenging, and most of the time a lot of fun. It's been a good summer gig-wise so far. Hired Hands has been active playing some concerts and festivals, I've had some wonderful and fulfilling solo performances, and The Rifters is a new and growing band entity that we're excited about. The Rifters consists of Rod Taylor, Steve Garry, Jim Bradley, and me. As I said below, we play "that great unique blend of country-folk-old-hippie music with some who-knows-what and originals thrown in (all two-steppable of course) that seems to be well rooted in northern New Mexico". The live gigs (see calendar) have been going great, and we're all excited about the potential and possibilities for this group. We've set aside some time this fall to start work on a recording together. I'll keep you posted.
I've been doing lots of other live gigs with lots of different folks - the band Drive, filling in with South by Southwest, a gig or two with Taosamosa, and accompanying artists like Mike Laughlin of Taos and Kay Singleton of Pueblo.
The PBS documentary Roy Bedichek's Vanishing Frontier that I did the music for was aired in April and May of this year around the country. That was exciting and very cool. I got to go down to Dallas and play at the debut reception put on by KERA-TV, the station that sponsored the production of the show. The show's producer was Rob Tranchin of KERA, and the videographer was Ginny Martin. Rob and Ginny have both won Emmy awards for some of their previous work together. Another highlight of that trip was getting to play with my big brother Diamond Jim Richmond who lives in the Dallas - Ft. Worth area and was kind enough to help me do the performance, first with equipment and then with actually playing the tunes together. It was fun.
I got to play with my brother Jim a few weeks later when I accompanied South By Southwest on their trip to Larry Joe Taylor's Texas music festival in Stephenville, Texas in late April. The gig was a treat - the audience was delightful, we put on an excellent show, I got to pick with my brother, and we got to hear a bunch of great music too. It was way fun.
The studio has been cranking. Right now it's booked until November. There's so much talent and great music around, and I am so fortunate to get to participate in so much of it. You can check out more about the studio at theHowlin' Dog Records website, as well as more about some of the artists I've been working with.
So all in all, life is full and good. The garden is growing great (along with the weeds), my wife Teri and I got to go to the mountains last weekend, my grandkids are coming to see me next week, and I've got as much or more work than I can handle doing things I love. How could I ask for more. Love and all good things to one and all, and thanks for stopping by! Be well - Don
As of January 2003 -
Time does fly. I've been quite remiss in keeping this website updated, but I'm going to do better with that, and the same goes for theHired Hands andHowlin' Dog Records websites. Always more to do than there is time to do it in, but I'm think I'm coming to peace with that. The holiday season was great and insane as usual. My wife Teri and I spent a week in Mexico (a little south of Cancun) just after the first of the year, which was wonderful. It was like being in that Corona beer commercial where they just show this white sand beach with the turquoise water and the beer sitting on the table. What a treat. It was so amazing coming back to high and dry and fairly cold Colorado that those two realities could be coexisting at the same time on the same planet, along with lots of other ones, of course.
I've been fortunate to have been playing lot's of very cool gigs with lots of different people, as well as some wonderful solo and solo-with-friends gigs doing my own music.
I got to accompany Tish Hinojosa for a couple concert appearances in her annual holiday season pass through the area. I've also done some fun gigs with Michael Hearne, being a South by Southwest fill-in member since their steel player and multi instrumentalist Carmen Acciaioli is living in Amarillo. I got to do a holiday TV show up in Pueblo, CO, shown on local cable access, with my friend and superb guitarist-vocalist Tom Munch at the very cool Fairmount Museum, along with another wonderful artist Kay Singleton. Very cool. I had helped Tom record and put out a Christmas CD in 2001, so we did some tunes off of that. I've also been playing with my good friends in the Lucky Larue Band whenever I can - some fun holiday gigs and benefits around Alamosa, and the LLR boys will be making their Taos area debut on Feb 28th at the Alley Cantina. I've helped them record their 2 CDs full of excellent and mostly original music, and it's always lots of fun to gig with them. Taos area folks definitely want to catch them and pick up their CDs - it's roots music that has sprung right from the very ground we stand on in this area. Listen to it and you'll know what I mean.
Hired Hands is still alive and kicking, and we did a gig over the holidays and have a concert/dance scheduled in March in conjunction with the Monte Vista (CO) annual Crane Festival and then some more scattered around the summer, including the excellent Pueblo Bluegrass on the River festival and performances in Northglenn and the Denver area. (See the Calendar page.)
Jim Bradley (from Hired Hands) and I are going to be doing some regular gigs with Rod Taylor and Steve Garry of Rod Taylor and the Rounders, doing that great unique blend of country-folk-old-hippie music with some who-knows-what and originals thrown in (all two-steppable of course) that seems to be well rooted in northern New Mexico. We're even going to come up with a new name for the group, as soon as we can figure out what it is.
Taosamosa is a jazz-grass oriented group I’ve been playing with.Aaron Lewis is the founding force behind this group and plays saxophones and flute, and is as superb a musician as you are going to hear just about anywhere. We manage to concoct a wonderfully fascinating blend of jazz, bluegrass, folk, rock, blues and swing influences. It’s way fun and stretches my musical wings in shapes that they’ve never been in before.
And of course I continue to do solo gigs of various kinds in bars, churches, coffeshops, and any place else that seems right to play. I'm still promoting my latest release No Man's Land and having a great response to it. There's a wonderful and generous review from the Taos entertainment and art newspaper Horsefly about No Man's Land here. Next, I'm going to try to put out some energy in a wider sphere to get that music out a bit more. We'll see what happens.
I'm also extremely fortunate to be involved with such a wide variety of excellent music in my studio, which continues to be fully booked. Such talent and creativity everywhere. Check out the Howlin' Dog Records website for more info on that.
So while you're here, check out the dates on the calendar, look at some of the CD stuff, and see what you think. Keep in touch, come see me/us, be most well, and enjoy your life as much as you possibly can, this day and all others. Much love to all - Don
What's a little less new? (from previous editions)
From Don - Well, I'm replacing my previous rant from March, but it's still crazy, and there's still a lot going on! (That's what I said last time, you see - in case you don't remember.) No Man's Land is out into the world - hallelujah! The shows in Pueblo, Del Norte, Alamosa, and Salida all went great, and I managed to get a few copies of the CD out there. The response has been very positive, and I certainly do appreciate the encouragement and support. I'll be doing some more solo shows around and booking a few more things also, so I'll try to keep a current calendar going here. Hired Hands is also starting up to do some gigs this summer, with Billy Band, Jr., Jim Bradley, and yours truly being the line-up. I'll put the HH dates on the calendar also. I've been doing some other band things with a few different ensembles, and having lots of fun in the process. I've been doing some jazz-grass music with Aaron Lewis, the excellent saxophone player from Taos, NM, and a couple other players - Arlen Johnson (guitar) and Dave (bass) under the name Taosamosa (a combination of Taos,Santa Fe, and Alamosa). We've done a few gigs at Eske's Brew Pub in Taos, and may be branching out a bit from there. It's pretty wild stuff, and stretches my musical brain a bit, I can tell you for sure. I'm still playing with Burning Joan every chance I get - in fact we're at Rising Sun in Del Norte May 18th - be there! Jim Bradley and I are also doing some gigs with Rod Taylor and Steve Garry, who have been performing for years as Rod Taylor and the Rounders. We're not exactly sure who we are - Round Hands, maybe? I'm also sitting in with the Lucky LaRue band when I can, and having lots of fun. The studio (Howlin' Dog Recording) is cranking - lot's of amazing music coming through.
What's a little more less new? (from previous editions)
Another recent exciting event has been a commission that came my way to create the music for a PBS (Public Television) documentary recently filmed down in Texas under the auspices of KERA-TV, the well known public television station in Dallas. The show is called Travels With Bedichek and is about the life and influence of the Texas author and naturalist Bedichek. The show was produced and directed by Rob Tranchin of KERA and the videographer on the project was Ginny Martin, who has won two Emmy awards for her previous documentaries. It was filmed in high-definition TV format and will air sometime in the summer or fall of 2002.
Another relatively new event was an honor I received last summer. The City of Alamosa dedicated their new portable performance stage to me and put my name on it. Of course I felt like I should be dead to receive such an honor, but I'm still here. It was a total surprise (thanks to my wife Teri McCartney) and a great honor. I want to thank my friends Michael Hackett (Alamosa City Manager) and his wife Terry Uyecki for having a hand in cooking this up. There is an article on the Press and Reviews page about the event, which took place at the Alamosa 4th of July celebration in 2001.
Hired Hands website - www.hired-hands.com
Howlin' Dog Records website - www.howlindogrecords.com
Address: Don Richmond P.O. Box 825 Alamosa CO 81101
Info, contact and order hotline: 800-689-7786
Email - DonRichmond@worldnet.att.net