Don Richmond is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumental performer who has been playing professionally for more than twenty years, mostly in the Colorado and New Mexico region. Don is currently performing solo and in ensembles, playing both his wide range of original songs and a large repertoire of other quality material in a variety of styles, primarily in the country, bluegrass and folk areas.
Don was raised in an extremely musical environment. His parents were both professional vocalists in the pre-WWII Chicago music scene, performing on radio, with touring groups, and as featured soloists with symphony orchestras. After beginning their family, Don's father became a well-respected vocal professor and his mother, after getting their five children in school, became an elementary school teacher. Don began playing trumpet in the elementary school band but soon discovered his older brother's guitar and started up his own band. He later added banjo, pedal steel, fiddle, mandolin, dobro, and harmonica to his list of instruments.
The early part of Don's musical career was spent as a member and later leader of the well known southern Colorado band Tumbleweed. Tumbleweed recorded four albums and a single over the years 1978 - 1989 and earned a reputation as one of the hottest and most consistent acts in the region. Tumbleweed won the Marlboro Country Music Round-up as the best country act in Colorado in 1988 and scored well in the national finals in Nashville. Don wrote thirteen of the songs on Tumbleweed's four albums of mostly original material.
He released his first solo album Mirage in 1989 on Howlin' Dog Records, playing eight different instruments as well as covering the vocals on the collection of eleven original songs. Don also wrote the song Land of Little Rain, which was produced in a community effort as a fund raising tape to benefit a citizen group fighting water exportation out of his area. Don teamed up with several of the region's best players for his second solo release, titled Story, released on both cassette and CD, also on Howlin' Dog Records. Story features songs of love and family and personal search, using simple and elegant mostly acoustic arrangements. Dons third solo recording, titled A Lot in Common, came out in May of 1995. While still based in the acoustic string sound he loves, A Lot in Common ranges further stylistically than Story, with a bit more rock and blues influence apparent. The themes in A Lot in Common also range further out into the world, exploring more social issues. Dons next solo CD was released in December of 1998. Titled Instrument, it is a totally instrumental project, showcasing Dons love for the sound of acoustic instruments and his knack for creating listenable, catchy melodies. Dons most recent release, No Mans Land (April 2002) is centered around a group of landscape songs as he describes them, again reflecting his love of and connection to his home and surroundings in the high southwest.
Don is a founding member of the popular New Mexico based band Hired Hands, which since 1992 has been one of the most popular acoustic bands in the area. Hired Hands released their first (self-titled) CD in 1994 and followed that (December 1998) with their extremely popular Stuff That Works. Their newest release (June 2001) is Hands of Time. Hired Hands popularity has continued to grow, with more and more festival and tour dates crowding out the local club performances.
When not performing, Don spends much of his time working in the recording studio (Howlin Dog Recording) he started in his home town of Alamosa, Colorado. Serving as engineer, sometimes producer and sometimes studio musician, Don has been a part of many of the regions recent CD releases by such artists as Don Conoscenti, Ash Raines, Chipper Thompson, Burning Joan, Mary Duwe, Elliot Rogers, Jimmy Stadler, Michael Hearne, and South by Southwest.
Don has had songs published by two different Nashville publishing houses, has won awards in the national Billboard songwriting contest, and has been featured in nationwide radio programs. He recently was commissioned to produce the background music for a PBS (public television) documentary about a Texas naturalist and author, titled Travels With Bedichek, to be broadcast in 2002.
Don is an Artist in Residence in the Colorado Council on the Arts program to place performing artists in the schools, and is an approved Aesthetic Institute (another C.C.A. program) instructor and workshop leader on music and creativity. He has also recently completed a book for musicians on performance psychology and success, titled Getting Your Music Past the Fear. He has recently been collaborating with playwright Seyril Schochen on two different Broadway-style musicals. Don also produced and recorded two fundraising CDs of Christmas and holiday music (in 1997 & 1999) for Valley Community Fund (a local charity fundraising organization) each of which features twenty different San Luis Valley artists performing both traditional and original songs. Don was recognized for his contributions to his home town of Alamosa, Colorado when Alamosas new portable stage was dedicated to him at the towns July 4th celebration in 2002.
Don's smooth, powerful vocal style, his impressive command of the guitar and his other instruments, his moving and creative original songs, and his fine selection of other writers material combine to provide a varied and pleasing musical experience for all who hear him perform. His years of experience playing everything from a sold out 10,000 seat arena to the rowdy bars in the little mountain towns give him a relaxed and confident stage presence that seems to provide an immediate bond with the audience, and a good time for all.
Don has appeared on stage with such national acts as The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Michael Martin Murphy, Guy Clark, George Strait, The Judds, Dan Seals, Willie Nelson, and The O'Kanes.
"Don Richmond's singing and songwriting pack a disarming punch, going down like good bourbon in Rocky Mountain spring water. Like his song says, his is a story worth telling."
Justin Mitchell, The Rocky Mountain News
"Richmond's voice has both character and warmth." "***"
Tom Popson, Chicago Tribune
"There have been a lot of golden nights along the Colorado - New Mexico border in the last fifteen years, and Don Richmond has put the shine on more than his share. A Colorado Peter Rowan..."
John Swinney, KTAO, Taos, New Mexico
"Check out this musician of many instruments and talents... This piece of work provides good acoustic listening. The mixing and recording quality are top-notch."
John Bricker, Power Pickin' (Colorado Bluegrass Association newsletter)
"A musician's musician. ...during this song a child right behind me stopped sitting quietly and started singing along right out loud. She didn't know the music or the words - only that she WANTED to sing with Don Richmond. I recommend you begin collecting Richmond's music, which on Story and Mirage covers folk, bluegrass, just plain pickin', popular, country, jazz, and blues forms. He's just beginning. In another decade I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the San Luis Valley's musical gem composed an oratorio, concerto, opera, and hymnal and meanwhile continued to pen the songs that endure as classics: Cathedral, Me and Chico, A Story Worth the Telling. There are many more."
John Hill, The Valley Courier
For bookings, CDs and tapes or more information, contact:
P.O. Box 825
Alamosa, CO 81101
719-589-6360 or 800-689-7786
E-mail - DonRichmond@worldnet.att.net
Website - www.donrichmond.com
Address: Don Richmond P.O. Box 825 Alamosa CO 81101
Info, contact and order hotline: 800-689-7786
Email - DonRichmond@worldnet.att.net