from the December, 2002 Horsefly in Taos, New Mexico - Song Line The Local Scene
In this continuing dialogue among friends, Horse Fly focuses on the local music scene of Northern New Mexico. We’ll discuss the musicians, their songs. their releases, and the places where they play.
CD Release - DON
RICHMOND’S “NO MAN’S LAND”
Don Richmond, a local legend, is adored by musicians and fans, who refer to him, almost in awe, with nicknames such as “Gandhi” and “Dr. Don.” Don’s Howlin’ Dog Studio has a kind of energy that adds to the lore. Musician Art Patience recently said that the studio contains portals to other dimensions that artists go through to find new kinds of creative energy. Being in the studio with Don Richmond is akin to being in the presence of a Zen Master.
You wonder and you wander
You search for something fine Just to come full circle
To what’s been there all the time
In the old wood by the doorway
Seen in the setting sun a quiet conversation
When the day is done
In the warm wind through the cottonwoods
and the promise that it brings
You have found the magic, of ordinary things
You listen to the holy ones, you climb the mountain peak
But what you looked for was all around
“Ordinary Things” from “No Man’s Land” by Don Richmond.
Don is a multi-instrumental musician and singer-songwriter, performing on guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, pedal steel guitar, bass, dobro, harmonica, trumpet, and possibly just about anything you put in his hands. For more than 30 years he has been a full-time musician, primarily in Colorado and New Mexico. He has released four albums with his country-rock band Tumbleweed. Recently he was part of Hired Hands (three albums) and Burning Joan (two albums), both popular regional groups. Don also has released five solo CD’s and written a book on the psychology of creativity and performance titled “Getting Your Music Past the Fear.” Perhaps another nickname for him should be the “music man.”
Don’s recent solo release, “No Man’s Land” (available at The Brodsky Bookshop), magically combines country, folk, rock, street-corner, and riding-the-rails music. You really can’t help but smile through the songs. “Ordinary Things” sounds like he is singing to you, his oldest friend. “That’s Why You Come Home,” a song written in response to a story from friend and fellow-musician Don Conoscenti, is another example of how Don Richmond can make poetic lyrics sound like a real conversation. The liner notes are full of wisdom: “I have known those seemingly born with things I have struggled for, it took me a long time to realize their path was at least as steep as mine,” he writes in “No Man’s Land.”
Even if you’re not a fan of country-folk, this album is as comfortable as an old, faded pair of jeans. You may want to pick up two copies so you can give one to a close friend. It isn’t just music after all, it’s a message from a sage.
One of the coolest things that has ever happened in my life happened to me last summer, on July 4, 2001. Hired Hands was playing in Cole Park in Alamosa, and after the show, Alamosa City Manager Mike Hackett (and my good friend) came up on stage and presented me with a plaque dedicating the new portable stage that Alamosa had recently acquired to me. I was flabbergasted, very humbled, and felt like maybe I should have died the week before. But mostly I was just very grateful. In order to do art and create things in the world, I think you have to learn to sometimes follow your inner voice and do what it tells you to do, sometimes seemingly without a lot of positive feedback from the world. But getting the positive feedback feels so affirming and supportive. My deepest thanks go out to Mike Hackett, his wife Terry Uyecki, and especially my wife Teri McCartney who kept the whole thing a secret and organized a wonderful party and celebration for the event, complete with all my brothers and sisters in attendance, as well as many friends from near and far. TEXT
From the hometown Valley Courier - a very nice story about life as a Southern colorado musician - TEXT
And here another one, about the release of A Lot in Common - TEXT
From the Pueblo Chieftain -
From the Taos, NM cultural and entertainment weekly Horsefly -