Those artists who find themselves stuck in deep ruts two decades into their careers could learn a thing or two from veteran singer-songwriter Kim Richey. She's never been afraid to go where the inspiration is, recording each of her first six albums with different collaborators in different locales. For her seventh album, Thorn In My Heart, she decided to do something quite brave for a nomadic soul: continue a tried and true partnership. For the second album in a row, she enlisted her multi-talented, East Nashville-based bandleader Neilson Hubbard as producer. "Normally I would go to someone new," she says. "But then I thought, 'Well, let's just try and see what happens.' It seemed like a natural extension of touring. Neilson, Dan Mitchell and I have been touring together as a trio for well over a year. We found a way that we could represent the new songs and the old songs for live shows by really concentrating on harmony vocals; they're both beautiful singers and great musicians. I think maybe we were all surprised at how easy and fun making this album was. Without any rehearsals, we were tracking four songs a day." Richey's openness to exploration has enabled her to slip into and out of a variety of different stylistic modes on her albums. Early on, the Zanesville, Ohio native thrived on the progressive side of mainstream country, her albums (1995's Kim Richey, 1997's Bittersweet and 1999's Glimmer) showcasing twang-pop sensibilities, a rich, rounded vocal tone and effortlessly sophisticated songwriting that other discerning performers-Trisha Yearwood, Radney Foster and Pam Tillis to name a few-coveted for their own recordings. In the years since, Richey has made her subtly psychedelic album Rise with producer Bill Bottrell, flown to London to enlist the help of Giles Martin-whose father helped the Beatles work their studio magic-emerging with the crisply orchestrated Chinese Boxes, and turned to Hubbard to conjure the earthy indie-pop feel of Wreck Your Wheels as well as to complete Thorn In My Heart, which marks her return to sumptuously understated roots-country territory. Darden Smith opens the show.
Saturday - April 20, 2013
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