Alex Richards has been since the mid ‘1990s playing bars and sideshows around Boise, ID. In addition to having recorded with fellow Idaho artist Tommy Dirtweed as well as Seattle, WA band the Riffbrokers, Richards has had his own group that’s been together for at least 20 years.
Despite the amount of time they’ve been together, music is not the group’s main source of employment. When not rehearsing or playing gigs, the members of the group have jobs in construction, screen-printing and education. The only member of the group who plays music full time is the band’s drummer Mike Rundle. In addition to Rundle on drums, the band’s line up features Richards on lead guitar, Skully Davis on rhythm guitar and Josh Richards on bass.
While this latest self-titled record Alex Richards Band is not Richard’s first project, it’s only the second album recorded by the group since the release of their first record Easier in Dec. 2001. The album was released in December of last year and was recorded at the Audio Lab in Garden City, ID, a studio that has worked with big name acts like Eric Clapton, Alanis Morrisette and Sum 41.
Because they formed in the 1990s in the Northwestern United States, it’s no surprise that the Alex Richard’s Band’s sound is fast paced alt. country and blues rock sound that seems to be influenced by groups like the Black Crowes, Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven.
The Camper Van Beethoven sound is particularly noticeable on tracks like “Chain” and “Dark Hollow” with a soulful violin playing over them. “Ashes” sounds like a track that belongs on a Rolling Stones album and bears similarities to the “Exile on Main St.” track “Tumbling Dice.”
You can hear blues influences throughout the album when you listen to the freight train rhythm of tracks like “Blow Your Mind” or “Big Jet Plane” which sounds like a ‘50s rock n’ roll style jam by way of the Allman Brothers and features a prominent harmonica riff and Chuck Berry guitar licks. The most heartfelt song on the record would have to be “Diesel Engine,”,which has the sound of a feel good ‘90s pop song and talks about trucking on the road.
The Alex Richards Band seems content with the fact they haven’t earned a wider degree of fame from music and are happy with just being a small town bar band. After listening to this record however, it leaves the listener wanting more and wishing the group would stop living in their own private Idaho and start touring around the country.
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