Singer-songwriter Kim Richey is on the rise, in more ways than one.
First, her career as a songwriter is gaining her more acclaim with each new hit song she pens. As a recording artist, each of the four albums she's released has gotten better reviews than the one before. Even as a performer, she is traveling to new heights geographically, at least with her tour in Alaska in promotion of her latest album, "Rise," which was put out by Lost Highway Records.
On Sunday, Richey will bring her blend of folk and contemporary country music to the central Kenai Peninsula with a show at Peninsula Grace Brethren Church on Kalifornsky Beach Road.
"I really like her," said Mike Morgan, who runs World Music for the Kenai, the promotion agency that is hosting the concert. "Some of her stuff is real quiet, just her and her guitar, and other stuff has a full rock band behind it. Most of it is a thinking person's running commentary on life."
Richey, a guitarist and singer, is originally from rural Ohio and started her first band while she was in college. She since moved to Nashville, where she hones her performance and songwriting skills. She has written several songs for other performers, some topping country charts, including "Nobody Wins" for Radney Foster, "Believe Me Baby (I Lied)" for Trisha Yearwood, "Desire" for the Dixie Chicks, and "Every River" for Brooks & Dunn.
Her own musical style has been compared to Lucinda Williams and Joni Mitchell.
"Her music floats in between what you would call folk music and contemporary country music," Morgan said.
Richey delivers her insightful lyrics in a sweet, clear voice that gives her songs a poignant and intimate feel. The rhythms and chords that come from the instrumentation in her songs serve to showcase the lyrics, rather then cover them up. This is not the type of music that begs the listener to get lost in the sound of it and ignore what the singer is saying.
Most of her songs are written about love, love lost and the lessons learned from those experiences. Such general themes have a universal appeal and the poetic and sometimes ironic way Richey has of describing these themes can make listeners identify with her words.
Photo courtesy of Lost Highway Records
Richey's stop in Soldotna is preceded by a performance in Homer today, in Palmer on Friday, and in Anchorage on Saturday. Her concert at Peninsula Grace will wrap up her Alaska tour.
Tickets for the concert are $18 for general admission, $15 for seniors and students and will be sold at the door. Admission for children under age 12 is free, and family discounts are available.
Up next for World Music for the Kenai is a concert by Australian singer, songwriter and lap guitarist Jeff Lang on Oct. 5 at Peninsula Grace Brethren Church.
"He's really a virtuoso of the lap steel," Morgan said. "He's one of my favorite musicians in terms of his knowledge of traditional American blues and jazz. He's so tasty and his knowledge is really broad when it comes to blues and jazz and things like that."
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