A Threading Needle
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A Threading Needle

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"An Original Between Covers"

Stephen Richards may currently be pursuing a degree in nursing, but when it comes to his music, he seems to adapt a far more Darwinian attitude.

"It's a business, and like all businesses, it's survival of the fittest," he says. "No venue is going to come knock on your door, especially where cover bands dominate the scene."

The 19-year-old Springfield folk rocker adds that he has nothing against bands that play other people's music. After all, where's the harm in going out, having a good time and getting paid?

But in an area with a limited number of venues for any aspiring soundsmith to ply his or her wares, Richards says that cover bands have proven to be strong motivational tools in his quest to be heard.

"It just makes me work harder, and I send out tons of promotional materials," the Dylan/Mars Volta-weaned singer/guitarist says. And already it seems as though Richards' sizeable Kinkos tab is paying off.

This Friday, July 29, he finds himself opening for Artemis recording artist Jeffrey Gaines at Hartford's Webster Underground. It's both a personal triumph and a seemingly perfect pairing in that Gaines, who's perhaps best known for his stirring rendition of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes," also prefers to take the stage armed with nothing more than his guitar and a soulful voice.

While Richards says that he'll keep pushing for similarly high-profile gigs in the future, he is quick to acknowledge that it's not just cover bands standing in his way.

"The Webster is great, but more venues have to take a chance on original acts," he says. "I think they'll be surprised at what they find, and if they don't, we'll all be forced onto the street."

Seems like a logical place to wrap this up until Nightcrawler realizes Richards isn't speaking figuratively.

"I've played on the street, and it can be a great experience," he adds. "But it can also be very cold."

For tickets and directions, visit www.webstertheatre.com.

Oh, and don't show up before 6 p.m. or you'll be on left on the street, because that's when the doors open for this show.

by Gary Carra - July 28, 2005 - Valley Advocate


Discography

Late 2008 we will be releasing our first Lp that will be entitled "The Harvest" and will contain eleven original compositions that were engineered, recorded, and mixed by Tim Saroce at New Alliance Studio's in Cambridge Massachusetts.

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Bio

We are not interested in what is termed "success." Bob Dylan once said, "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning, goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants." We apply that same philosophy to music and all we ask is that the listeners do the same.