Brian Ritchey
Gig Seeker Pro

Brian Ritchey

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Band Alternative


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



""I like the juxtaposition of moods in Brian Ritchey’s version of “Paint It Black” – this is one of those instances where messing around with the original really works.""

I like the juxtaposition of moods in Brian Ritchey’s version of “Paint It Black” – this is one of those instances where messing around with the original really works. - No Depression (Gillian Turnbull)

""On the title cut, Brian Ritchey’s flowing strings and piano build majestically from aching gypsy balladry to classical seventies to guitar-smashing nineties rock and back again to rest""

On the title cut, Brian Ritchey’s flowing strings and piano build majestically from aching gypsy balladry to classical seventies to guitar-smashing nineties rock and back again to rest - Cover Lay Down

"No One Knows Lonely by: Gianfranco Callieri"

Recommended by Matthew Ryan (who shares with him a certain taste for rainy days), Brian Ritchey is a big Indiana-born guy living in Nashville who could easily pass himself off as a secret member of The Jayhawks or as Ryan Adams’s brother, if we just had the occasion to listen to his debut (entitled E.P.) when it first came out in 2005.

These are the names that come to mind listening to the clanging It Feels Like Rock-n-Roll? (with some echoes of Tom Petty), to the semi acoustic warmth of a Coal Black Moon (reminiscent of Nick Drake), to the harrowing rock ballad Apology (five minutes of sentimental catharsis with the ghosts of Gram Parsons and The Band), or the heart-rending feedback of Joke.

The extended use of distortion is another element that Ritchey and Ryan have in common, but if in Ryan’s music it’s the most original vehicle possible for his melodies, in Ritchey’s songs it seems more like an open wound, like a sudden tear provoked by an unexpected disappointment, or by a defeat too crushing to deal with.


The best song from If I Were A Painter... sounds like a perfect example: No One Knows Lonely is pop candy shattered by a minute and a half (out of five) of distorted feedback solo capable of creating a savage and hallucinatory climax.
On the same level, Which Way Is Hell? (the opening track) is a loud and noisy homage to The Who in the form of a bar band dealing with punk rock (and if you know the great Titus Andronicus, you’ll know what I’m talking about), and the title track is a rockabilly whip. On the other hand, the rest curls up in a series of lazy and pensive ballads--Gray Skies, Sleeping On Gold, Oh, Broken Girl, Hope Rains–where the sob of the sorrowful heart of Brian Ritchey cannot but call to mind Ryan Adams’s Heartbreaker (‘00).
Be Happy is a beautiful seven-minute-long folk-rock ride between New York fog and California skies, culminating in an overwhelming wave of guitars, harps and percussion and as far as fascination and magnetism go, the piano closure of A Lonely Man Was Born (…related to Randy Newman) stands out.

I hope I have done a good job of drawing your attention to Brian Ritchey. If not, it’s a shame because, even if we’re not talking about the future of rock and roll (and who is still looking for it nowadays anyway?), we should never give up looking for great songs.

2005, E.P. [ep] (Calico Sky Music) 7.5 /10
2008, If I Were A Painter... (Calico Sky Music) 7.5/10
- No Depression

"Blue Tick Music Live Show Review"

"One of Nashville's out of site and most brilliant talents" - Blue Tick Music

"Nashville Scene (No Way Out Of This House Review)"

”Ritchey’s world-worn croon is his most potent asset, be it delicate and broken on songs of spiritual reflection or triumphant and booming on tunes about personal torment.” Nashville Scene - Nashville Scene

"Scenecast/Online Radio and Marketing"

Every time The Scenecast plays, an angel gets its wings. Arch-host Collin Wade Monk helps you increase the celestial plumage with heavenly tunes by Prizzy Prizzy Please, Glovebox, David Mead, Astronautalis, Brother Henry, Wes McDonald, Brian Ritchey, The Coalmen, Stephen Simmons, Larry Goldings, Mandarin Movie, Sound and Shape, Pretty Girls Make Graves, The Joggers and Giant Drag. Spread The Love.

- The Nashville Scene

"brian ritchey ep reviews"

With his lilting, melancholy vocals and beautiful arrangements Brian Ritchey has released an impressive debut with the 7-song EP, a disc that’s very reminiscent of the early work of The Jayhawks, Ryan Adams and occasionally even Tom Petty and Nick Drake. Everything here from the upbeat opener "Guess That I’m Lonely" and the heartfelt emotions of "Apology" to "Forty Years" with it’s very effective piano work and the Petty-ish "It Feels Like Rock-n-Roll?" showcase Ritchey’s talent and make this a very worthwhile disc. ( - Geoff Melton THE MUSIC KORNER - the music korner

"Live Show Review"

Brian Ritchey started his set with songs from his last E.P. As his set went on I noticed more and more people standing to the front of the room. He brought in some newer songs toward the middle including "No One Knows Lonely" with the almost haunting background vocals sung by bassist Jordan Caress. The multi-talented Justin Schipper from Kyte was on pedal steel and guitar. On the drums was John Ayers from Staircase. I was really surprised to hear that this was his first time playing with Brian as his style synched up with Brian's almost organically.
- The Nashville Feed

"8 off 8th Promotional Show Review"

Just 7 Days until out next 8 off 8th (see previous post)! Brian will be playing there, and I think he's going to bring a lot to the line-up. The challenge will be where to put him in the line-up for a seamless sound. I wouldn't describe his music as indie pop like I could for most of the others, but he's going to add a lot I think...which is why I asked him. I think if I sandwich him between Thornton and Audrey Spillman or Denitia Odigie it should work nicely.

- Stalking the Muse


Big weekend ahead! Between a kick ass northeastern band (Cassavettes), poetic local rock (Brian Ritchey) and legendary Nashville royalty (Royal Court of China)'ve got a full plate.

- Nashville Feed


"Brian Ritchey EP" Released Dec. 2005 (calico sky music)

"If I were a Painter..." Released Aug. 2008 (calico sky music)

"No Way Out Of This House" Released Nov. 2010 (calico sky music)

"Korean Is Asian" Released Mar. 2011 (kia music / calico sky music)

"Paint It Black: An Alt-Country Tribute to the Rolling Stones"
released in May. 2011 (Reimagine Music)



Brian Ritchey is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter. He has released four albums to date, three solo albums and a side project (Korean Is Asian) all released to critical acclaim. Brian Ritchey EP, released in December of 2005, is an alt-country record drawing comparisons to acts such as Gram Parsons, Neil Young, Ryan Adams, Tom Petty and more. His sophomore effort, If I were a Painter, released in August of 2008, is a melting pot of garage rock, alt-country and classic singer/songwriter genres. The Tennessean proclaimed that, "BRIAN RITCHEY'S GARAGE ROCK IS REAL!" while also drawing comparisons to a wide range of performers, from Wilco to Randy Newman. No Way Out of this House, released in November of 2010, is a concept album that found Brian eager to abandon his alt-country roots. The album filled with muddy guitars, lush string arrangements and dramatic vocals would draw heavily from singer/songwriter influences such as Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and Neil Young. The new album led to some complimentary reviews. Gianfranco Callieri (No Depression) wrote that "No Way Out Of This House shows both (Robert) Altman's narrative smartness along with (Bob) Rafelson's fragmented melancholy. It's similar to a musical rendition of the themes Paul Thomas Anderson (one of the preeminent voices of New Hollywood) dealt with in Magnolia." His side project, Korean Is Asian, released in March of 2011, landed the band a spot on the critically acclaimed Daytrotter Sessions. Brian also recently received the title track placement on a Rolling Stones tribute album released on May 17th, 2011 by indie label Reimagine Music and produced by Jim Sampas (Ben Harper, Ani DiFranco, Son Volt). Paint It Black: An Alt-Country Tribute to the Rolling Stones found Brian performing alongside alt-country cult icons Cowboy Junkies, Blue Mountain, Mary Gauthier and more...

Brian is currently recording a new solo album due to be released in 2012. Other honorable mention has found Brian performing with a very eclectic group of performers, including Justin Townes Earle (Bloodshot Records), The Whigs (ATO Records), Land Of Talk (Saddle Creek), Matthew Ryan and Grammy Award winning producer Larry Butler (Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson) to name a few. Indie/Country artist, Caitlin Rose (ATO Records) covered Brian’s “No One Knows Lonely” as part of her 2010 U.K. tour, helping Ritchey expand on his ever growing fan base.