Consolation Champ

Consolation Champ


“Modesty has always been a cornerstone of acoustic folk music, but these local folkies definitely undersell themselves in their band name. Far from musical also-rans, Consolation Champ has an everyman earnestness that is endearing.” –City Pages, Minneapolis


Singer-songwriter John Richards has been writing and performing original music for ten years, and since 2006 he has released two records and toured clubs, cafes and colleges throughout the USA under the name Consolation Champ. Many Consolation Champ shows are intimate solo acoustic performances. Others are lively, full-band rock shows where Richards is joined by Matt Mitchell on bass, Chris Mitchell on lead guitar, and Rick Nordquist on drums.

John, Matt, Chris and Rick all grew up in the same Twin Cities suburb and attended the same schools all the way from Kindergarten through college at the University of Minnesota. They span three graduating classes, and, while some members collaborated together in various bands during school, it wasn’t until after they had all finished college that they first played together as a quartet.

Champ self-released the debut album “The Invitational” in the fall of 2006, then followed it up in March of 2008 with “Lobos Pattern,” a 5-song EP recorded mostly live in the studio after John and Chris had just returned from a duo-acoustic tour of the Rocky Mountains and Southwestern US. Both can be found on iTunes and most digital music services. Tracking for the next album has recently begun, with the release date to be determined.

Whether on stage or around a fire, Consolation Champ loves playing music and roasting marshmallows. Hope to see you at a show sometime, and hope you don’t mind if the marshmallow is a little burnt.


The Lobos Pattern EP - released March 2008

1. Lobos Pattern
2. Den (It's the Same)
3. Young Michael
4. FC Carolin
5. 12-0 Run

This five song acoustic EP was recorded the week after John and Chris returned home from a 3-week fall tour to the Rocky Mountains. It was recorded almost entirely live in the studio with the goal of capturing these songs as they were performed on the road.

All songs written by John Richards

John Richards - lead vocals, guitar, shaker, bells, hand claps
Chris Mitchell - lead guitar, backing vocals, hand claps
Additional shaker by Brad Baker

Recorded Nov-Dec 2007 at Taylor Sound in Minneapolis
Produced by John Richards, Chris Mitchell and Brad Baker
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Brad Baker
Cover photo taken by Chris Mitchell while touring in New Mexico

This album can be purchased on iTunes and most digital music services, as well as at record stores throughout Minnesota.

The Invitational - released Sept 2006

1. She's Such a Fox
2. Texas
3. Race Car in the Shop
4. Short Sweet Messages
5. The Blues & Basil McRae
6. Checkout Girl
7. Tomorrow's the Start
8. Wonderful Unknown

The first album recorded under the name Consolation Champ. Recorded in the summer of 2006 at Taylor Sound in Minneapolis. Features re-recorded, full band versions of "Checkout Girl" and "The Blues & Basil McRae," which were both found on John's debut album. In addition, four of the songs--"Wonderful Unknown," "Texas," "Tomorrow's the Start," and "Checkout Girl" are featured in the 2008 film "Cold Feet" by Ross McNamara and Ryan Jones.

John Richards - vocals, guitars
Matt Mitchell - bass
Rick Nordquist - drums, backing vocals

All songs written by John Richards and arranged by Consolation Champ

Produced by Consolation Champ and Brad Baker
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Brad Baker
Mandolin on "Texas" by Joey Ryan
Album photography -

This album can be purchased on iTunes and most digital music services, as well as at record stores throughout Minnesota.


John Richards (2004)

1. Bottlerocket
2. Checkout Girl
3. Foreign Rain
4. Maroon Pontoon
5. State of You
6. The Blues & Basil McRae
7. Quietly Shouting
8. The Next 20
9. You the Man

Unpolished and acoustic, this was John's first crack at making an album. Recorded in a bedroom in St. Joseph, MN in the winter of 2004. At this time, it is only available for purchase at live shows.

all songs written by John Richards
produced by John Richards and Matt Blum at "Big Dipper Productions"
mixed by Matt Blum at Rockhouse Productions
mastered by Jeff Vee at Rockhouse Productions
cover art by Brady Bussler

John Richards - acoustic guitar, vocals, piano on "Quietly Shouting"
Matt Mitchell - bass
Matt Blum - percussion, additional backing vocals, keys

Set List

Consolation Champ can play for just as long as you'd like.


Barber Chair
The Blues & Basil McRae
Call Me Dad
Checkout Girl
Den (It's the Same)
FC Carolin
Forcing the Flood
Foreign Rain
High Top Shoebox
Lobos Pattern
Maroon Pontoon
The Next 20
Open Gym
Pleasant Trees
Quietly Shouting
Race Car in the Shop
She's Such a Fox
Short, Sweet Messages
Sleeping through the Fire
State of You
Tomorrow's the Start
12-0 Run
Wash and Burn
What am I Afraid of?
Whisper Something
Wonderful Unknown
You the Man
Young Michael


CC has been known to play a wide variety of covers ranging from Bird Dog (Everly Brothers) to Maneater (Hall & Oates) to In The Garage (Weezer).