John Richards
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John Richards

Band Rock Acoustic


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"Consolation Champ releases debut CD "The Invitational""

Consolation Champ's debut CD, "The Invitational" was released Sept. 22.
Performing band deemed good background music Erik Wood Posted on: Sep 28, 2006 - 07:48 PM

I've got to ask you what's better, buying albums for the first listen or seeing a band live?
I think the answer to the question is completely rhetorical. I suppose I could be wrong though. Personally, if I can attend a live music event, let alone a rock show, count me in. The best way to get a feel for new music is listening to it live.
Well on Oct. 7 you've got a chance to catch a "comfortable"
three-piece rock band from Minneapolis by the name of Consolation Champ. Along with Consolation Champ, another local Minnesota musician will be playing — Mason Jennings.
The Big Event will take place in the UW-RF amphitheatre for an Oct. 7 Aids Awareness benefit concert. If you're looking for some mellow "rock" music and a great time, show yourself and represent local bands.
Consolation Champ is unique in the sense that it is a three-piece rock band suitable for all occasions, whether it be studying, partying, or even just as background music. While listening to the debut album, "The Invitational," which dropped Sept.22 at a release party at the Fine Line Music Café in Minneapolis, I heard what I thought sounded like a blend of Jack Johnson and a merging of indie rock. The album can be described as catchy, with a twist of funky indie vibes that will contain whatever mood you tend to be in.
The group has been together for approximately two years, playing at local clubs in Minnesota. For a debut album, words such as solid, creative, and again catchy can only be used when describing "The Invitational."
Some tracks to look for if you are in attendance are the opening track on the album, "She's Such a Fox," and "Wonderful Unknown."
Interestingly enough, they were recognized by iTunes music service, their genre classification being rock.
I disagree completely.
When I read the album description and saw the classification "rock-n-roll," I chuckled. Honestly, I don't think this is classifiable as rock music. Whether you like it or not, classification matters in today's music world. But just like any other local band, they possess a passion for music and continue to impress fans and gain them at each live performance.
Be sure to check out this AIDS benefit show, support the local music, and don't forget to catch recorded singles by Consolation Champ at their Web site, http://www.consolation and at champ.
Until then, mark your calendars for Oct. 7 to give these guys a listen and form your own opinion.
- UW-River Falls Student Voice

"howwastheshow review - The Big Event"

he Big Event fe: Mason Jennings, Haley Bonar, The Alarmists, The Exchange & Consolation Champ (Saturday, October 7, 2006, Wall Amphitheatre, University of Wisconsin – River Falls) By Jen Paulson

I visited the University of Wisconsin in River Falls for The Big Event, a concert put on by their chapter of the Student Global AIDS Campaign....The bill they put together was impressive; not only Mason Jennings, but Haley Bonar and The Alarmists fresh off their respective wins at the Minnesota Music Awards along with possible future contenders, Consolation Champ and The Exchange. Each band was sponsored by local businesses, with some of the bands donating portions of their merchandise sales to the cause.

Arriving for the last few songs of Consolation Champ, I was impressed by their subtle way of rocking the helicopters off the trees. - Jen Paulson of


2006 Sept - The Invitational (Consolation Champ debut album)
2004 July - John Richards (John's self-titled solo acoustic album)



John Richards writes songs for and fronts the Minneapolis rock band Consolation Champ. The three-piece released its first full-band album, “The Invitational,” in September 2006. In addition to playing with his band, John continues to perform as a solo acoustic act, as he has done for the past four years throughout the Midwest. He released a self-titled solo debut in the summer of 2004, an innocently raw acoustic recording that includes stripped down versions of nine songs.

Looking back, John's musical career may have started when he took piano lessons in first grade and covered the song "Penguins at Play" at his elementary school talent show. It may have also begun when he and his brother used to lock one another in their respective rooms and simply talk/sing into a tape recorder for several minutes at a time. Little melodies and songs came out of those sessions, including "Al," the title track from the cassette, which was a song about a fictitious doggie. John continued his love for songwriting when he found an old Stella Harmony guitar in the back of a closet at home. His mom had bought this guitar way back when to perform "House of the Rising Sun" at a high school talent show. John began trying to play this guitar at age 14 and has since played other guitars, making some of them his own.

After playing in cover bands with names like "Kids Eat Free" during high school, he began to hone his songwriting skills while attending college at the University of Minnesota. Round that time he also began playing in Minneapolis at coffee shops, bars and the U of M campus. For most of 2003, he studied and lived in London, where he played at pubs and "unis" and met other songwriters from all over the world. Upon graduating college in the spring of 2004, John took the summer off to finish his debut album, then jumped into the business world in the fall.

After trying for a year and half to balance his passion for music with a 9 to 5 job, John decided to pursue music full time in the spring of 2006. He's fired up about touring, both with his band and solo acoustic. On October 7, 2006, he had the privilege of opening for Mason Jennings, and Haley Bonar at a benefit show at the U of Wisconsin River Falls. He has also shared the stage with Midwestern favorites such as The Alarmists, Spider John Koerner, Beau Kinstler, Billy Johnson, and Tim Mahoney.

Above all, John Richards loves to write songs and entertain. He is simply having a tremendous time chasing his dreams and making music.