Richard the Lionhearted
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Richard the Lionhearted

Columbia, Missouri, United States | SELF

Columbia, Missouri, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


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



"Richard the Lionhearted Continues its Art-Rock Crusade With Fine EP"

By Aarik Danielsen, originally published 9 August 2012 by the Columbia Daily Tribune.
The moment when you hear a band beginning to set itself apart is a special one. Richard the Lionhearted is on the cusp of such a breakthrough. The Columbia quintet’s collective star is rising, having warmed audiences waiting for nationally known acts such as Tapes ‘N Tapes, Other Lives and Jessica Lea Mayfield and releasing quality tracks that showcase the band’s progress as artists. The group’s current jaunt is meant to bolster the EP, “Outliers,” that it released earlier this year.

The six songs found on this basement recording are intricate yet intimate, angular but also acutely human, expanding and contracting, slowing and speeding up in a way that mimics the very rhythms of living and breathing. In a sense, the band’s sound was born before its members were, drawing deep from wells of psychedelic rock and cosmic-minded country sounds that were dug in the 1970s. Yet these local heirs to the throne of all things mod, moody and melodic deftly pass their retro-fied sonic penchants through the eye of a modern-rock needle.

The record’s bookends, “Miss Smith” and “Leaving,” are snapshots, albeit sprawling ones, of what the band does well. The former is dark and dreamy, with just a hint of the ominous. The band mixes ambient soundscapes with foretastes of funk in a way that is positively Floyd-ian. The latter is a jangly art-rock boogie, its ambling rhythms and purring bass guitar thinly masking the longing that’s all tangled up in the lyrics and vocal line.

The four tracks that make up the EP’s middle add shades of soul and exhibit the band’s range. “The Ballad of Bobby and Suzilee” is marked by its highs and lows, which come in the form of chiming instrumental melodies and a nimble, pulsing bass line that binds the shuffling rhythms and sleepy-eyed yet sonorous vocals between. “Your Dress” is a sublime, stoner country chantey reminiscent of The Roadside Graves or a less precise version of Lambchop.

“St. Petersburg” is a winding, ethereal ballad written at the place where The National and My Morning Jacket intersect, and “The Last Outlaw” is fuzzy, buzzy, noisy and muddy in all the right ways. The promise of bigger things is inherent in Richard the Lionhearted’s sound, yet it seems wise to enjoy this moment as the band begins making its name known and its voice heard.
- Columbia Daily Tribune

"These Local Bands are Poised to Enjoy a Big 2012"

Originally published 5 January 2012 by the Columbia Daily Tribune.
“In her story today on page 3, contributor Emily Adams identified some of the qualities that make Columbia singer-songwriter Rae Fitzgerald an artist to keep an eye on in 2012. Fitzgerald isn’t the only local act poised to have a strong year. These artists aren’t merely on the horizon — they’re already here, ready to deliver the goods.

Richard the Lionhearted: This quintet is only billowing art-rock fires it already has started, building on a 2011 that saw the band play with the likes of Tapes ’N Tapes, Other Lives, Jessica Lea Mayfield and Jerusalem and the Starbaskets as well as add sonic verve to the True/False Film Fest. The group’s self-appointed labels are all unconventional, forward-thinking compound terms, as if the band is playing a style of music that hasn’t actually been invented yet — the group is, by turns, “Space Country,” “HyperPsych,” “Rocket Blues” and “Future Folk.” According to the band’s Facebook page, its members have written almost an entire album’s worth of new material, which they’ve been releasing into the atmosphere in two-song blocks via the band’s website at Initial tracks reveal melodic, moody guitars, British Invasion-era backbeats, creative time changes and surprisingly soulful crooning.” - Columbia Daily Tribune

"Local powerhouse triad come together at Mojo’s"

Originally published 19 May 2011 by the Columbia Daily Tribune.
“It’s a fortuitous season to be a music lover in Columbia. The soil of the local scene seems to be offering up some unabashedly original music for those who want to pluck it up, and tomorrow’s show at Mojo’s is one juicy batch of produce. Three bands — Jerusalem and the Starbaskets, Richard the Lionhearted, and Believers — will take their place on the Mojo’s stage.

Richard the Lionhearted has a dark-alt-rock-country-folk sound — although that’s a classification born out of the inability to pigeonhole the band. Perhaps it could be described as rockabilly-meets-Pink Floyd. Moody but full of texture and distortion,
the dirty, chugging rhythms are offset by strong, Southern-tinged vocals and other faintly eerie harmonies. Richard the Lionhearted
formed in 2009, issuing its first full-length album of the same name in late 2010 — after two EPs, no less — and hitting the local tour circuit hard with more than 30 shows to its name. The effort is clearly paying off for the six-member [sic] outfit.” - Columbia Daily Tribune

"Richard the Lionhearted - Richard the Lionhearted (LP)"

This band hails from the heartland of America but much of their music has shadings of the west coast or the desert southwest. They're not exactly cowboys on acid but a generous amount of psychedelia informs their music, like on "My My My" where a hazy sound puts Richard the Lionhearted on the same path that the Meat Puppets never tire of exploring, or on "Ain't Been Straight," a folk-rocker that channels the cosmic Americana first brought to life by the Grateful Dead on albums like American Beauty and Workingman's Dead. "Badlands" borrows the galloping rhythm of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" and lopes madly through the hills with it like they're late for a meeting with Crazy Horse (the band, not the warrior chief) and "Son House," appropriately enough, is a slow Delta boogie with an eerie aura, like it's floating in from a distant radio station that you're lucky enough to catch for a few miles as you ramble down some forlorn highway. And really that's the deal with this whole album; it doesn't take too much scrutiny to realize there's something special going on here. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Kyle Wayne Stewart clearly has a fondness for the full range of earthy sounds that make up the Americana genre and a bent towards the new psychedelic folk movement, all of which results in music that, likened to talking to a favored old friend, is both full of warmth and intellectually stimulating. -

"TRUE TALENT: Buskers, bands bring real-life resonance to True/False Film Fest"

Secret weapons. That’s what the True/False Film Fest labels the buskers and bands that adorn and amplify the weekend-long documentary-viewing experience it has provided Columbians each of the last eight years. Anyone who has born witness to the splendid spectacle knows these musicians do not merely exist as palette-cleansers between films — they truly bring another dimension, intimately, joyfully and artistically, to the festival...
...So, below are five bands whose sounds should have you keeping your eyes peeled throughout the weekend....
Richard the Lionhearted: Members of Columbia outfit Richard the Lionhearted have sublimely submerged themselves in various musical pools — alt-country, shoegaze, gray-sky Brit-rock, psychedelia — and emerged with a strong, visionary sound. The band rightly dubbed its approach “textured and moody,” putting listeners on notice with a sequence of solid demos— that sold out within months — and a proper, self-titled December 2010 release. Within its first 18 months as a band, Richard the Lionhearted has opened for Tapes ‘n Tapes, Scott Lucas and the Married Men and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, further reinforcing the band’s ability to fit within a variety of rock and alternative contexts while maintaining a sound it has cemented in a relatively short time. - Columbia Daily Tribune

"Richard the Lionhearted at Forrest Rose Park"

Richard The Lionhearted was the second opener for Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin at Forrest Rose Park. I had never even heard of the band, much less the music, so I didn't know what to expect. They hit the stage with two guitars, bass, key boards, drums, and an extra percussionist that played things like a washboard and another tom from what I could see. All and all they played a solid set and were tight as a band, which does not always happen with the "local" opening bands. At the time of the show the most interesting part of their show were the vocals. While they did appear to have a lead singer, he almost always had at least one person in the band harmonizing with him, which resulted in a rather interesting sonic vibe. When the songs had a faster tempo the harmony gave the song more of a campfire sing along feel, which is very noticeable in the songs My, My, My, You've Heard That One Before, and O' California. The slower tempo songs actually had a very monkish feel to my ears most notable on songs like Ain't Been Straight, Son House, and Adieu. I am not sure if the change in vocal style varied depending on who was singing lead, I was back by the soundboard and it was hard to see who was leading the vocals on each song, or if the lead singer just changes his style more than most based on the tempo of the song. Even after mixing I still don't know, but I do like the variety; and I like the fact that the harmony builds up the lyrics, but doesn't make them sweet.

I left the show not sure what to think of the band. The music sounded solid, but there weren't any hooks, nothing that would grab me if I heard it on the radio. There wasn't an anthem or catchy pop rif in the mix that slapped me in the face and made me take notice. However, I left the show wondering if I saw something worth more than a good hook that gets old way too fast.

While mixing the show down I get a chance to listen to a show more and really start to digest the contents of the songs. Some shows I have loved on the night turn out to be shows that don't hold up to the light day during processing. Every so often there is a show that I am not sure about that night, but I grow to love during the mixing process where I get a chance to appreciate what the band is trying to achieve. The last time that really happened to me was Quien es, Boom! a number of years ago when they opened up for Cary Hudson. This show has creeped up on me just like Quien es, Boom!.

So now I have to try and describe the sound of Richard the Lionhearted. They say they are Rock/Folk/Country, and I definitely hear all of these components in the music. I would say they have a good Rock Country sound on some tracks that hearkens to say a CCR, but the majority of the music has a moody and textured darkness that is more 120 minutes and less Country Brunch. As I said, there are not real hooks, no chorus you are singing an hour after you listen to the music. What you do get are well crafted songs full of dark harmonies and bit of country flair that is well worth sitting down and digesting. - Living Live in the Midwest


Outliers EP (2012)
Leaving/Miss Smith digital single (2011)
Richard the Lionhearted LP (2010)
Richard the Lionhearted demo (Flower EP) (2010)
Richard the Lionhearted demo (Leaf EP) (2009)



Richard the Lionhearted is a five-piece American psychedelic rock band formed in Columbia, Missouri in 2009. The band’s live sound and its two formal releases, Richard the Lionhearted (LP, 2010, self-released) and Outliers (EP, 2012, self-released) have been critically-appraised, the band described as having “a sound born before its members were…drawing deep from wells of psychedelic rock and cosmic-minded country sounds that were dug in the 1970s…yet deftly pass[ing] their retro-fied sonic penchants through the eye of a modern-rock needle.”

Richard the Lionhearted cut their teeth opening for nationally known acts (Tapes ‘n Tapes, Other Lives, Oberhofer, Jessica Lea Mayfield, among others) in the little-known midwest college town of Columbia, which has secretly produced its fair share of musicians over the years. The band released two demos locally, one in late 2009, and a live one in early 2010, which sold out after runs of 100 each.

The band self-released its first full-length album in December of 2010, which has sold more than 3,200 copies to date worldwide, and after a 2011 in which Richard the Lionhearted toured on three separate occasions across the US, recorded an EP, Outliers, which the band also self-released at the 2012 True/False International Film Festival. It has sold more than 2,000 copies to date.

“This band hails from the heartland of America but much of their music has shadings of the west coast or the desert southwest,” writes Kevin Wierzbicki of

“They’re not exactly cowboys on acid but a generous amount of psychedelia informs their music with an eerie aura, like it’s floating in from a distant radio station that you’re lucky enough to catch for a few miles as you ramble down some forlorn highway. It doesn’t take too much scrutiny to realize there’s something special going on here… which results in music that is both full of warmth and intellectually stimulating.”

In October 2012, the band will put its stamp on its 70th show and begin work on finishing the writing and, then, recording of their second full-length album, to be released summer 2013.