Rich McCulley

Rich McCulley


"McCulley's vocal chords sound like they've been marinating in a whiskey bath with a 3-pack-a-day habbit added. Think early Tom Petty mixed with early Wilco"-Nashville Scene


The release of his fourth record Cerro Gordo finds veteran roots rocker Rich McCulley in a good place, feeling happy and inspired in his adopted Los Angeles home.

Kicking off with the bouncy foot stomper “Forget It All Again,” the new album winds through ten rootsy pop tunes, infused throughout with a mood of optimism and confidence McCulley has earned from a life of hard experience. “I can’t reinvent the wheel, but I can put my own spin on it,” he says, and he delivers on this promise with an album of music both fresh and familiar. Cerro Gordo is a classic McCulley concoction of satisfying melodies, chiming guitars, humable harmonies, whirling organs, soaring strings... all the elements of catchy roots pop delivered in tightly polished songs and recorded in an honest, straightforward style that is McCulley’s trademark.

Following on the success of his third record Far From My Angel (2005), McCulley has become a fixture in the LA roots scene, where he has developed productive co-writing partnerships, placed songs in films, recorded dozens of bands in his studio, and played as a fiery guitar sideman in many pro projects.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that the list of co-writers and players on Cerro Gordo reads like a who’s who of McCulley’s favorite bands and musical inspirations. Co-writers include Duane Jarvis (Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam) and Todd Herfindal of The Meadows, while featuring members of bands such as Fountains of Wayne, The Posies, Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam, Frank Black, Dave Alvin, and others.

Highlights of the record include the lush and lovely “If I Hesitate,” a song of new love, and “I Never Really Loved You,” a tongue in cheek duet with singer/violinist Amy Farris (Dave Alvin, Kelly Willis). There is also an ode to the beauty and reinventive spirit of McCulley’s native California (“Forever California”).

McCulley's sound features his distinctive chopped gravel vocal rasp - hailed by as "a great rock and roll voice" - as well as powerful rock guitar chops that shift effortlessly from full-on rock to laid-back California cool. McCulley's style remains sunny and honest and always throws a hook.

McCulley's story began in his hometown of Fresno, CA, where he wrote, recorded and toured with a variety of county rock and pop rock bands on labels such as Geffen and Columbia. With the release of his first solo EP in 2000, McCulley set off on his own path, guiding his band through two more critically acclaimed records and staging several tours across the southern US and West coast.

Now, celebrating the release of Cerro Gordo, McCulley remains optimistic about the future. “I’ve learned not to be so attached to things and outcomes, and instead to just enjoy the experience. At the end of the day, being able to survive and make a living in music, play with my friends, and find new inspiration, that’s what drives me forward.”


I never really loved you (duet with Amy Farris)

Written By: Rich McCulley and Mark Bransfield

Ten years we had
Weren’t all that bad
Weren’t all that good
Guess you thought you would
Throw it all away
Like news from yesterday
You just tore out that page
It was blank anyway

I never really loved you, I just drank too much
Once I got to know you, I couldn’t drink enough
I musta been high to stay on that ride
I never really loved you, anyway

A merry go round
Always breaking down
Stuck in one place
The look on your face
Your eyes would not reveal
How you really feel
Hiding from me
That was all I needed to see

I never really loved you…

Three thousand six hundred, fifty days
Is all it took me to get away

I never really loved you …

Forever California

Written By: Rich McCulley, Todd Herfindal, Kevin Houlihan

Woke up driving, Ventura highway
It’s a lonely road, without the sun
Slowly rising, gold dust horizon
Find a girl and some California wine

Endless days of clear blue skies
Summer girls that warm the nights
Sunburst morning let it rise, it will be alright
Forever California, Forever California

Winding through the canyon, time to make a new plan
There’s a melody on the breeze tonight
Moving to the ocean through all the city’s motion
Find a girl and some California wine

Endless days of clear blue skies…

Feeling so high in the sunshine
Together we will ride, yeah

Endless days of clear blue skies
Summer girls that warm the nights
Sunburst morning let it rise, it will be alright
Winter falls and spring so fine
Summer girls that warm the nights
Sunburst morning let it rise, it will be alright

Forever California, Forever California, Forever California


Cerro Gordo-to be released Sept. 2007
Far From My Angel-2005
If Faith Doesn't Matter-2002
After the Moment has past-EP-2000

Set List

I can play waaaay to long!
I usually play songs from my most current albums and even newer songs.
Sometimes I play covers such as Replacements, Elvis Costello, old country tunes, etc.