"Modern folk, true folk—that is music rooted in the tradition and performed within a traditional configuration—is increasingly rarely encountered. All the more reason to celebrate the music of Dave Richardson and his little masterpiece, Carry Me Along. One for the year-end list, I’m predicting."
"Traditional, quiet and understated, though not without optimism and joy."
"There’s a freshness of approach here, built on a different look at songs from ‘the tradition’, together with his singular self-penned compositions - together they create a perfect fit."
"Carry Me Along" reached # 26 on the March 2018 Folk DJ chart
Listen to Dave's in-studio performance on Out Of The Woods Radio with Jon Colcord:
Release Date: 2/23/2018
Waiting For The Sunrise
Front Porch Time
Traveling So Far
The Unquiet Grave
Rise and Play (The Fox)
Produced by Dan Cardinal and Dave Richardson
Recorded and Mixed by Dan Cardinal at Dimension Sound Studios, Boston, MA
Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering, Boston, MA
Assistant Mastering Engineer: Maria Rice
Liv Baxter (fiddle, vocals)
Ariel Bernstein (drums, piano, Hammond B3 organ, Wurlitzer)
Jefferson Hamer (electric guitar, mandolin, vocals)
Emily Mure (vocals)
Mali Obomsawin (bass, vocals)
Photography by James Napoli
Graphic Design by Mariel Vandersteel
All songs by Dave Richardson, Branch & Thorn Music, ASCAP except
“Bachelor’s Hall,” “The Unquiet Grave,” and “Polly’s Ghost,” Traditional, arranged by Dave Richardson
“Annie” by Chaim Tannenbaum
“Jumping in head-first / what’s the worst that can happen…” contemplative folk singer/songwriter Dave Richardson sings on the final track of his new record, Carry Me Along. The song starts with Dave’s rich, expressive voice accompanied by the mountain dulcimer. Upright bass and acoustic guitar join him on the first chorus, and by the second chorus soaring 3-part harmonies elevate the song to an emotional climax. The spirit of support and collaboration represents the journey that led to these songs and this record.
Carry Me Along, due out on February 23rd, 2018, marks Dave’s first major album release, his first studio recording, and his first time playing with a full band. Despite all the new-ness, these songs, arrangements, and performances sound fully realized and self-assured. Dave recorded the album at Dimension Sound Studios in Boston, MA with Dan Cardinal (Josh Ritter, Darlingside, Emily Mure) engineering, co-producing and mixing. The songs range from the solo acoustic guitar and vocal of Traveling So Far to the full band sound of Front Porch Time and Goodbye Baltimore. Rubies features a laid-back old-time country arrangement with fiddle, mandolin and upright bass. Dave is particularly excited about the vibe achieved on Waiting For The Sunrise; sparse percussion, acoustic instruments and vocal harmonies create a warm, engaging sound.
Though the arrangements range in style, Dave’s voice and his lyrics are always front and center. Says Richardson: “The aim for this album was to take what I do when I perform solo in a live setting and compliment that sound with additional instruments and voices. This was the right time in my career to take that next step. As I immersed myself in the folk community over the past few years, I have met some amazing musicians and I wanted the opportunity to collaborate on these songs. I put together my dream list of players and singers, and they all said yes!” Dave is joined by Ariel Bernstein (Cold Chocolate) on drums, piano, and keyboards; Liv Baxter (Liv and Let Liv) on fiddle and vocals; Jefferson Hamer (Session Americana, Anais Mitchell) on electric guitar, mandolin, and vocals; Emily Mure on vocals; and Mali Obomsawin (Lula Wiles) on bass and vocals.
In addition to the 8 original songs and one well-chosen cover of Chaim Tannenbaum’s Annie, there are 3 traditional songs and ballads featured on Carry Me Along. “Traditional folk music informs my songwriting. I am particularly drawn to stories and songs that feature strong women. These three songs and ballads certainly tick that box.” The biting imagery of Bachelor’s Hall is complimented with spirited performances by Bernstein and Obomsawin. The sorrowful desperation of The Unquiet Grave is presented unadorned, with passionate vocals, hypnotic acoustic guitar, and a subtle drone from Obomsawin’s bass. Polly’s Ghost, an engrossing murder ballad, features many of Dave’s favorite folk ballad tropes: sailing the seas, grave digging, and ghostly revenge. His arrangement serves the story, heightening the action without interfering with the telling of this epic tale.
The release of Carry Me Along follows two self-recorded works: Well (2013), and Stay A While (2010). Dave has been writing, recording, and performing for over 10 years as a solo artist. His music has taken him all over New England, bringing his songs to festivals, folk clubs like Portland, Maine’s Blue and the legendary Club Passim, and listening spaces big and small. His recent composition We Got A Boat earned him 3rd place in the 2017 Woody Guthrie Folk Festival songwriting contest. It was also awarded a featured spot in the People’s Music Network Songs of Social Justice showcase at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference in November 2017.
Originally hailing from southern Maine, Dave has spent time in Massachusetts’ North Shore, Colorado Springs, CO, and Rochester, NY. Coming back to New England in 2011, he now calls Vermont home. He and his wife purchased an 1850’s farmhouse last year; they share the house with their three cats. Dave is excited about how 2018 is shaping up. He is touring throughout the year in support of the new record, including his first full band shows celebrating the album’s release. He was invited to perform at the 2018 New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) on April 21st.
“While I see this album as a huge step forward for my career as a full-time folk musician,” Dave says, “I appreciate the opportunity to take a step back and reflect on the places I have been, the people I have met, and all of the experiences that have brought me here.” As he says in Turtle Rock: “when you jump for the thousandth time and you don’t have to think about it / once or twice, think about it / and see how far you’ve come…”
Press Photos (click to enlarge)
Photos by James Napoli