Don Richmond has been a professional performing musician for more than forty-five years. He regularly performs and records on more than a dozen instruments including electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, violin, viola, dobro, pedal steel guitar, banjo, harmonica, accordion, trumpet and percussion and is an award-winning songwriter. He has released 6 solo CDs, 4 other albums with the Colorado band Tumbleweed earlier in his career, 3 with the Taos, New Mexico based group Hired Hands, 4 with the New Mexico based group The Rifters, and 2 as a duo with David Clemmer. Don owns and operates Howlin' Dog Records, which has recorded and released hundreds of other recordings by many local, regional, and national artists. Don has also been an Artist-In-Residence and Aesthetic Institute instructor in Colorado Council of the Arts’ Art in Education program. Don created and recorded the music for the public television documentary Roy Bedichek’s Vanishing Frontier, the highly acclaimed civil-rights documentary film We Did It All Ourselves, and a film on the plight of Katrina refugees titled Still Waiting – Life After Katrina, which aired nationally in the fall of 2007. Don released his sixth solo CD, titled Like Lazarus, in 2012. In late 2004, Don published a book on performance psychology and creativity titled Getting Your Music Past the Fear. He is also a regularly featured contributor on creativity to the nationally-syndicated radio program The Art of the Song. Don is currently on the board of Crestone Performances, Inc., which produces the Crestone Music Festival, the Society Hall Foundation, which owns and operates the non-profit performance space Society Hall in Alamosa, and is a past board member of the Alamosa Live Music Association. He also volunteers for and supports numerous other local non-profit organizations. Don was awarded an honorary doctorate in musical performance from Adams State University in 2014and in 2015 received the Governor's Award for Creative Leadership in the state of Colorado. Don makes his home with his wife Teri McCartney a few miles outside of Alamosa, Colorado.
"Don Richmond's singing and songwriting pack a disarming punch, going down like good bourbon in Rocky Mountain spring water. Like his song says, his is a story worth telling."
Justin Mitchell, The Rocky Mountain News
"Richmond's voice has both character and warmth." "***"
Tom Popson, Chicago Tribune
"There have been a lot of golden nights along the Colorado - New Mexico border in the last fifteen years, and Don Richmond has put the shine on more than his share. A Colorado Peter Rowan..."
John Swinney, KTAO, Taos, New Mexico
"Check out this musician of many instruments and talents... This piece of work provides good acoustic listening. The mixing and recording quality are top-notch."
John Bricker, Power Pickin' (Colorado Bluegrass Association newsletter)
"A musician's musician. ...during this song a child right behind me stopped sitting quietly and started singing along right out loud. She didn't know the music or the words - only that she WANTED to sing with Don Richmond. I recommend you begin collecting Richmond's music, which on Story and Mirage covers folk, bluegrass, just plain pickin', popular, country, jazz, and blues forms. He's just beginning. In another decade I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the San Luis Valley's musical gem composed an oratorio, concerto, opera, and hymnal and meanwhile continued to pen the songs that endure as classics: Cathedral, Me and Chico, A Story Worth the Telling. There are many more."
John Hill, The Valley Courier
Don has recently been performing regularly with the New Mexico—based band The Rifters, who have become regulars at many of the region’s festivals and top clubs, playing their own particular brand of “Southwest Americana” for a wide range of enthusiastic audiences. The Rifters released their first CD in 2004, with a mix of strong original tunes and covers of songs from the bands eclectic repertoire, followed by The Great River in 2012 and Live at the Sagebrush in 2013. The Rifters grew out of a couple of former New Mexico bands—The Rounders and Don’s former band Hired Hands. Hired Hands was for many years one of the most popular acoustic bands in the area, and released three CDs— their first (self-titled) CD in 1994, followed by (December 1998) their extremely popular Stuff That Works, and their final release (June 2001), Hands of Time.
When not performing, Don spends much of his time working in the recording studio (Howlin’ Dog Recording) he started in his home town of Alamosa, Colorado. Serving as engineer, sometimes producer and sometimes studio musician, Don has been a part of many of the region’s recent CD releases by such artists as Michael Hearne, Mike Addington, The Mitguards, Don Conoscenti, Bill Hearne, Ash Raines, Chipper Thompson, Burning Joan, Mary Duwe, Elliot Rogers, Jimmy Stadler, Michael Hearne, and South by Southwest.
Don has had songs published by two different Nashville publishing houses and a Canadian publishing house, has won awards in several national and international songwriting contests, and is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated radio program The Art of the Song, providing audio essays on enhancing creativity. He was commissioned to produce the background music for a PBS (public television) documentary about a Texas naturalist and author, titled Roy Bedichek’s Vanishing Frontier, broadcast nationally in 2002. Don also created the score and background music for the powerful Civil Rights documentary We Did It All Ourselves, a film about the voting rights struggles in Tennessee in the late 1950’s.
Don is an Artist in Residence in the Colorado Council on the Arts program to place performing artists in the schools, and is an approved Aesthetic Institute (another C.C.A. program) instructor and workshop leader on music and creativity. He has also recently completed a book for musicians on performance psychology and success, titled Getting Your Music Past the Fear. He has recently been collaborating with playwright Seyril Schochen on two different Broadway-style musicals. Don also produced and recorded two fundraising CDs of Christmas and holiday music (in 1997 & 1999) for Valley Community Fund (a local charity fundraising organization) each of which features twenty different San Luis Valley artists performing both traditional and original songs. Don was recognized for his contributions to his home town of Alamosa, Colorado when Alamosa’s new portable stage was dedicated to him at the town’s July 4th celebration in 2002.
Don's smooth, powerful vocal style, his impressive command of the guitar and his other instruments, his moving and creative original songs, and his fine selection of other writers’ material combine to provide a varied and pleasing musical experience for all who hear him perform. His years of experience playing everything from a sold out 10,000 seat arena to the rowdy bars in the little mountain towns give him a relaxed and confident stage presence that seems to provide an immediate bond with the audience, and a good time for all.
Don has appeared on stage with such national acts as The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Michael Martin Murphy, Guy Clark, George Strait, The Judds, Dan Seals, Willie Nelson, and The O'Kanes.
Don has been makings records since they were actually records. This is his collection of solo recordings. As a producer and owner of Howlin' Dog studio, he has many, many more titles he can make a small claim to. Those CDs can be found over in the Record Vault. His current band The Rifters also has a fine grouping of recordings that can be purchased here. Enjoy.