Like Lazarus is the first new singer-songwriter CD from Don since No Man's Land came out in 2002. It has 12 original songs either written or co-written by Don, as well as a cover of the Michael Hearne/Susan Gibson/Monica Smart song Evergreen, which also features Michael Hearne on guitars and harmony vocals. The cover features a painting by Don's friend Dave Montgomery, which is a stylized landscape of Don's home in the San Luis Valley, and is meant to convey the world that Lazarus sees when he steps out of his cave/tomb after being resurrected. As it says in Don's liner notes:
Why “Like Lazarus”? In July of 2007 I began a series of medical adventures that began with emergency surgery removing about a third of my large colon due to the diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer. The path led through some severe post-surgical complications that nearly led me into the great beyond, then through a few months of recovery from the surgery and complications, then six months or so of chemotherapy, as well as numerous alternative therapies and approaches. I was also the recipient of a truly unbelievable amount of support, prayer, well wishes, good vibes, and plain old love, not to mention the every day/every hour loving care of my wife Teri and my family and friends. The result of all this was that in the spring of 2008 I was pronounced free from any signs of cancer. This journey has been one of the most profound experiences of my life. In many ways it has been a blessing, and certainly a great teacher. This journey also finds its reflection and expression in several of these songs, as well as the title – truly a story of rebirth, reawakening, and resurrection.
No Man's Land
No Man's Land is Don's 2002 solo release which remains very popular with fans. From Don - "No Man's Land is centered around a group of songs that are sort of 'landscape' songs - songs that talk about things inspired by the land, particularly my home in the San Luis Valley. In the song No Man's Land, it is specifically the landscape around the Colorado - New Mexico border, some of the most outwardly barren and forbidding land around. It has a particular draw and fascination for me, and evokes a strong feeling of ancient history and timelessness."
This release (1999) from Don is a bit of a departure from his earlier singer-songwriter style releases in that Instrument is completely instrumental. It is a collection of all original acoustic tunes displaying Don's expertise on guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, Weissenborn slide, and banjeaurine. Many of the songs are in a traditional fiddle tune structure, although there are a few departures into alternate forms and time signatures, as well as some beautiful slow tunes. It's fun stuff - great traveling music.
A Lot In Common
This is Don's third solo recording, released in May of 1995. It continues in the folk vein, with a few deviations toward blues, island, and rock along the way. Themes of social and personal growth run through several of the songs. Don gathered players from Hired Hands and some of his old Tumbleweed bandmates, along with several other of the region's finest players to record A Lot in Common.
This is Don's second solo recording, released in 1992. Story continues primarily in the acoustic direction and features thirteen of Don's excellent and thoughtful compositions. Justin Mitchell of The Rocky Mountain News said of Story, "Don Richmond's sensitive, smooth 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 the telling."
Over the past 10 years or so, I have had many people ask me if I was ever going to release my first solo recording on CD. Mirage came out in 1989, and up until now (April 2005) has only been available on cassette. But over this past winter I've been plugging away at remixing and remastering it for CD, and as I write this, it's at the duplicators getting pressed in to CDs. Mirage is in many ways an homage to and a celebration of life in my home of the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado. Of course it has love songs, songs of personal growth and songs of social perception and commentary just like every other solo project I've ever put out, but it all seems to me to be very rooted in this area.
The songs in Mirage were written and recorded throughout the latter half of the 1980's. They were songs that I felt didn't fit in Tumbleweed, the band I was in at the time, but yet I wanted to get them out so they could sort of "breathe the free air" out in the world and be heard. I felt that I could not afford to record them in a large 24-track professional studio as Tumbleweed had done with its studio projects, so the only other option seemed to be a small 4-track cassette recorder that I had taken in payment for a Tumbleweed bar gig where the bar owner couldn't pay the band.
It's been very interesting revisiting these recordings that were really a start to my present career path of running a recording studio. The recording format of a 4-track cassette recorder presented definite limitations in both track count and fidelity in the original recordings, yet they sound surprisingly good, and with careful "bouncing" or premixing of tracks during the recording process, I was able to squeeze in as many as 9 or 10 different tracks on to the 4-track format. There's certainly plenty going on in the arrangements. I didn't re-record anything in the remixing process except for a couple words in one song that always bugged me. (I won't tell you where.)
Richmond Brothers / Seems Like Only Yesterday
Richmond Brothers / Roots and Branches
This record celebrates the common roots and the wide-spreading branches of the musical lives of three brothers – Jim, Ed, and Don Richmond. It represents both a rejoining of individual pathways taken down three lifetimes of music and at the same time an honoring of a common musical heritage. It also seeks to help nurture a legacy in the form of a musical scholarship which will hopefully be the root of more musical growth and exploration in future years.