Returning from a 2012 spent largely on the road as the frontwoman for Jefferson Starship, Cathy Richardson heads home to Chicago for a string of live dates in the area, one of which will see her perform solo this Tuesday at City Winery...
Q. Cathy, the last time we talked, it was in November of 2011 just before your "Wheel of Fortune" show at FitzGerald’s. You’ve been on the road quite a bit since then (be it with Cathy Richardson Band, Macrodots or Jefferson Starship). What’s new?
Cathy Richardson: Jefferson Starship did a couple amazing tours in Europe and Japan. We were in Europe for a month, came home and went to Japan a few weeks later. It was hard work, especially the Europe tour (we had a lot of shows and traveling every day). I did reach Platinum status on my airline frequent flier program so I am pretty psyched about that.
Q. You’ve got a few dates coming up in the Chicagoland area this month (City Winery, SPACE, etc.). What’s it like for you being able to get off the road and spend some time at home these days?
CR: It has been great to be home so much. I've been spending a lot of time with my daughter who is sixteen months and just started walking so she requires pretty much constant attention (aka chasing). I've also been doing some writing. And going to an exercise class. All that wine and cheese in Europe caught up with me.
Q. In 2003, on The Road To Bliss, you put out the song “This Town" (the sentiment directed at what can admittedly be a very frustrating "second city" pretty clear on that track). In your opinion, how have things changed here (if at all) for you now as a nationally touring musician coming back to Chicago and performing?
CR: That is a good question. I am finding in the local club scene that so much has changed (and I have been on the road so much) that nobody knows who I am anymore. So, it's still frustrating. I used to play too much around town, now I don't play enough. Fortunately, I still have a very devoted following so when I do book a local show it usually sells out.
Q. Are you working on any new material for Cathy Richardson Band, Macrodots or Jefferson Starship?
CR: [Macrodot guitarist] Zack [Smith] and I have been writing remotely. It's a slow process due do his fancy day job and my touring/mom schedule but whenever he sends me song ideas, they are usually so good I can get behind them and write lyrics and melodies right away. A couple years ago we decided to tentatively title our next album 2013, sort of as a release date goal. I hope we can make it happen.
Q. What’s it like for you performing in the solo setting as opposed to the full band environment many fans are so used to seeing you in?
CR: It has been really rewarding. I love playing guitar so much and when I play solo that part of what I do really shines through. I've been using some backing tracks on some songs which really enhances the sound. It's like playing along with the records except without the rhythm section or electric guitars. Keyboards, background vocals, percussion, all the little record production fairy dust. I think people are also surprised that I rock as hard as an entire band all by myself. I broke my guitar at one of my last solo shows from beating the f-ck out of it.
Q. Coming up on January 22nd, you perform solo at City Winery on a bill with Shelley Miller & The BCC. What can fans expect from that show?
CR: I will be playing first at 7:30 so I encourage everyone to come out on a Tuesday night and I promise to have you in bed by 11. Wait, let me re-phrase that…. I will not physically "have you in bed" but I will metaphorically make love to your eardrums with my soundshapes and you will go home satiated, longing for a cigarette, and at an early hour, because the show will be complete by 10:30. I'm also very excited to check out Shelley Miller whom I hear great things about.
Q. Are you aware that each admission to the City Winery show on Tuesday includes a free Goose Island 312 beer? Personally, this is a trend I support… Is it a concept that you can get behind? (In addition, I’ve been told that $2 braised duck tacos will be available - also an exciting development).
CR: Absolutely! More free beer! I understand there is a duck trend, but I'm thinking a Goose Island Beer and a goose taco might be a better marketing angle. Just a suggestion. Oh, but the most exciting thing to me is that City Winery private labels a special artist wine for every show and there will be a collectable Cathy Richardson wine available that night. Be still my heart.
Q. What else can fans look forward to from you in 2013? Anything else you want Chicago fans to know?
CR: Yes, I will be around with CRB and Jefferson Starship and maybe even Macrodots if we finish our new record sometime soon. Join my email list at crband.com and I will send you awesome emails. And, I love you. Deeply.
*** This interview was conducted, via email, by Jim Ryan
(Solo, Opening Set)
Live at City Winery
1200 West Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60607
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Doors open at 5:30PM
Show starts at 7:30PM
Headlining act: Shelley Miller & The BCC
$10 (Includes one Goose Island 312 beer)
$2 Braised duck tacos available
Click HERE to purchase tickets