We had the good fortune of connecting with Richie Kaye and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Richie, how do you define success?
Success, to me, is a happy audience. I perform to entertain people so that I may convey to them the joy, the mirth, the delight and even the beauty of the music I love to play.

With Ernesto Vega (clarinet)

With Jody Cameron (pedal steel)

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The back catalog of American music is broad and deep. I love mining for these gems. There seems to be no end of discoveries to command my respect and appreciation. Many of these songs represent fantastic achievements in songwriting: less a craft than an art.

When I write my own melodies and lyrics, I use the song forms that the great songwriters of the 20th century invented and then perfected. I try also to invest in my own music the joyfulness of life that is the core of the older music. This is why my albums Plush Life and Blast-off! seem to the listener to be vintage music written in the 1940s and 50s, rather than just a few weeks ago. At the same time, these songs of mine don’t sound like covers. Rather, these new songs are reminiscent, but also sound new, refreshed.

Really, it’s because, for decades, I’ve been sitting at the feet of giants of another era. With these albums, I think I’ve demonstrated that singable melodies, concise and evocative lyrics, and joyful music can still be written in a style that lives on its own, maybe even scintillates, right now, for the delight of today’s audiences. Certainly in Texas, I’ve found many audiences who love what I do.

With Jody Cameron (pedal steel)

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First: Harlem Road BBQ in Richmond, TX, the best little BBQ shack in Greater Houston. Then, the Anvil Bar & Refuge. Then, we’d probably drive down to Sampson and Son’s in Galveston to pick up some gulf shrimp right off the shrimp boat to grill back home.

With Sam Kuslan (piano) on stage at the Museum of Jazz, New Orleans

With Tony LaVorgna on stage at Jazzapalooza

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
To my mother, Dottie, who sang all the great songs of the 1920s to the 1950s to me; and to my father, Lou, introduced me to the delights of Gilbert & Sullivan.

Website: www.richiekaye.com

Instagram: @richiekayesingsandplays

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