The Spear Shakers Featuring Kelly Richey & Sherri McGee Interview with Kelly Richey by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

The Spear Shakers Featuring Kelly Richey & Sherri McGee

Interview
with Kelly Richey by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout Europe who
may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself
and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

Answer:  The following quote
has been used for over two decades to describe my performance style: “Stevie
Ray Vaughan trapped in a woman’s body, with Janis Joplin screaming to get out.” 

Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you? What were your
highlights?

Answer:  This last year has
been fabulous!  I started a new project
called The Spear Shakers, an all-female power duo, featuring myself on guitar
and vocals and Sherri McGee on drums.  We
went into the studio the last week of November and recorded three songs and
shot footage for three new music videos.
I’m excited to announce that we just released the first of the three
music videos yesterday, Christmas day, and I’m thrilled by how this project has
come together!

Playing as a Spear Shaker has opened up a whole new set of
possibilities for writing, live performance, sound creation, and
creativity.  Sherri is a dream to work
with; she makes me laugh, I not matter where I go when we perform live, she’s
right there with me.  I’m free to
explore, stretch out, develop new guitar sounds and to play as a power duo; I’m
forced to play outside the box!  I’m
inspired, and I’m having fun!

Lamitschka:  What is your latest CD and how’s it doing?

Answer:  Throughout my career,
I’ve recorded and released a total of 16 CDs, and I’ve watched the industry
shift its focus from the full-length CD to a market driven by singles and by
music videos.  With the launch of the
Spear Shakers, I wanted to take a fresh approach, step outside the box, and
find new ways to engage with our fans on a deeper level. 

I wanted to find a studio that would allow us to record live and
shoot a music video.

As luck would have it, as soon as I started putting out feelers, a
friend turned me on to a new studio in Covington, KY, called The Village Sight,
Sound and Stage.  The Village is an old
movie theater that’s been converted into a recording studio with a live
performance hall, and they’re set up to shoot video.  I made a phone call, booked a session and
three weeks later, on Christmas day, we released our first single titled
“Something’s Going On,” — it magic! 

“Something’s Going On” is the first of three music videos by The
Spear Shakers: Featuring Kelly Richey & Sherri McGee.”  You can expect to see the second video
released in mid-January!

Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for the CD?  Is there a story behind the name?

Answer:  In this case, it’s
not a CD title, it’s a project title; “The Spear Shakers.”   I connected with Sherri last winter while
working on a side project in my hometown of Lexington, KY.  Shortly after we connected, I was going down
the internet rabbit hole, and I came across a documentary on Sir Francis Bacon
and Shakespeare.  The documentary said
that the Greek Goddess Athena was called a Spear Shaker, and the story told in
this documentary said that the name Shakespeare came from “spear shaker” turned
around.  I do not claim to be an expert
on Shakespeare, but it was a great story, and I thought it would make a great
band name!

With this being our first release and introduction to the market,
The Speak Shakers are who and what we are!

Lamitschka:  Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how
do you go about finding the songs for your CD?

Answer:  I have hundreds of
song ideas on file, dozens of songs written and recorded, and I love to
co-write.  Songs are easy to write,
especially riff-driven song with a great groove.  However, I find that great songs write
themselves!  If you keep at the craft of
songwriting, now and then, a great song falls out of the sky and sometimes
seems like it gives birth to itself.
Songwriting is a craft, and great songs are a mystical experience.

Lamitschka:  Please tell us about the songs on your
release (influences, etc.).

Answer:   I’m a huge fan of
the Black Keys and the White Stripes, and the sound of the Spear Shakers, has
that same vibe; raw, in-your-face, blues-based rock and roll!  I have a deep well of music to pull from and
with the release of the Spear Shakers, I’ve gone back through all of my
favorite material and selected my favorite songs that would stand out in this
new power-duo format.

Our first recording session has three singles; the first is
titled, “Something’s Going On,” and it’s an upbeat, riff-driven song that hits
hard from beginning to end.  The second
song, “I Went Down Easy,” will be released in January, and it has a heavy blues
ala Zeppelin feel.  Finally, “Leaving It
All Behind,” is nothing but rock and roll and it’s packed full of lyrical
imagery that leaves your troubles behind and your spirit carefree.

If you listen close, you’ll hear musical influences that will
remind you of the James Gang, Bad Company, and Led Zeppelin. 

Lamitschka:  What is the difference between your last CD
and your current one?

Answer:  It’s hard to
compare this new project to the previous CDs I’ve made throughout my career
fronting my power trio, the Kelly Richey Band. There will always be
similarities in between a power trio and a power duo; but in the case of “The
Spear Shakers” sound, the extra hole is filled with more power and a deeper
groove. 

You can hear the difference for yourself as the trio version and
the duo version stand side-by-side, and both have their own flavor.  As an artist, it’s all about what inspires
you to play, and it’s not just the duo format, it’s the power of the individual
parts.  This new project is fresh, it’s
powerful, and it’s real!

Lamitschka:  Your current single is being played by radio.
What do you feel is special about this song that makes people want to hear it?

Answer:  The riff in this
song is powerful, and it hits hard from the first note to the very last
note.  The lyrics of this song talk about
the fear and anxiety that rise up when someone falls in love, but when it comes
to a riff-driven rock n’ roll song, it’s the riff that the listener hears
first.

Lamitschka:  What will your next single be?

Answer:  Something’s Going
On, was released on Christmas day, 2018.
The send release, “I Went Down Easy,” will be released in mid-January,
and “Leaving It All Behind,” is scheduled for release in February.  A new music video accompanies each of these
songs.

Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do you like to record the
most?

Answer:  With the Spear
Shakers I’m drawn to playing riff driven blues-based rock and roll.  In my studio, I enjoy recording ambient and
Trip-Hop guitar soundscapes, both take the listener on a journey that
encompasses the soul.

Lamitschka:  What is your favorite song among all the
songs you have recorded and what’s the story behind it?

Answer: LOVE by Kelly Richey

I started writing the song “LOVE” from my home studio.  I was teaching a guitar lesson and was
showing one of my students an example of how to turn a blues scale into a
song.  I used the song
“Heartbreaker” by Led Zeppelin as an example of how a simple,
five-note blues scale, can turn into one of the greatest Rock n’ Roll songs
ever recorded.  From there I began to
expand on the groove, and it turned into a new riff, and it stuck, so I added
three power chords and started singing a vocal line.  I plugged in my guitar, fired up my recording
DAW, grabbed a straightforward heavy drum loop, reached for some lyrics I’d
been working with, and a few minutes later, I had the foundation for the song.

I was headed out for a tour the next day that stretched from
Cincinnati, through Calgary and went as far as Edmonton before working our way
back home.  I remember sitting in a hotel
room adjacent to “Blues on Whyte,” a club in Edmonton, Alberta, where
all the touring blues acts play for a solid week.  I was playing the song on my acoustic guitar
and kept playing until it felt right.  I
loved the raw power, and the message spoke to me: “Love, anyone can do it,
that’s the thing…”

In a world where we’re always hit with negativity from the news
media and FaceBook rants, to the stress of day-to-day life, some days it’s easy
to feel hopeless and like our actions can’t even make a dent in our world’s
problems, but they can…!  LOVE has the
power to bring about change, and it’s the one thing that we all have to give;
it doesn’t cost a thing, and it yields one of the greatest R.O.I.’s.  Our return on investment when we love is something
I enjoy singing about, and if I’m going to choose to rip apart anything, I’ll
choose a guitar any day…!

Note: This is one of the songs that I use in my TrueFire guitar
instruction series titled, “TrueFire Presents Kelly Richey: Focus On: Blues
Rock Power Trio.”  This series does a
deep dive into the depth of simplicity, just like the song.

You can find this song on my “Shakedown Soul” CD, on iTunes and
all other online media sources, and there is a music video for “LOVE” on my
YouTube page:

Website:
http://KellyRichey.com

YouTube: https://youtu.be/V5Yhnd0JdWU

TrueFire Presents Kelly Richey: Focus On: Blues Rock Power Trio:
https://bit.ly/2Fw3gkC

  

Lamitschka:  Do you have any interesting stories about how
fans have been affected by your music?

Answer:  There are many
stories that I could share, but this is a story that stands out.  I had someone share with me that they played
my CD “Dig A Little Deeper,” in the operating room during a very serious
surgery.  That touched me deeply.

Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how deep do
your musical roots run?

Answer:  Roy Buchannan is my
favorite guitar play and his instrumental CD titled, “You’re Not Alone,” is one
of my favorite guitar records.  I love
Zeppelin, Hendrix, SRV, Gilmour, but I also love music that’s beat and groove
driven.  I listen to a lot of Trip-Hop,
ambient, and artists like Moby and Beck.
I love classical music, Joni Mitchell, David Grey… I love great
music!  I like music. That makes me feel,
emote, reflect.

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today’s music scene
versus its past and where do you see it going in the future?

Answer:  The music industry
is no longer static, it’s evolving so quickly, and I find that exciting!  I love the challenge of creating in an
ever-evolving landscape of music and innovation.

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today’s music
industry?

Answer:  This is a difficult
question to answer because there are so many layers to what we refer to as “the
music industry.”  The media has always
been a driving force in pop culture but the human need to feel connected is
what drives real art at its core.  As an
indie artist, I listening to my gut, stay on top of technology, make the best
music I can!  As artists, we have a
tremendous amount of power!  It’s up to
us to take advantage of the tools we have and to use them with as much creativity
as possible!

Lamitschka:  If you had the chance to change something about
the music industry, what would it be?

Answer:  Honestly, when it
comes to the industry, wouldn’t change a thing.
The sky is the limit, and that’s what creativity is all about!   The technology we have in our laptops and
iPhones allows us to do everything from make movies to make records and post
what we create to social media’s global conversation 24×7.  If there were one thing I could change, it
would be to remind the artist just how much power they have, and to not take
that for granted!

Lamitschka:  As an artist, you have so many tasks such as
recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what’s your favorite
activity?

Answer:  I love to drink
coffee and teach guitar from my couch to students all over the world.  I love plugging in my guitar in my home
studio, pulling up a drum beat and writing and recording a new song. I love
recording a live show via Facebook Live and sharing it with friends and
fans.   I’m thankful to have the
opportunity to respond to questions for an article such as this and know that
the work I’m doing will reach new readers and new listeners who share some of
the same passions as I do.

Lamitschka:  Are you doing anything to take music beyond
its current borders or are you happy where it is?

Answer:  My bio says that
I’m a blues-rock guitar slinger and singer-songwriter, but there’s so much
more!  I’m constantly creating ambient
and Trip-Hop soundscapes and bringing those elements to the stage when I play.  Sound creation is one of my greatest
passions.  I’m fascinated by how sound
frequencies impact our minds and our bodies and can help us to heal.  I’m a life coach, writing facilitator, and
spiritual director, and I’m deeply invested in expanding the limits of my
creative process….as far as possible while maintaining continuity.

Lamitschka:  What was your big break that got you into the
music business?

Answer:  When I first began
to play professionally, I have the fantastic opportunity to tour with a band on
Arista Records, called Stealing Horses.
We did hundreds of shows all over the US, and this is where I learn what
it was to be a touring artist.  I had the
opportunity to play with Albert King shortly before he passed, and this is when
I connected the dots between blues and rock.
These two experiences helped to shape me as an artist and as a
performer, and they open doors for me to build a sustainable career as an
independent artist.

Lamitschka:  Before you became a star, were your friends
and family supportive or was it a struggle?

Answer:  Being a female
guitarist is not so unusual in our modern world, but when I first started
playing, there were almost no other females playing electric guitar.  Bonnie Raitt, Joan Jett, and Lita Ford, and
Nancy Wilson were the only players I’d heard.
Girls didn’t play electric guitar, and if they did, they sure didn’t
play Jimi Hendrix!  There was an unspoken
reality that what I was doing hadn’t been done.
This may sound like a stretch, but I got an electric guitar in 1977, and
I was hooked; nothing was going to stop me, and my friends watched me vanish in
my room, and when I came out, my guitar was in one hand, and my amp was in the
other.  I never sat it down, and people
backed me up all the way.  I wanted to
earn people respect as a guitar player, not as a “female” guitar player.  I wanted to be judged by my peers, and I
didn’t want any mercy—I wanted to be the very best I could be, and music has
been a very personal journey that has been tough, but worth every struggle I’ve
ever faced!

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become an artist?

Answer:  I had learning
disabilities, and I struggled in school.
Music was the only thing that made sense.  Music gave me an outlet to express myself to
develop my own identity. 

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become a songwriter?

Answer:  I’m dyslexic, so
reading was always hard and writing properly didn’t come easy.  I learned a long time ago that I didn’t have
to be a “writer” to write and that a piece of paper always listened, and I
wrote constantly.  I have thousands of
poems, prose, short stories, and vignettes.
I carried a cassette recorder around with me everywhere I went, and I
wrote down every idea I ever had.  I was
fascinated by the recording process, and I was the first person to have a
4-track recorder in my basement when they came out. 

Fast forward 25 years.  I
have hundreds of hours of recorded music, song ideas, poems, and lyrics.  I wanted to be able to read, and I wanted to
be able to write more than anything in the world, so I just kept writing, and
when books became available in audio formats, I went to the library, and today
my audiobook collection is a vast as my music collection.

My greatest personal accomplishment has been to become a writing
facilitator for Women Writing for (a) Change, in Cincinnati, OH.  This past year I became an affiliate and
started WWf(a)C+Mobile; I hold writing circles and workshops and use writing as
part of my coaching platform.

Lamitschka:  What drives you?

Answer:  PASSION!!!

Lamitschka:  What’s unique about you that will
differentiate you from other artists?

Answer:  I take no
prisoners. I pour every ounce of emotion that I have into each and every
note.  And this quote has followed me around
for over 20 years… “Stevie Ray Vaughan trapped in a woman’s body, with Janis
Joplin screaming to get out.”

Lamitschka:  What has been your greatest challenge in
music business?

Answer:  Making enough money
to live a healthy, balanced life.  It’s
unbelievably hard.  That’s all I’m going
to say about that.  For anyone thinking
about making music for a living, if you can’t imagine a life worth living
without music at your core, then go for it, but if you even second guess that
for a single second, do it as a hobby.
This business eats it’s young.

Lamitschka:  What moments in your career stand out in your
memory as highlights and achievements which you are proud of?

Answer:  Remaining true to
my guitar style, always.

 

Lamitschka:  When you get time off, how do you like to
relax?

Answer:  I love to hang out
with good friends, go out to eat, travel without a schedule or just get lost in
my studio.  I have an insatiable appetite
for learning, so just kicking back with a good cup of coffee, listening to
books on Audible, watching an excellent documentary, or going down the rabbit
hole watching interviews or lecture series on YouTube are all things that I
call R&R…rest and relaxation! 

Lamitschka:  Is there anything in your life that you would
change if you could?

Answer:  As I think about
this question and reflect on my life, there are many things I would love to
change, but if those things changed, I wouldn’t know what I know today, and I
wouldn’t be who I am.  Some of the
greatest gifts I’ve ever received have come from some of the hardest lessons
I’ve had to learn. 

Lamitschka:  What hopes and desires do you have?

Answer:  I’ve worked as a
guitar instructor throughout my entire career; I’m deeply passionate about
helping people learn.  In 2009, I got
sober, and as part of my healing process, I sought training to become a life
coach.  Today I am a certified Dream Coach,
True Purpose Coach, Writing Facilitator, and in May of 2019, I will complete a
three-year training in the art of Spiritual Direction. 

One of my greatest hopes and desires is to work with people who
are struggling and help to design a path for healing, that meets their specific
needs.  I work one-on-one with clients
via Skype, as a guitar instructor, life coaching and spiritual director.  I also hold workshops and retreats that
combine music arts and healing arts for personal and spiritual transformation.

Lamitschka:  What has been the biggest disappointment in
your life?

Answer:  I’m dyslexic and
ADHD and faced severe learning disabilities as a child.  My greatest disappointment was not having the
opportunity to have a formal education.
However, life has offered me a powerful and profound series of lessons;
a lesson plan tailored to meet my needs at every twist and every turn!

Lamitschka:  Many European fans travel to the United
States to attend the several of the music festivals for the opportunity to see
so many of their favorite artists, bands and celebrities. Will you be
participating and how will the fans be able to find you?

Answer:  Yes, fans will be
able to find me.  You can connect with me
via my website at www.kellyrichey.com and all other forms of social media.

Lamitschka:  Is there any place you haven’t played that
you would like to?

Answer:  I’ve toured
non-stop throughout the US and Canada, and I’ve played Denmark and
Australia.  I would love to tour Europe
extensively and would love to return to Australia. 

Lamitschka:  What can your fans expect to see when they
see you in concert?

Answer:  The Spear Shakers
put out some serious rock and roll, and you’ll get every ounce we have to give;
you have my word on that!

 

Lamitschka:  When you’re on tour, do you have time to play
tourist?

Answer:  It depends on our
schedule.  Now that I’m in a power duo
with someone who is such a natural fit in every way, travel is so much
easier!  Sherri is like a sister, and she
makes me laugh almost non-stop.  That’s
good for me because I can be way too serious!
For me, tourist means coffee shops and consignment stores!

Lamitschka:  Do fans mob you everywhere you go or do they
respect your privacy?

Answer:  People are very
respectful.  I enjoy meeting and
interacting with people who have been touched by the music I play—it’s always
an honor.

Lamitschka:  Many music fans today get their information
about artists online. Do you have your own website and what will fans find
there?

Answer: 

www.kellyrichey.com

http://www.guitarlessonsbykellyrichey.com

Lamitschka:  Tell us about the fan club and how people can
join it.

Answer:  Here is a link to
my fan page: https://www.facebook.com/aboutkellyrichey/

Lamitschka:  What’s the best compliment a fan has ever
given you?

Answer:  Jimi would be
proud…. ;>)

Lamitschka:  What’s your favorite song that you wish you
could have recorded?

Answer:  Whole Lotta Love

Lamitschka:  What message would you like to send your
European fans?

Answer:  I want to spend
time in Europe, travel, and play.  I’ve
spent the majority of my time touring in the US and Canada.  I long to spend time there and to get to know
the culture!

Lamitschka:  You have a new love in your life? Can you
tell us something about it?

Answer:  I have a full
life.  Besides performing and recording,
I teach guitar, and I do life coaching.
In the fall of 2016, I entered a three-year program to become a
spiritual director, and I’ve fallen in love with contemplative studies.  This brings balance to my life and my
spiritual practice.

Lamitschka:  Fans are always hungry for good road stories.
Do you have one you can share with us (come on don’t be shy)?

Answer:  Wow…. How about the
time I got myself and the entire band locked on top of the roof of our tour
bus, and we couldn’t get down.  Or…the
two times that I put gas in the diesel van and the time I put diesel in the gas
motorhome.  The 90 plus speeding tickets
I‘ve had.

Lamitschka:  Describe what a perfect day is like for you.

Answer:  Coffee, yoga,
prayer and meditation, long walk, workout, lunch with a friend, teaching or
coaching a few afternoon sessions, dinner and great conversation with a friend
or someone I love… Writing and recording in the studio a few hours at night, prayer
and meditation before bed, and spending as much time as possible, with someone
I love.

Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de ) for Country
Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

 PIC BY JEFF SHIFLETT

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3 Responses

  1. Hi Christian Lamitschka

    I have read your post and it's very interesting post. I have achieved valuable thoughts from your post. Thanks for sharing such great post…

    Music Time Radio

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