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With Kim Richey, size doesn't matter

The Kendall, Cambridge, Mass., May 10, 2002

By Jeffrey B. Remz

CAMBRIDGE, MA - Kim Richey returned to Boston, this time playing about a 75-person capacity cramped club, not exactly indicative of a career on the upswing considering that she has played bigger venues in the area on previous visits.

But when you're in between discs for three years - it's probably good to just get out and play.

And, of course, don't confuse the size of a venue (Richey could have played a bigger club in the area) with the quality of the artist.

Because Richey could be an artist on the move. She literally is about ready to leave Nashville for Austin, but when a new as yet untitled disc is out in September on Lost Highway, Richey's stock could be on the rise as well.

Musically her strongest suit is her voice.The Ohio native can be exceedingly tender as well as being tough. Her voice is equally adept at both types.

Richey, accompanied only by able bassist Birdie Hansen (well, actually, there were tapes occasionally running as well from another band member), started off with a slew of new songs from the upcoming album.

While Richey startd off her career in the country category, the new songs seemed to veer more and more towards the singer/songwriter edge of country. Not much twang there, but who knows what the final result will be on CD?

On first listen, the new songs were strong - almost all about the vagaries of love lost and found. Hansen left the stage, leaving a solo Richey to bring up her old material (Richey, a warm, friendly performer, said Hansen only knew the new songs). And that meant such fine gems as "Those Words We Said" and "Here I Go Again." The songs may be a good seven years old, but Richey makes them sound as fresh and vibrant as ever.

It was a treat to hear Richey in such a small club, but if life is fair, she will not be back in such a small place again.

Up-and-coming artist Josh Ritter openeed. Catching only a few songs, Ritter, an Idaho native, who moved to Beantown a few years ago, seems destined for bigger things. He has a fine new album and has good songs.

Looks like the Kendall lucked out in having such a strong bill for such a small place.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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