AN ALBUM BY CHRIS RICHARDS
No one is more surprised that this album happened than me. But I’m happy it exists. Its writing helped me weather some big changes in my life, and make sense of a deeply troubling period in my country’s history.
In late 2015, I said goodbye (again) to Los Angeles, and set up shop in a brick ranch house on the edge of Little Hollywood, a Spanish-speckled neighborhood in East Nashville, Tennessee. I call this place “Hackberry Hill.” All but one of these songs were written here.
Nashville had grown a lot since I left in the summer of 2009, and it took a while for me to get my bearings again. Once I did, I wrote “Starting All Over Again” and a handful of songs that seemed to have no connection to each other. So I left them alone for a bit, returning to them around the time of the solar eclipse of August 2017, which left Music City completely darkened. I began writing “Shadowland” that week, and I finally started seeing the growing batch of new songs connecting to each other.
They touch on subjects like love, destiny, mortality, drought, disappointment, cons, spirituality, fear, connection and regret.
I’d planned to record these songs in a bare-bones manner. But then my friend, the great producer/guitarist/songwriter Thomm Jutz, called and asked if I was interested in making a record with him and his production partner, Lincoln Grounds. I, being not the biggest fool on earth, said yes. My admiration for who Thomm is and what he does is inestimable.
Recording happened quickly, in two short sessions beginning on St. Patrick’s Day 2019 — one with just Thomm, guitarist Wes L’Anglois and me, and a second a few days later with a rhythm section joining in. We added some touches of piano/organ, pedal steel guitar, Dobro and some supporting voices, and that was it. Lincoln mixed it at his home outside of London the following week.
I named the album Afterlight for the moment of time between lightness and darkness, when the sun has set, but the darkness hasn't fully taken hold. The word can also mean a moment of reflection, and this is mine.
I’m sitting here listening to the master, and what I hear is a pretty accurate picture of where my head’s been the past five years. The world outside has been a sometimes confusing and dark place, but I’ve chosen to see the overwhelming beauty and goodness that’s always there, just waiting to be noticed.
All my best,
May 8, 2019
East Nashville, TN
Click on the title below to view the lyrics
1. Starting All Over Again 2. Canteen 3. The Heart
4. Anywhere Love Goes 5. I Came Here To Sing You A Song
6. Crazy Little World 7. It’s Love 8. Spinning Wheels
9. Silver Lake 10. Shadowland 11. Gone So Long 12. Emmalee
Written by Chris Richards
Produced and recorded by Thomm Jutz & Lincoln Grounds
at TJ Tunes Studio, Nashville, TN
A Marvelous Music Production
Assistant Engineer: Andy Kern
Mixed by Lincoln Grounds in Suffolk, England
Mastered by Alex McCollough at True East Mastering, Nashville, TN
Photography by Patrik Giardino
Design by Chad Steinborn
Thomm Jutz: Acoustic guitar, resonator guitar, bass, backing vocals
Wes L’Anglois: Acoustic guitar
Chris Richards: Acoustic guitar
Lynn Williams: Drums, percussion
Mark Fain: Bass
Jen Gunderman: Piano, organ
Scotty Sanders: Pedal steel guitar, Dobro
I send my deep gratitude to all who helped in the making of this album, and to those who’ve
encouraged and supported me, and listened over the years. I want to give special thanks to:
Mary Ellen & Bill Richards • Bill, Larissa, Keegan & Emma Richards • Tom Richards • Daniel Richards • the Ross and Ward families
Dawn & Miss Ellie McCoy • Thomm Jutz and Eva Stabenow • Wes L’Anglois • Peter & Charlotte Cooper • Butch Primm • Margaret Bushart
Patrik & Jill Giardino • Bob & Paula Van Akkeren • Milind & Robin Raval • Anjali Raval • Mike & Jodie Fratantuno • Transcenders
Kelsey and Apurva Patel • Alex McCollough • Dub Cornett • Norm Parenteau • Jack Spencer • Mickey Raphael • Jo & Caroline Almeida
Rick & Susie Shea • Jennifer & Peter Jesperson • Jon Byrd • Irina Gukasova • Kevin Gordon • Matt Marr • Louie Stephens
Kris Kristofferson • Bob Harris, OBE • Sylvie Simmons • Warren Denney & Tomi Lunsford • Lloyd Green • Cheryl Pawelski • Jillette Johnson
Kacey Musgraves • Hannah Blaylock • Mark Montgomery • DJ Lipscomb • Van DeLisle & Karin McCool • Bob & Robin Clark
Eric Brace & Mary Ann Werner • Jay Orr • Manuel Delgado at Delgado Guitars • Chad Steinborn • Adam & Shannon Wright • Nicole Knickmeyer
Anna Schulze • Amy Cook • Karen Matteson • Gabrielle Bernstein • The Brotherhood of the Beaver • my friends at the wonderful Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum • and my brothers & sisters at Sheboygan Elks Lodge #299
My love and thanks to all of you,