Absence Makes Something Grow Something…

Hi Friends –

Yeah, it has been a while, I know. I take full responsibility for it. Whatever “it” was is over now, so I figured it was time to talk about what’s been up, and what’s coming up…

The most important thing I can share with you right now is that, back on December 7th, my lovely Kirah and I welcomed our son, Oliver John Thomas Richard, in to the world. It has been quite a ride over the past few months, and in reality, probably has a lot to do with where I have been, and also where I’m headed in the near future.

In 2010, after my CD release shows for my EP with my good friend Kate Schrock, I needed quiet. It was to be an intense quiet, and one that required me to take a break from my instrument, my pursuits, my performances, and all of that jazz. After 20+ years of drumming, and even more in vocal performance, I figured there was nothing catastrophic about taking a little hiatus, and it would likely be good to take a breath. And, it was good. But, a year and a half went rather quickly, honestly. Within the blink of an eye, we were preparing for baby, and celebrating his arrival and hunkering down for the winter, and… spring.

Now, with the season getting off to a warm start, I am preparing for several exciting things that I wanted to share with you…

Firstly, I’ll be returning to the road, after 4 years, with the Don Campbell Band. Don is an old and dear friend who I toured with for 4+ years before taking a break from his band to DJ and produce. Together, we’ve played some of the biggest venues around, and definitely some of the largest-scale shows of my entire career. We’ve already played some dates together, and it feels great to be back with him and his band. I’ll have many shows to announce soon. The best place to find them is here.

Another is that I am launching my own record label. Together with my very good friend, art director Ricardo Correa, I am pleased to (unofficially) announce the launch of The Downbeat Renaissance. The label will be launching in mid-to-late 2012, and will be an imprint of the Milled Pavement Label Family. The first release will be a remix EP, available digital-only. That is all I’ll say for now. Please know that this is one of the main reasons there has been so much silence from my end. I made a commitment to launch this label and really complete a long-gestating project, but this requires a unique kind of focus. For someone who is accustomed to being largely in the public eye, this has been a big transition for me. I’ve wanted to keep you posted on all of the minutiae of the -coming-together details. But, I really wanted this label project to come to you as complete as possible. Hence, the tight lips.

Another is that I’ll be returning to DJing parties in the late summer/early fall. One thing I’ve thought about frequently on this hiatus is how best to convey what it is I believe, what I am compelled by, and most importantly, what are universal motivators. I’ll be using some new ideas to deliver this soul-driven message of how the most important dance music movements of the past few decades can and should be threaded together in a way that people can feel them and experience them in a new way. I appreciate every music fan, geek, and partygoer who has come up to me after my sets and shows and wanted to rap about my tracks. So, prepare for a hat tip to the musicologists, and the dance party people.

Please, keep visiting my calendar for news about when I might be coming back to your spot. You never know. Music is a funny business, and has a way of taking people to strange places.