Man Enough to Cry
GONE COUNTRY MAGAZINE CD Review: Richie Fields\' debut CD \'Man Enough To Cry\' was co-produced by Jim Purdy and Dino Pastin (Alabama) and incorporates their talents, as well as several other seasoned musicians, such as Larry Hanson (Alabama) and John Hughey (Steel Guitar Hall of Fame). The first track \'I Remember That Lonely\' gives us a taste of what Richie does best...deliver songs that touch your emotions. His voice is deep and mellow and has a strong maturity to it which translates into believability. He wears his heart on his sleeve in \'I Don\'t Think You\'re Pretty\' and \'In a Place Like This\' which are sure to be favorites of those in love; while the introspection of \'Devil in the Mirror\' will most likely speak to many a troubled heart. The title track \'Man Enough To Cry\' is the perfect description of how Richie comes across in this collection of songs...strong, yet tender...a true cowboy. Listening to \'(She\'s Bound To Be) Somebody\'s Baby\' your imagination wants to create a line dance (any choreographers out there?). If you enjoy listening to a good mix of countrified melodies from romantic, to rocking, to just plain toe-tapping fun, you will want to check out Richie Fields. (Cathy Anne - GONE COUNTRY MAGAZINE) INTERVIEW with GONE COUNTRY MAGAZINE: RICHIE FIELDS ?By: Cathy Anne After a personal commitment to make music a priority and lots of hard work, Richie Fields' debut CD is a reality. Richie, an unsigned singer/songwriter from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, is determined to make a name for himself with the talents God has given him. We got to first know Richie through Myspace and I want to thank him for his time and the opportunity to speak with him. 1. You recently released your debut CD entitled \'Man Enough to Cry\'. How would you describe your music to someone who has not yet heard you? I think my music is soulful. It relates to things that are important to me and I want people to relate it to their own lives and have it touch them. I want to make people smile. I hope that all comes across in my music. 2. One of my favorite songs on the CD is \'I Don\'t Think You\'re Pretty\', which I understand is already getting international airplay. Which track is your favorite song and why? \'Man Enough to Cry\' is my favorite because it is special to me for a lot of reasons. We all have gone through things in our lives that change us for better or worse and one of those things for me was the loss of my best friend during my high school years. His name was Roger Smith and he died in a tragic car accident when a drunk driver flew over the median, hit him head-on, and ejected him from his car. I can\'t get the image out of my head even though I wasn\'t there. Roger thought I could do anything short of walking on water. He was proud to brag about my accomplishments in the classroom and on the athletic field. I wake up so many times thinking about Roger and how he never got the chance to get married or pursue his own dreams. When I think about Roger it motivates me not to waste the talents God gave me and to encourage others and to touch their lives the way that Roger touched mine. Even though \'Man Enough to Cry\' is not about Roger, when I sing it I think of him. The song is written from the perspective of a little boy that has lost his mother and she is proudly watching over him from above. Roger never knew I could sing, but he is a big inspiration for what I do and I hope he is watching me above and he knows that he made a difference in my life. 3. Of the songs on your CD, both \'Man Enough to Cry\' and \'In a Place Like This\' were written by you. Since you are also a songwriter, what were you looking for when you were selecting other songs for your CD? I was looking for a few different things. I was looking for songs that touched me, made me think, and made me feel. I wanted to have at least four ballads because I feel that is where I am strongest. I like things that are meaningful. I was able to meet with some great writers and hear some amazing songs. When I heard the song \'I Remember That Lonely\' which was written by Karen Staley and Doug McDonald, it just grabbed me. It made me think of the time in my life when I had been in a similar situation and it hit close to home. I was able to help somebody going through something like that and that is where it struck me. When I heard \'I Don\'t Think You\'re Pretty\', I thought it was a beautiful song and it was written so cleverly. You listen to the words and you are thinking to yourself what is this guy doing, what is he going to say, it seems pretty cruel at first, but you keep listening, and I just love it. That one is written by Wil Nance and Billy Yates. I was able to put my own twist on the song by changing some things vocally and I have been getting a really good response to that song. 4. It\'s clear that your music was influenced by traditional country as well as new country music. Who are some of your influences? Brad Paisley is probably my number one influence. Even though he is not an old timer, I have so much admiration for him because he has the work ethic I respect. He is an unbelievable guitarist, incredibly clever with his lyrics, and he is someone you can look up to. He worked and worked and worked and kept getting better and better until he won Male Vocalist of the Year. He deserves it. His songs move me. When he sings \'When I Get Where I Am Going\', that song just grabs me. I am also inspired by Toby Keith, Keith Urban, George Strait, Trace Adkins, and a new guy, Jason Michael Carroll. For various reasons, I like a lot of the work they do. 5. If we would look in your CD player this past week, who\'s CD\'s would we find there? Well, if you looked this past week you would find Keith Anderson, Josh Turner, Keith Urban, Toby Keith, and Dierks Bentley. 6. Since you have been performing, what has been your most memorable moment on stage to date? That is an easy one, February 10, 2007, at the Cancun Cantina in Hanover, Maryland. Fire had closed the Cantina for about two months before I got to play there. It was memorable to me because it was the place I used to go to hang out and I always had hoped of being up on that stage one night. I remember being on the stage and looking out to a packed house with more than 200 people waiting in line and trying to get in till early in the morning. It was an unbelievable feeling to be playing there on that stage. 7. You have been very busy performing and have become a fan favorite in your local tri-state area. Do you have any plans to expand your current tour schedule and are you planning to perform at CMA Music Festival in June? I have been performing with my band, Big Time Country, at venues in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania right now. We have been working on expanding our tour schedule to several other states. We have a number of things in the works and that includes the possibility of performing at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville in June. 8. We have become a digital society. A number of successful artists have launched their careers on the internet on sites such as Myspace. Do you have an internet presence where people could visit to learn more about you? Yes I do. I have a site on both Myspace and Facebook. The internet is an extremely important way to market in this day and age. I have been amazed the way my Myspace site has taken off. It is pretty exciting and I don\'t know of another way, short of getting a record deal, that I would be able to get my music exposed to this many people so quickly. It has enabled me to increase my fan base and to make industry contacts as well. 9. Besides your Myspace, where can people purchase your CD? My CD is available at my shows and online at CD Baby. CD Baby is partnered with numerous music affiliates so people can check for it where they purchase their music online. I am currently working to make arrangements with other outlets as well. 10. It sounds like you are keeping busy. What do you think is needed to take things to the next level of your career? I was watching Tom Brady being interviewed at the Superbowl and he was talking about a motivational speech that a teammate had given to the team. He said \'all we need in life is a chance\'. That's what I need...a chance. I am working hard and hoping that someone will see something special in me and give me a chance. If that doesn\'t happen, I will continue working hard to try to make my own breaks. I believe it is important to focus on enjoying the journey, not the destination. For me, as long as I keep enjoying what I am doing, having fun, and touching people, then I will let the destination take care of itself. 11. If you could give advice to someone chasing their dream, what do you think is the biggest key to becoming successful in the country music business? That\'s easy. It\'s hard work. As soon as you think you've arrived, check your ego at the door. Don\'t rest on your laurels. You still need to work hard to become better and better. ___________________________________________________________________________ RICHIE FIELDS BIO It seems like it was only yesterday that I'd get home from work every night around 9 PM, have a late dinner (thank goodness for the invention of the microwave!), spend some time with the family, say goodnight and then head for the basement to pick up my guitar. Finding time for songwriting and singing wasn't easy with job and family responsibilities on the front burner but I did what I could because I loved it. Friends asked what in the world I was planning on doing with my songs anyway. Aren't friends great? I was able to say with a straight face that I hoped one day a song of mine might be heard on the radio...hopefully with me singing it! Am I dreamer? You better believe it! I was raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with a very strong work ethic and it was instilled in me at an early age to "think big and shoot for the stars because if you miss you might still land on the moon". I think Mom wanted me to be an astronaut! Dad always said, "I don't care what you choose to be in your life but even if you become a ditch digger, be the best damn ditch digger there's ever been". Never could figure out what it was with Dad and ditches! Anyway, with the support of my family, I made a huge decision on January 1, 2006 (yeah it was a New Year's resolution) to pursue my passion for Country Music and I haven't looked back since. By March of 2006 I cut my first demo CD at the Platinum Lab in Nashville. This helped me attract some good musicians and by May 2006 I had assembled a 6-piece band and we went to work on putting a 40-song show together. We booked 3 or 4 gigs on the strength of the demo and our promise that we would put on a good show. We played our first show in August 2006 and then we were fortunate enough to get booked at the premiere country venues in the tri-state area. We must have done something right because we immediately became part of the regular rotation at clubs that frequently feature national acts and we were also offered (and accepted) New Year's Eve gigs at these same venues. The band has evolved over time and I'm proud to say I've been able to assemble some of the very best musicians in our region and our popularity has continued to grow very quickly! I went back to the Platinum Lab in Nashville in March 2007 and began working on my debut CD "Man Enough To Cry" with Producer Jim Purdy. In my many trips into Nashville I got to meet and work with, not only a lot of great musicians, but also a lot of great people. Among the many great players you will hear on this CD were Larry Hanson on guitar (Alabama and also the proud father of rising star Jennifer Hanson), Dino Pastin on keys and harmonica (Alabama and Barbara Mandrell), Bryan White on drums (Recording Artist), the incomparable Johnny Hiland on lead guitar (too many credits to even begin mentioning), the great late John Hughey on steel (Country Music Hall of Fame) and the amazing Chris Carmichael on fiddle. In addition to songs written by me, I was also blessed to cut some songs by some of the very best Nashville songwriters in the business including Karen Staley (Keeper of the Stars...Tracy Byrd) and Wil Nance (She's Everything...Brad Paisley). I also had the good fortune to work with Matt Kirkwold and James Harley of World Record Productions and they were a tremendous help in putting the final touches on the CD. I'm a romantic at heart and a lot more sentimental than people might assume. Many people who have been kind enough to buy my CD have told me that two songs I wrote, "Man Enough To Cry" and "In A Place Like This", have really touched them and that is the best reward I could possibly imagine as a songwriter because that is exactly what I'm hoping to do. I want to touch people with music that's meaningful and make them think about what is really important in life. I'm told this is coming out in my songwriting more and more and I intend to just keep writing from the heart as I put together new material for my next CD. I'm confident the best is yet to come! One thing I learned in working on my debut CD was that even though the Country Music business can be extremely competitive, there are an awful lot of very talented people out there who are very humble, have their egos in check, and are willing to do anything they can to help you succeed. Now if only that person that wants to take credit for discovering me and putting me on the radio would come along real soon I could avoid going to plan B...digging ditches! Seriously, I'm having a blast entertaining people and I'm glad people seem to appreciate the energy and passion I take to the stage every time I step out there. I really love talking with everyone at the shows and just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the people who have encouraged me and continue to believe in me!