Susan Ritchie and Randy Rigby Collaboration on "52"

Musicians recognize in an instant when they are experiencing that rare and indescribable spark between players.  You can’t create it or invent it; and you can’t pretend to have it, or predict it.  It is drawn out of the ether and delivered like an answer to a prayer you don’t remember praying.  It’s a beautiful, cosmic surprise. 

Susan Ritchie will be the first to tell you that it was more than just mere kismet that she was introduced to Randy Rigby in October of 2015.  Having just completed a heavy songwriting challenge of 52 songs in a year, she was eager to embark on recording an album.  But, the notion of self-producing an album presented so many questions. Where to record? What players to use? What budget would deliver a quality recording, etc.?  It was daunting to say the least, and she’d been out the of recording and live music scene for well over 10 years.  There were so many connections to make, so much research.

Then, one day a friend showed her a short clip of Rigby playing at a gig.  Ritchie knew in that moment that she wanted to ask him to play on her album.  She introduced herself through email and told him about the songwriting project, and her desire to record an album.  He generously agreed to meet with Ritchie and her husband, Kevin Bratcher, with the hope that he could help them develop an effective budget for the project.  Ritchie soon came to learn that Rigby is far more than an exquisite guitar player.  He is an industry veteran, having been a studio musician, an A &R rep, and a record label executive.  And, he’s a Grammy-nominated songwriter, among other accolades.  Little did she know that Rigby would not only play on the album, he’d be the answer to all of the daunting challenges.

Rigby’s appreciation for Ritchie’s dedication to songwriting was an instant bond.  After a few brief meetings, it was clear to all that Randy should produce the album.  The timing was right all around.  Ritchie’s album, “52,” an eclectic blend of blues, folk, rock, country, jazz, and Americana, was released in May of 2016.  Rigby played a majority of the instruments, and most of the album was recorded in his home studio in Los Osos, CA.  He managed the rest out of Macy Sound Studio in Denver, CO, hiring musicians where needed.

Back to the cosmic surprise.  It turns out Rigby and Ritchie have a musical chemistry that is undeniable when they play together live.  It is more than just a complement of styles.  There is a deeper underlying connection that just happens when Rigby accompanies her.  She insists that it’s all him, that he brings the magic.  But, whatever “it” is, and however it's happening, listeners get it, and you will see a great look of surprise on their faces every time.