Finding Ben Orr

“Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars is unique in a genre where tawdriness and tell-all are common.”

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NH writer publishes bio of late Cars bassist

Once upon a middle school Christmas, Joe Milliken asked his dad for a Cars album. He became a fan first via the pages of Creem, Trouser Press and other rock magazines, later as the band became ubiquitous on late 1970s radio.

Born in Boston and raised primarily in North Walpole, New Hampshire, Milliken grew up to be a writer. He freelanced for the record collector magazine Goldmine and other publications, and runs a web site calle Standing Room Only. Recently, he published his first book, about the band that made such an impact on him as a youngster.

Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars is unique in a genre where tawdriness and tell-all are common. Instead of focusing on rock stardom and its trappings, it tries to learn how a young Benjamin Orzechowski – “Benny Eleven Letters” to friends – grew up to be Ben Orr; Cars bassist, singer and general hearthrob, as well as the first Cleveland native inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

It took 11 years for Milliken to complete Let’s Go!, primarily due to a fact he learned early on – Orr was a very private person out of the spotlight. On top of that, he’d passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2000. “It’s not like I had a chance to talk to him myself and draw insights,” Milliken said in a recent phone interview. “I didn’t have that luxury.”

Many of the people he interviewed were reluctant. “My biggest challenge was as much as they liked what I was doing and thought it was a cool thing, they were also very apprehesive. They’d say to me, ‘Joe, I’m sure you’re a nice guy and your intentions are good, but … I’m a little hesitant to talk to somebody I don’t even know about this man’s life.”

One by one, he won them over, from grade school pals to members of the house band Orr performed with in the early 60s on Cleveland’s version of American Bandstand. Milliken spoke to a huge swath of the Cars’ orbit, though Orr’s bandmates Ric Ocasek and Elliot Easton declined interviews, as did producer Roy Thomas Baker and Maxanne Sartori, a Boston DJ who was key in launching their career.

Milliken did manage to talk with Orr’s two ex-wives, a long term girlfriend, the mother of his son, and the partner at the end of his life, who later managed his estate. “I’m pretty proud to say that all the significant women in his life in the end trusted me enough to participate in the book,” he said. “That really meant a lot.”

The interviews draw a portrait of a young man driven to play music from an early age, first on drums and later guitar. Anyone who’s ever wondered about the journey from musical aspirant to rock star will find many clues in Milliken’s book. It also contains a wide range of photos, from baby pictures to his final appearance with The Cars before his death in 2000.

“A lot of people have asked if I’ll follow up with a book of just photos,” Milliken said at a hometown book launch in October, adding that more than a few women readers who followed his progress on Facebook were a bit crestfallen that Let’s Go! contained more words than images. “I ended up with hundreds of pictures from Ben’s friends.”

His timing is fortuitous. Published by Rowan & Littlefield, it arrives during the holiday gift giving season in the year The Cars were inducted into the Rock Hall. In the spring, Milliken traveled to the ceremony as a menber of the media, and a guest on television and radio stations.

As a native New Englander who grew up admiring one of the region’s most successful bands, it was a dream come true.

“Here I am at media day before the ceremony. I’ve never been to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame or even Cleveland, and I’m there doing a TV interview,” he said. “It was surreal; I’m a little local guy, being able to participate in all that. Every once in a while I had to pinch myself – am I really doing this?”

Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars
Author: Joe Milliken
Price: $34 hardcover, $29 e-book
More: standing-room-only.info

This story originally appeared in The Hippo, 6 December 2018

Join the band

Danielle M & the Glory Junkies put it all together

Appeared originally in Seacoast Scene, 20 September 2018

Playing alone, Danielle Miraglia is a dynamo; all stomp, holler and fiery slide guitar; with a voice like Janis Joplin’s – if the late singer had mixed honeyed tea with her Southern Comfort. Miraglia has built a solid living as a solo performer, leaning toward the blues and earthy folk with a probing world view.

But growing up in Revere, Mass., she’d locked onto J. Geils Band and The Cars; the first album she bought was the Stones’ Tattoo You. Someday, Miraglia was bound to be in a band.

So a few years ago, with the help of husband and fellow musician Tom Bianchi, she enlisted violist and longtime duo partner Laurence Scudder, guitarist Erik White, drummer Chris Anzalone and bass player Jim Larkin. Borrowing the title of her then-current solo album for the band’s name, she unleashed Danielle Miraglia & the Glory Junkies on the world.

The five meshed immediately. “We have this chemistry because everybody is in a band with someone else,” Miraglia said in a recent phone interview. Scudder, White and Larkin are in Spotted Tiger; Anzalone is ubiquitous around Boston, along with a steady gig playing in Roomful of Blues. “I just love these guys, enjoy their company, they’re my friends for a long time, so it’s a no brainer. It’s my favorite thing to do right now.”

Towards the end of last year, the group released its debut album, All My Heroes Are Ghosts. Recorded live in the studio, it’s badass to the bone, blending crunchy power chords, rootsy harmonies, Americana shuffle, swampy blues and straight up rock and roll.

Highlights include the churning rockers “Everybody’s Wrong” and “All on Fire,” both songs lamenting the modern world, and the whimsical “Aim Low.” The latter questions the notion of hard work as its own reward – “don’t set the bar too high” is its refrain – or whether it’s worth it to try hard at all. “I was probably feeling lousy about where I was in life … it was a quick write,” Miraglia said. “I stand behind everything, though.

The title cut is a tribute to the many musical greats lost in recent years, leaving “smoothed out edges” and “a pile of dusty records.” It came to Miraglia shortly after Tom Petty’s death, and it name checks her biggest hero. “Prince is gone, you can burn the stage, he’s the only one they’ll ever make,” she sings, while proclaiming to remain a “grown woman with a child in her heart, reaching anywhere and everywhere to find that spark.”

“Rock Star” is a charming love song dating back to her earliest days with Bianchi; they’ve been together 15 years, married for seven. One line, “you look at me like you understand/you’ve been right in my shoes,” hits at why their union is the only possible dynamic for Miraglia.

“It’s probably easier for a man to be married to a woman who’s not a musician than the other way around,” she said, adding it takes a person “at least in the arts to understand why I’m driving to Pennsylvania to play an hour gig … what the point is for that.”

Miraglia spoke those sentiments as she prepared to play a set in Hershey’s Chocolate Town Square, after a showcase in Stroudsburg, but constant touring isn’t her ideal. “I have a lot of little projects [and] I love to be home doing that stuff, like giving lessons,” she said. “It helps me not have to take a crap gig I don’t want. I know people who are willing to live on the road and I have so much respect for that, but a lot of us want a balance. … having many irons in the fire makes it easier.”

Like most performers, she uses crowdsourcing sites to rally her fans. Lately, Miraglia launched a Patreon page. “I’m still figuring out how it all works,” she said. “I like the idea of putting exclusive stuff and covers that I wouldn’t want to post for the world … it will grow as it goes along. So far all the people on there are generally good supporters. They’re willing to be patient with me while I figure out what I’m putting up there, and why.”

More: http://www.thegloryjunkies.com

Ketchup and mustard

Altercation Comedy Tour hits Portsmouth with a double bill

Stand-up comedian JT Habersaat is a native New Yorker who relocated to Texas in the mid-2000s. The change made him “softer around the edges,” he said. “Which is a positive for me.” Returning to the region, however, causes old instincts to kick in. Habersaat just rolls with them. The tour stops in Portsmouth on December 6.

“I always say I have dual citizenship because Texans view their state as a country, and New York is a very proud spot to be from as well,” he said by phone from Austin. “My East Coast lies somewhat dormant until I get back; then it springs to life. My step immediately increases in pace, and my ‘let’s get this done’ attitude jumps.”

Habersaat’s on-stage style is frenetic and intense, much like the punk rock bands he admires and whose road ethic informs the Altercation Comedy Tour he launched in 2008. Frustrated with the industry’s inflexibility, he began booking rock clubs and dive bars, zigzagging the country in a van full of comics with a penchant for coloring outside the lines.

Ten years on, the tour’s attitude remains the same, but it’s “more streamlined, leaner and meaner now. It’s evolved from what was more of a Ramones gang mentality,” Habersaat said. “Now I basically fly out to a region, and use a strong feature … that I really trust.” In each city, like-minded locals join the headliners on stage, like Kevin Cotter in Portsmouth.

Manchester comic Jay Chanoine is on the current tour; the two gig together frequently. “Jay and I have a very similar kind of aesthetic,” Habersaat said. “He’s like a Ramones and Devo guy, and I’m a Black Flag guy. So it makes sense in terms of a punk comedy tour vibe. While we’re both ranty, we have very different approaches. It’s ketchup and mustard.”

When Habersaat began Altercation, he was a trailblazer. “It was a weird thing we were trying to do,” he said. “Used to be the comedy clubs were the only place, and their set of rules were the only way, unless you wanted to do what we did or what the Comedians of Comedy ( Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, Brian Posehn, and Maria Bamford) or Doug Stanhope did, which is to say fuck you; but man, was that harder!”

Road life is now much saner, and the business also got easier in the intervening years. “I’ve been around a long time, so I have the contacts and stuff, but also it’s the fact that there are so many different types of venues,” he said. “The definition of what is a comedy room is so broad … it’s more of a level playing field, and you don’t have to play the reindeer games.”

Along with touring and writing the recently published road diary, Killing For A Living, Habersaat’s Altercation Comedy Festival is in its third year as an annual event in Austin. “I think it’s successful because I constantly dragged feet. People asked me to do a festival for years and I said no. I didn’t have the right mindset. I think just intentionally waiting until everything was right is why it’s been doing well. Also, I’m lucky to have friends that are headliners to help me out.”

In January, he’ll do a series of spoken word events with musicians like Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys), Kyle Schutt (The Sword) and Mike Wiebe (Riverboat Gamblers) dubbed Altercation Road Stories. “I host and do kind of comedic stories,” Habersaat said. “Then they come up and tell insane stuff about touring with Metallica or the time that Cheetah got into a fist fight with Iggy Pop … just crazy stuff like that.”

Whether it’s recalling the night an Altercation comic’s dalliance with the girlfriend of a Misfits cover band’s drummer got the entire tour chased out of Grants Pass, Oregon by a caravan of pickup trucks, or tour craziness in Alaska, storytelling is Habersaat’s favorite format. “When it’s done right, it’s super powerful,” he said.

Though tempting, the current political scene is mostly off limits in his act, however. “I talked about Charlottesville when that was going on because I come from the East Coast punk and hardcore scenes and we have very strong opinions about how to deal with Nazis… but it’s something that I wasn’t enjoying talking about on stage,” he said. “So I kind of decided I’m going to take people out of that, make it a break… because it’s so important to have times where there is a break.”

JT Habersaat and Jay Chanoine, with Kevin Cotter
When: Thursday, Dec. 6, 9 p.m.
Where: Trigger House, 135 McDonough St., Suite 24, Portsmouth
Tickets: $8 at eventbrite.com

This story originally appeared in the 7 December issue of Seacoast Scene

Good good vibrations – Funk and Jam Out Festival returns to NBPT Brewing

0When meeting Freevolt front man Michael Bernier, he comes off as the chillest guy on the planet. The positivity of the dreadlocked and smiling singer, songwriter, guitarist and musical entrepreneur is contagious. So much that he ‘s in demand as a motivational speaker, appearing at up to 75 events a year.

Here’s the thing, though; Bernier is one of the busiest guys around. One minute, he’s booking talent; in a myriad of clubs like Metzy’s Cantina and Michael’s Harborside in his hometown of Newburyport, where he also recruits talent for the annual Yankee Homecoming celebration.

Then there’s Evolvement Music, a syndicated web show he hosts weekly with an equally upbeat supporting cast. It moved from radio to all video this year, and is one of the regional music scene’s most vital concerns, welcoming new talent to perform live in the studio and spreading the word about new releases and upcoming events.

His band released a new album, Open Up Your Door, in January. Bernier followed that up in May with “Feel The Sunshine,” a duet single with Toft Willingham of Spiritual Rez. The song’s lyrics reflect Bernier’s ebullient optimism. “It feels so good to be alive,” he sings. “With a vision, a mission, a goal in sight you will always feel the sunshine.”

Bernier is always searching for the next project. “Once I find something and figure out how to manage it, I’m immediately looking for something else,” he said as he sipped an IPA at a sidewalk table in Newburyport, his hometown. “Ultimately, everything I’m doing is part of trying to make the world a better place.”

Freevolt formed after Bernier dissolved his previous band The Uprising, and left the country to live in the jungle to collect his thoughts for a while. He returned more committed to being a musician, and began recruiting like-minded players to join his cause – and it is a cause.

The five-man band now does 80 shows a year. That’s less than previous years, but Freevolt is doing it with more success; the results of working smarter, not harder. “We eliminated the bar room situation, so now we’re playing legitimate venues or outside,” Bernier said. “Music friendly places.”

One long-term project is booking the live music at Newburyport Brewing, including the Funk and Jam Out Festival, returning for its fifth year on Saturday, Sept. 8. The all-day show’s formula is well established; Bernier finds a headliner with a jammy bent, his own band provides support, and local performers fill out the bill.

This year features NYC favorites Consider the Source, a band Freevolt met on the festival circuit. “I’m trying to define what is funk and what is jam and they’re total jam, but unique,” he said. “There’s a science to it, it’s super technical, and they do it.” Also playing bill is Quadrafunk, a South Shore quartet with a bio claiming they’re “fueled by grilled cheese and funk butter,” along with jazz jam veterans Amorphous Band.

Freevolt will provide a solid helping of funk; with the addition of guitarist Nicco Centofanti three years ago, and saxophone player Jonathan Bousquet who joined last year, the quintet is playing tighter than ever. The new disc features layers of soul atop the band’s roots, rock and reggae sound, along with passages of almost progressive jazz-fusion from the dexterous Centofanti.

“He can do everything,” Bernier said. “ He’s really into as many notes as you can fit onto the grid. He views it as technical math. It’s a real thing, I wasn’t aware of it … he can fill it in instead of playing quarter notes.” The results from the Berklee trained shredder are Zappa-esque in complexity.

Bousquet’s horn playing propels “Pound of Love,” a crowd favorite that’s introduced with a double entendre that would make Bob Marley smile. “I start off like I’m telling a serious story about being out on the street selling pounds,” Bernier said with smile. “It gets quiet and they’re like, ‘he’s talking about weed?’ and I say, ‘of love’ and it’s like the record skips.”

That’s consistent with Bernier’s “good good” philosophy. “We never have enough love,” he said. “We always gotta re-up our supply.”

Funk & Jam Out Festival

When: Saturday, Sept. 8, 12 p.m.

Where: Newburyport Brewing Company, 4 New Pasture Road, Newburyport

Tickets: $10 for 21+ (kids free) at fajo.brownpapertickets.com

Rolling in Dover

 

0Comedy Central standup comes to Brickhouse

It’s a boom time for standup comedy, and many Seacoast venues are getting in on the action. A couple of years ago, the Dover Brickhouse began a monthly event. Initially run as an open mic night by local hip-hop artist Eyenine, it got more structured when Boston comic Justin P. Drew took over. 

Drew spent a long weekend making the case for a “real show,” he said in a recent phone interview. “The dirty secret is that most comics hate Friday night open mic nights.” A long string of aspirants working out their first five minutes of standup is better suited for the middle of the week, not weekends.

Soon, it became a showcase that had a name – It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Dover – and was regularly packed with comedy fans. A typical night has a headliner with four or more comics on the undercard. Admission is free, though there are exceptions, like a June 2 event starring Mike Recine, which costs $10.

The ticketed show is “an experiment,” Drew said, reflecting Recine’s stature. His resume includes a Comedy Central half hour special and appearances on Conan. He’s written for the MTV Video Music Awards, has a popular podcasts, and he’s performed at Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival, along with most of the rooms in his New York City home base. “One of the only guys Brooklyn hipsters and Jersey slobs can agree on,” one writer opined.

As with most of the monthly events, Drew will host. The main motivator for getting involved at the Brickhouse was stage time. As a booker, he makes friends who give him gigs, creating a happy circle of work. He also likes the room’s intimacy. “You can fit a lot of people in there but it still feels personal,” he said. “I’m a VHI Storytellers kind of guy.”

The reason Drew does standup is a bit complex. Basically, it satisfies his need to navigate a strange tightrope between craving attention and chronic insecurity. “A comedian is narcissistic at heart,” he said. “They look at a room full of people and think, ‘nobody should be talking but me.’ Anyone who does this is secretly a monster.”

Getting up in front of a crowd is weirdly effective way to deal with social anxiety, he continued. “If I’m going up, I know these people are going to see that I have a secret superpower. If I’m around them and they won’t see me on stage, then I feel terrified; because they don’t know I have an ability. If you look at me, you just think, he’s a fat POS.”

Drew’s comedy heroes share this tic. “My patron saint has to be Patton Oswalt … Werewolves and Lollipops was like my White Album back in the day,” he said. Recently disgraced comic Aziz Ansari helped convince him to pursue the craft. “I remember hearing Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening and thinking, ‘I could do this’ … it’s like a blueprint.” 

Think of a young rocker hearing Bon Jovi for the first time and taking up guitar. “It was shortly after that album that I went on stage,” Drew said. “Of course, I bombed the first two or three times.” 

Coming this summer are free shows from Reece Cotton in July, and J Smitty in August. Kevin Hart interviewed both comics last December for his Comedy Central show Hart of the City, but the two aren’t household names yet, so the event will revert to no cover charge. 

If the Recine event does well, Drew hopes to do similar shows down the road. “This is the first time we’re bringing in a real headliner,” Drew said. “If this is successful, it will open the gate into bringing even more big name people into this space.”

MORE

  • Comedian Mike Recine
  • When: Saturday, June 2, 9 p.m. (doors at 8)
  • Where: Dover Brickhouse, 2 Orchard St., Dover
  • Tickets: $10 at ticketf.ly/2KM5cmU

Listen To Hunter Release Party

HunterAppeared in Hippo Press 12 April 2018

Three years ago, Hunter was a young,  hungry band  looking to conquer the world. They’re older now, but still determined. They are wiser, however. The precociousness of their eponymous debut has morphed into maturity on Listen to Hunter, a new album to be released April 13. 

Sheeny three part harmonies and complex rhythm structures served on a pop platter mark the album. “Anchor (I Refuse to Sink)” opens the 10-track collection, and reflects the resolve of band members Hunter Stamas, Connor Coburn and Cameron Gilhooly. It dares any force, be it a harsh music business or natural disaster, to deter their quest.

“I think we’re pushing even harder now,” Stamas said in a recent group interview. “We definitely still have spunk.”

Yes – despite the slog of sleeping in vans and driving for hours between clubs, a planned summer tour will be Hunter’s most ambitious yet. “Coast to coast, thirty dates, all along the Midwest into California, even the West Coast of Canada, then down into the South and back to New England,” Coburn said. “It will be a big, juicy loop.”

The Listen To Hunter release party, happening at Nashua’s Bounty Room, is also set to be a pull out the stops affair. “It’s like a wedding for pretty much all of us,” Stamas said. “We’ve put so much work into writing it,and the artwork itself took so long, along with the videos that are going to be released … this one will be celebrated.”

The trio will be rounded out by the latest in a series of itinerant bassists; he joined earlier this year. The group goes through bass players like Spinal Tap drummers, though fortunately not for the same reason. 

“We knew that from day one it was the three of us,” Stamas explained. “Every bassist was a hired gun after the first two; the were friends, and that didn’t work out – we needed someone to play better and be able to travel. But the writing has always been us. We knew that from the day we formed in 2014.”

It’s often said that a band has a lifetime to come up with its first record, but the second is a sprint. Not so with Hunter, who   began writing songs soon after its debut, then frequently got waylaid. “We’re serial procrastinators,” Coburn said. “I think the first album came together relatively quickly. This new one we wanted to focus on making it more consistent.”

Gilhooly echoed those sentiments. “Everything we’ve done is a lot more intentional and thought out,” he said. “The last album was good, but it just came together on its own.”

Thematically, it toggle between Sixties pop influences – “Beach Party” sounds just like its title – and 90s alt-rock, on cuts like “Queen of the Tree Streets,” which evokes Alanis Morissette when Stamas croons, “you’re all I ever wanted/I’m sorry I used to be such a bitch.” 

For the first time, Stamas yields lead vocals to her mates. Connor sings the moody, harmony-rich “Too Many Seasons” and Gilhooly is in front on the power pop romp, “Good Deed of the Day.”

Indicative of the new disc’s long gestation is the the final track, “Ballad of An Enigma.” Stamas wrote it immediately in the wake of their debut, and it grew from there. Collectively driven by a mutual infatuation with the first King Crimson album, the three shaped it into a six-minute epic.  

Coburn introduced them to the 60s prog-rock masters. “He brought the album around and I was like, ‘we suck’ – how can we do that?” Stamas said. “They jammed on it after a while, and they’re geniuses. They created the instrumental section.”

As Stamas sings, “I always knew that I’d be different, be different,” before wrapping the record back around to the start  with a line from track one, Gilhooly does double duty on guitar and bass (as he did on the entire album). It’s Coburn’s drumming, however, that takes “Enigma” into the far reaches, to a place they  could not have gone as teenagers.  

“I never stop flying,” Coburn said. “It’s just an endless fill.”

BOX ME

Hunter CD Release Show

When: Friday, April 13, 7:30 p.m.

Where: The Bounty, 9 Northeastern Blvd., Nashua

Tickets: $5 – facebook.com/HunterBandOfficial

Kim Richey – From The Edge

0Critically lauded yet commercially neglected, Kim Richey emerged in the early 1990s as similar singer songwriters were perplexing the musical public. Richey’s genre, whose Patient Zero was the 70s fan who found Linda Ronstadt before she teamed with Peter Asher and stuck with her after, would ultimately acquire a name – Americana. 

The moniker helped artists like Shawn Colvin and Sheryl Crow become headliners, with record sales to match.  Richey  forever bubbled under, but based on her body of work, she’s arguably she was the best of the bunch. Bitter Sweet, released in  1996, is a masterpiece, from the Beatlesque twang of “I Know” to the pure gem “Believe Me Baby (I Lied)” – the latter a big hit for Trisha Yearwood.

Five more albums made over the following two decades were equally stellar, featuring production from the likes of XTC’s Hugh Padgham and rock royal Giles Martin. Making a case for her as a musician’s musician, 2013’s Thorn in My Heart included a Jason Isbell co-lead vocal (with her old pal Yearwood on harmony) on the brilliant track, “Breakaway Speed.”

Richey’s latest, Edgeland, is among her best. The title alludes to the confusion that’s dogged her career. “For me, it’s the place or spaces in between where the country kind of meets the city,” she said in a recent phone interview. “Places where I have always been the most comfortable, and where my music lands. No one knows what to do with me. Is it country?  Folk? Pop?  And I think as a person I am more comfortable in those middle places, too.”

“Your Dear John Letter” is a love song wrapped in a working man’s lament that Bruce Springsteen might have penned had he lived in 1930s. It’s one of new record’s standouts. Another is “Not For Money or Love” – it was written about Richey’s father, who died when she was four. 

The song’s evocative opening lines – “I was a young man the day that I drowned, I was married with one on the way” – came to her during a co-writing session with Harry Hoke. “I never wrote about my Dad,” she said.  “It just came into my head and I said, ‘well okay, I guess I am writing about this now.’” 

She built the song’s story around a newspaper clipping given to her by a cousin. “It was mysterious;  they could not figure out what had happened,” she said. “He had been out on a boat with a bunch of other people … one guy decided to swim back to shore, and my dad did the same.   One guy made it; my dad never did.  Lot of questions about that … once I started, it was just really easy to write.”  

Richey grew up in Ohio, and has traveled the world. In a press release for Edgeland, she described having her belongings in  storage, her life a “state of constant motion.” During the interview, she was in Vancouver; the week before was spent at an artist colony in Banff.  She’s lived in England, California, Nashville, Australia, and other far flung places. But her  spirit of wanderlust wasn’t about leaving the Midwest. 

“Ohio has never been a place for me to get out of, but I always knew there was more out there,” she said. “I think that came from reading.   I was the first person to go to college in my family and of course that opened up a lot of doors.   I was a reluctant traveler at first, because I remember when I was a kid, somebody new would come to the school and I always thought that would be the worst thing in the world …  go someplace where you didn’t know anyone.”

An accidental trip to Europe was the spark; a group of her friends applied to work in a Swedish summer camp; only she got accepted.  When the stint ended a few weeks early, she hung around because she didn’t know how to change her  flight reservation. “I had never been on a plane before,” she said. “I ended up hitchhiking around for a month on my own … as scary as that was, I thought, ‘well, I can do just about anything.’ Now, the more places I see, the more I want to see.” 

At an upcoming show in Portsmouth, Richey will perform with a trio. “It’s usually me and a guitar player and now we have someone coming along to pay bass,” she said. “He’s a really beautiful singer, so you have three of us singing …  I try to play new and old songs.”

More:

Kim Richey

When: Sunday, April 15, 7 p.m.

Where: The Music Hall Loft, 131 Congress St., Portsmouth

Tickets: $22 at themusichall.org