John Richards is one of those rare guitarists who can take a song you thought you were familiar with, and show you a music inside it that you never knew was there. The song can be jazz, blues, country, or a pop standard, and the effect is the same: a musical revelation. Using chords the way most players use melody notes, he weaves together a new tapestry that remains true to the spirit of the song he is playing. His vocals complete the picture; without affectation, they go to the heart of a lyric. His orginal compositons are at the same high level.
Orginally a teenage protege' of his guitarist father, John began to perform at the age of sixteen in his native Nashville, and was soon playing with Ernest Tubb to Tanya Tucker. His style developed and diversified to embrace pop, jazz, blues, and R&B.
Harold Bradley (President of Nashville's prestigious Musicians' Union), who I said to be the most recorded guitar player in history, had this to say about John's music;
"Exciting would be a good way to describe the way john Richards plays the guitar. His technique appears to be an approach born of necessity to fullfill the musical riffs, he adds his voice in sound, but not in his ideas. Ocassionally, can hear voicings like they are ideas conceived by John...He plays a wide variety of music, from jazz tunes like "Cherokee" to "Night Life". He aslo is a very good singer...I recommend that you listen to John Richards!" --Harold Bradley
Nashville is a musician's town, and John Richards is a musician's musician. In this tradition rich city, guitar is king. The Roy Clarks, the Jerry Reeds, the Chet Atkins have all contributed to the creations of "Guitar Town". Up and coming guitarist, John Richards is doing his part to keep that reputation alive. One of the few native Nashville musicians to remain home-based, John is usually occupied with one musical project or another within earshot of Music Row, is often "first call" on session work, and is considered by many to be one of the top creative guitar players for custom music styling.
He has recorded two personal album projects and is currently working on his thrid Jazz/Blues album which will be released shortly.
He has perform on stage as Django Reinhart in the Broadway play "All That Jazz", and in the production of "Blues, the Father of Jazz". Television appearances include the Ralph
Emery show, The Bill Anderson Show, The Young Country Boyce Hawkins Show a live special for Windows on the Cunberland, and WSMV's Saturday Morning Show, toured with friend Vassar Clements.
John has entertained at almost every nightspot known for quality music in Nashville. He has impressed crowds for years at the Italian Street Festivals. He has appeared at venues such as Mere Bulles, Printer's Alley, Opryland, F.Scott's, 3rd & Lindsey, La Paz, Magnolia's, The Sutler, Marios, The Vanderbuilt Plaza. He has appeared at the Pro-Celebrities Fall Classic Golf Tournament, Two Rivers Mansion Jazz Concert Series, Vanderbilt University, Cafe' Milano All-Star Guitar Night, TPAC and the WMOT-Jazz 25th Anniversary Show and worked in conjunction with WCTE TV, WMOT Jazz 89.5 Channel 8 (Ken burns Jazz series) in Receiving PBS Awards. He is also an artist for the fabled CAAS (Chet Atkins Appreciation Society) and appears in other festivals across the country.