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Gretchen Richie: Press

REVIEW OF 'CLOSE YOUR EYES' and 'IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU'

Gretchen doesn't make songs larger than life. Instead, she makes them exactly life-size, just the right dimensions to create genuine human warmth. She doesn't take you to the mountaintop--she finds where you are. I'm getting goosebumps listening to her renditions of 'I Just Found Out About Love' and 'Nice and Easy'. Her uncanny balance of classy/sexy, restrained/heartrending, and timbre/timing finds a perfect match in husband Randy Richie's brilliantly understated piano collaborations.
It's hard to settle on favorite tracks on her CDs, but let's also mention 'But Not for Me'. It's slower than any other performance I've heard. Unlike other "I'm going extra slow to be different" approaches, this is convincingly motivated by the expression in the song. Her way of doing things gives me something that I don't get from any other singer.
I think what we have here is an artist whose talents and material are exactly suited to each other. That's why nothing seems to be missing.
Jeffrey Chappell - Concert pianist, Recording artist, Journalist and Jazz Studies Director, Goucher College (Aug 6, 2010)
REVIEW OF 'CLOSE YOUR EYES'

GRETCHEN RICHIE
'Close Your Eyes'

When it comes to selling a song, Gretchen Richie isn't the sort of vocalist who goes all out. The title of one of the many vintage pop standards included on her latest CD pretty much sums up the tone of her sales pitch: 'Nice 'n' Easy'.

Quietly carving out a niche between cabaret and jazz, Richie sounds perfectly content to let a composer's work speak for itself. Her interpretations are free of glib embellishments or melismatic flourishes, and the inclusion of some seldom heard verses further underscore Richie's intention to give songwriters their due. She's joined by three like-minded musicians: pianist (and husband) Randy Richie, bassist Bill Hones, and drummer Howard Kadison, who tunefully commute between uncluttered swing ('Let's Fall in Love' and 'Close Your Eyes') and dreamy balladry ('You Go to My Head' and 'Fools Rush In'). In between these stops, Richie and company pause to conjure darker moods with soulful reprises of 'But Not for Me', 'In the Wee Small Hours' and 'Nobody's Heart', each rendered, again, without fuss or muss.

It's not hard to imagine Richie performing these songs for a clucking brunch crowd and nearly silencing the room with her unforced delivery and first-rate repertoire. No doubt many listeners will be reminded of more distinctive and artful interpretations as Richie moves through her songbook, but no matter. These recitals have a charm of their own.
Mike Joyce - The Washington Post
REVIEW OF LIVE PERFORMANCE

Gretchen Richie brings the full force of her considerable talent and intelligence to her vocals; her voice can be velvet or brass, a whisper or a lament, depending on the mood of the song.
Pat Ullberg - The Calvert Recorder
REVIEW OF LIVE PERFORMANCE

Gretchen knows how to sing a torch song and she can really swing as well. She had the audience in the palm of her hand. One word describes her performance: sublime.
Fred Suss, V.P. Entertainment - P.G.I.
ABOUT 'CLOSE YOUR EYES'

Gretchen is different and refreshing!
Jamal Muhammad, Host - WPFW-FM
REVIEW OF 'CLOSE YOUR EYES'

What this great band is doing, guided by Gretchen's beautiful voice, is preserving for all of us some of the greatest songs ever written, and for that we should all be thankful.
Constance McGillicutty - Music Monthly
ABOUT 'CLOSE YOUR EYES'

Her CD is absolutely marvelous. After I played it on the air several listeners called asking, "Who is THAT?!" Makes for some wonderful listening. I'll play her again and again!
Donnie McKethan, Host - WPFW-FM
REVIEW OF LIVE PERFORMANCE

Gretchen's heartfelt evocation of the Great American Songbook instantly transports one to that place where Gershwin and Porter set the agenda and everything is love and lush and let's face the music and dance...She enthralled the crowded room.
Dave Nuttycomb - washingtoncitypaper.com
REVIEW OF 'CLOSE YOUR EYES'

Gretchen demonstrates wide vocal range, sauciness and proves her ability to conquer difficult songs...Her voice is sweet, clear and unpretentious...(and she) sings as if she is experiencing every word.
Diane Gibbs - The Old Town Crier
REVIEW OF 'CLOSE YOUR EYES'

Gretchen Richie has a sweet loving voice...Good stuff all around...so kick back and enjoy yourself.
Larry Wollin - Music Monthly
REVIEW OF 'CLOSE YOUR EYES'

(Gretchen's) unaffected manner gives listeners the feeling she is singing to them and them alone.
Jay Friess - The Enterprise
REVIEW OF 'IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU'

RICHIE’S LATEST CD RICH IN LOVE SONGS

The only thing wrong with Gretchen Richie’s latest CD is that she did not release it before Valentine’s Day, because it’s just perfect for a cozy, candlelit romantic dinner followed by brandy of coffee by the fireplace.

‘It Could Happen to You’, which Richie will officially release Thursday at Café des Artistes in Leonardtown, is gorgeous and mellow. The music is seductive. It wants only a small portion of floor to inspire cheek-to-cheek dancing. The musicians who provide the rich sounds and rhythms include Richie’s husband, Randy, on piano, James Fowler and Tom Baldwin on bass, Brian Litz, Gary Rue and Richard Roeder on guitar and Hal Ludwig on drums and Mark Carson on percussion.

Soft, dreamy music floats behind Richie’s lyrical voice. The title cut, of course, talks about how love could happen to anyone at any time, even “you”. “Isn’t It a Pity” is a George and Ira Gershwin gem about two people who spent so many years not being together that it is a shame they only just met. Richie puts dulcet tones to Jerome Kern’s and Dorothy Fields’ musical tease “Remind Me”, where one lover asks another to remind her not to love him or adore him, but to ignore him. Duke Ellington’s “I’m Beginning to See the Light” gets toe-tapping treatment from Richie and her musicians, just right to pick up the pace a wee bit. Frank Sinatra’s version of “Learnin’ the Blues” differs from Richie’s in that his was snappier, a reflection of his ‘Rat Pack’ days. Richie’s version, based on the fact that the song is indeed a blues piece, truly brings on the blues of broken love. But the blues don’t last long. “Just you, Just Me” is cuddling in the finest sense, while “But Beautiful” encourages taking a chance on love. Singing “Mean to Me”, Richie brings to mind smoke-filled basement jazz clubs with the spotlight on the sultry singer on stage backed by her small set of musicians.

If you haven’t heard Richie before, this is a great introduction. Catch her often at Café des Artistes.
Gwyneth J. Saunders - Southern Maryland Weekend