A Conversation with Kim Richey (continued)
PM: So that was what brought you to Nashville. And the first two records, then, were more in a country way, with Richard Bennett producing the first one, and Angelo, the second, is that right?
PM: Did you feel at that time like you were more on the pop-folk side but trying to steer it between the lines of progressive or alternative country, or were you just doing what came naturally to you?
KR: Well, when I got to Nashville, I loved what was happening there. Steve Earle has that great quote, something like "It was the great credibility scare of the 80s--
KR: [laughs]--in country music, in Nashville." There was Foster & Lloyd. There was Steve Earle, the O'Kanes, Lyle Lovett. You know, that's what I thought was going on down there.
PM: Right. That's why a lot of us came in the late 80s, going, "Hey, this is pretty good."
KR: [laughs] Then they all kind of got kicked out. But I thought I fit into that crowd.
KR: So that's how those first couple records came about. The first one was even still just too weird for country radio. They weren't having any of it. They weren't buying it.
PM: And country radio never did buy it, did they? I mean, they bought what you were doing in terms of songs of yours that other people covered, but...
KR: Right. I guess they just weren't buying me, maybe. [laughs]
PM: Yeah, to hell with them. But you had a couple of big songs cut by other artists.
KR: Trisha [Yearwood] did "Believe Me, Baby (I Lied)," and she did well with that. And then Radney--he and I wrote a song together, so it wasn't like a song I wrote and then he covered it. He and I wrote "Nobody Wins." That did really well for him, went number one for him.
PM: That was a really great song, yeah. So on your records, the producer time-line goes Richard Bennett, Angelo, Hugh Padgham, and then Bill Bottrell.
PM: What an interesting and varied lineup. Could we talk a little about the similarities and the differences in working with that diverse bunch of cats?
KR: Oh, oh.
PM: It's a big question.
KR: Yeah, it's really different with each one. I worked with Richard Bennett first. I sought Richard out because of the stuff that he did with Steve Earle.
KR: And then Richard and I met. And I just loved him right off the bat. And we were going around to a couple different record companies, and we said we wanted to make a record together. And they were like, "Have you guys ever worked together before?" We were like, "No, but we really like each other." They didn't seem too interested. I talked to a bunch of different record companies. And then Mercury decided that they wanted me to make a record. And I think they had some other producer people in mind. But I was old enough at that point to say, "Well, you know, this is what I want to do. And if you are interested in me doing that, then that'd be great, but I'm making a record with Richard." And they said okay.
So I made a record with Richard, which I absolutely loved. I had just the most wonderful time making that record with him, and had every intention in the world to work with him again on the second record. But then he ended up going out with Mark Knopfler and being in Mark Knopfler's band, so he couldn't do it. And it just broke my heart that he couldn't do it. continue