New York, NY (February 25, 2008) Nicki Richards is many things: a singer, songwriter, producer, arranger and performer whose long-awaited new album is simply titled “Nicki” – 17 songs for the 17 years she’s been away since her 1991 debut, “Naked (To the World)”. Over the past decade, Nicki has made a name for herself as an in-demand A-list session and touring singer for the likes of Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige, Lenny Kravitz, Frankie Knuckles and the Reverend Al Green just to name just a few. It was while on the road with Madonna – singing backup with Donna DeLory (her voice can be heard on albums by Carly Simon, Laura Branigan, Belinda Carlisle and others) – that Nicki realized she missed the frontline more than she dared admit.
The album features guest stars including Grammy award winning Bassists Marcus Miller, Will Lee (best known for his work on the CBS Television program The Late Show with David Letterman as part of the CBS Orchestra) and Victor Bailey (who has recorded and/or toured with Weather Report, David Gilmour, Sting and more), pianist Joe Sample (virtuoso who founded The Crusaders and has played with Miles Davis, Eric Clapton and Steely Dan), horn players from national act Tower of Power, drummer Dennis Chambers (who has recorded and performed with the likes of Santana and Parliament/Funkadelic), Gregoire Maret on harmonica (some of his performing and recording credits include playing with Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Duke Ellington Orchestra & Meshell Ndegeocello), guitarists Ciro (musical director for Alejandro Sanz), Sherrod Barnes (who has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Roberta Flack and Angie Stone) and Monte Pittman, Madonna’s longtime guitarist.
Nicki has also enlisted singers including Lisa Fischer (backup vocalist with the Rolling Stones, Luther Vandross, and currently on tour with Tina Turner), Cindy Mizelle (she has contributed her vocal talents to over 120 albums by artists such as Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Celine Dion and Alicia Keys), Nicki’s mom Donna Blackmon, and Nicki’s co-producer, mentor and drummer, Lenny White (of Return to Forever and Twennynine fame).
Highlights of the record include “Check Yourself”, with the Tower of Power Horns, arranged by Tom “Bones” Malone and the spacey “Alpha Centauri”, which showcases Victor Bailey’s fretless bass. Other notable tracks include “Say the Words,” “In Bed” and “Happening to Me Again”. On a more serious note, the inspiration for the poigniant “Lawdy” came from her personal experience of when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Nicki had cousins, aunts and uncles who were all displaced, their houses destroyed, and lost her grandfather to illness caused by the devastating storm.
Now is the perfect time to see Nicki in action, on stage, up front where she was born to be.
Here are the full details:
NICKI RICHARDS Live!
Friday March 27th
@ The Bitter End
147 Bleeker St (between Thompson and LaGuardia)
New York, New York 10002
$15 Admission/18 and over/9:00 PM Showtime
NICKI RICHARDS Live!
Friday April 17th
@ Joeâ€™s Pub
425 Lafayette St (between East 4th and Astor Place)
New York, New York 10003
$15 Admission/All Ages/11:30 PM Showtime
ABOUT NICKI RICHARDS
As the daughter of a high-ranking African American Naval officer, Nicki lived in places all over the world â€“ from Washington, D.C. and California to Hawaii and Pensacola during her childhood. Her mother Donna Blackmon is a professional singer who frequently sang with Cannonball Adderley. Nicki’s grandmother, Lurlean Blackmon, is a pianist and organist who was the choir director for five Primitive Baptist churches. Nicki’s baby brother Philip Richards is a singer/musician in his own right who graces several songs on “Nicki” and has his own rock band, Status Joe. Nicki’s mother had her doing commercials when she was 5. She has also done some theatre and movies, but making music is her passion. As a teenager, she was rubbing elbows with musicians such as Cornell Dupree, Steve Gadd, Jaco Pastorius, Steve Jordan, Charley Drayton, Hiram Bullock and Richard Tee.
Her first big break was being signed by Atlantic Records co-founding President Ahmet Ertegun, where she released her debut CD entitled “Naked (To the World)” in 1991. Now, 2008 brings about the resurgence of a born star – back to the front.
For the full story, please check out http://www.myspace.com/nickirichards