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Richie has been playing drums since he was 12 years old, inspired by bands such as The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers Band, Rush, Government Mule, The Eagles, and Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble. These early musical influences provided him with a foundation to play creatively, dynamically, and with strong backup vocals.
While playing the 'quads' and the 26" bass drum in his high school's marching band, Richie was selected for the Leon High School steel drum program in Tallahssee Florida. This broadened his view of percussion and music forever by enabling him to play the "lead" and "bass" steel drums, as well as latin percussion. During his senior year, he began making music with schoolmates Stephen Spivey and Jess Franklin. The three put together what was known as "The Best Little Blues Band," and they went on to open for such acts as Government Mule, The Derek Trucks Band, B.B. King, and Drivin' 'n' Cryin'. They played the college circuit for five and a half years until Richie finished his B.S. Degree in studio art at Florida State University.
After graduating, Richie moved to Atlanta and began playing with Deep Blue Sun. They played the festival circuit quite heavily, and became known as the "party band." Playing with Deep Blue Sun enabled Richie to dive head first into heavy funk-driven jam music that was always unpredictable in terms of dynamics and time changes.
Through friends, Richie was introduced in 2003 to the slide screamin', roots-driven Donna Hopkins Band. It was at the blues venue, Fuzzy's, that Richie was invited to sit in and lay the thick grooves that were needed to eventually get the full-time position with the band. A good word from Yon Rico Scott (The Derek Trucks Band) also helped seal the deal!
During fall of 2008 Richie decided to put all of his time and energy into music. He now tours much of the time with the Ralph Roddenbery Band, the Donna Hopkins Band and Stop Drop and Roll. When he is not on the road or in the studio, Richie spends his time teaching drums and percussion to both kids and adults. "I feel like I'm at a true high point in my life." says Richie. "Being able to express my passion for music on stage and eduacationally is the greatest experience I've ever had, and for that, I'm so very thankful!"
Sonor S Classix Birch 5 piece, and Sonor S-Class Maple 7pc drumkits
Sonor, Legend, Sonor, Yamaha, Tama, and Pearl snares
Toca Signature congas
17" Ivory Coast Djembe by Transpersonal Rhythms
Windchimes by India Street Percussion