Big Richard Live & Uncut with supporting artist Madeline Hawthorne
Thursday Feb. 1st, 2024
The world-class musicians in Big Richard initially convened in 2021 for a festival date. The quartet showed up to the one-off like it had been together for years, bursting with jaw-dropping virtuosity; playfully irreverent stage banter; stunning four-part harmony vocal interlace; imaginative arrangements; a refreshingly eclectic repertoire; and a healthy dose of lady rage.
Quickly things for the Colorado-based, neo-acoustic supergroup morphed into something way bigger than a one-and-done appearance. The sellout club shows, and the confirmed festival dates across America drastically changed its members’ lives and, in one case, livelihood—fiddler Eve Panning left the security of her middle school teaching job to go on the road. Now, Big Richard is poised to penetrate the Americana music world and beyond. To date, the quartet has issued 3 singles, the Live from Telluride album, and it has new music on the way.
“You know the satisfaction when you add the missing piece to a puzzle?,” asks cellist Joy Adams. “That’s the feeling we have—there was a hole for aggressive and empowered females in this scene. We are filling that with Big Richard.” She continues: “We take what we do seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously.” Bassist and guitarist Emma Rose adds: “This group is an opportunity to share our full selves—be honest with emotions, showcase our chops a bit, and break through the wall of what women are expected to be.”
Big Richard features four well-established career musicians who are artists in their own right outside the group, and remain in-demand side person musicians.
The quartet includes platinum recording artist Bonnie Sims on mandolin (Bonnie & Taylor Sims, Everybody Loves an Outlaw, Bonnie and the Clydes), multi-genre musician Dr. Joy Adams on cello (Nathaniel Rateliff, Darol Anger, Half Pelican, Bruce Hornsby, Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea, Ben Folds), Emma Rose on bass and guitar (Sound of Honey, Daniel Rodriguez, Whippoorwill, Courtney Hartman), and Eve Panning on fiddle (Lonesome Days, TEDx, Barrage, Hollywood Film Score Orchestra). The four musicians have previously played together in various configurations, but united to rage fiddle tunes and smash the patriarchy in Big Richard.
“There are terrible stereotypes about women. Humor is a powerful tool to address that because it’s disarming. It helps people accept something they may not fully understand, in terms of reaching beyond perceived gender lines,” Bonnie says. “Big Richard is about the full experience of masculine and feminine energy. We present a playground that goes beyond the binary understanding of gender—we have a lot of big dick energy.”
Big Richard also blurs the lines in genre divides. The musicians siphon from traditional bluegrass, oldtime, classical, modern bluegrass, country, and pop. The four-piece band masterfully mashes up genres, often using traditional fiddle tunes as instrumental flights of fancy between its storyteller original songs. The group also refreshingly reinvents beloved traditional tunes. Big Richard potently distills the gory murder ballad “The Wind and The Rain” down to a stark a cappella song with fiddle accompaniment. Its rendition of “The Blackest Crow” exudes a chamber music quality, but also features stately improvised passages.
Sporting a wide brimmed black hat atop longcurly blonde locks, guitar in hand, fire in her voice, and stories in her heart, Madeline Hawthorne asserts herself as a 21st century troubadour. An intriguing journey gives her songs a novelist’s level of depth and detail, while unbridled attitude and wide-eyed adventurousness turn every show into a celebration. After building buzz independently, packing shows, and honing her craft, the Montana-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist welcomes everyone into her world on a series of 2023 singles and much more to come.
2023 brought yet another new chapter in her musical career as she tapped producer Ryan Hadlock [Zach Bryan, The Lumineers] to produce a recording session at the iconic Bear Creek Studios in Woodinville, WA. She came out on the other side with a vibrant and vital vision that was brought to life on the single “Neon Wasteland.”
Logjam Presents is pleased to welcome Big Richard & Madeline Hawthorne for a live in concert performance at the The ELM on Thursday, February 8, 2024.
Tickets are on sale at the The ELM Box Office, online or by phone at 1 (800) 514-3849. All tickets are general admission standing room only, and all ages are welcome.