June 4, 2020 by 1888media
When he isn’t holding down a solid groove playing bass or writing the occasional Texas Music Chart #1 (“Last Last Chance“) with the Randy Rogers Band, Johnny “Chops” Richardson is charting his own path through the muddy waters of a soul-soaked roots rock revival.
While “sheltering-in-place” in April of 2020, working on new material, the follow-up to his critically-acclaimed 2018 self-titled album that spawned the singles “Believer,” “Ten Cent Talkers,” and “Taking A Chance on Me,” Chops found himself in the throes of the constant stream of fear and uncertainty and ended up drafting a passage of positivity entitled, “Hope Is Contagious Too.”
Enlisting former Reckless Kelly guitarist David Abeyta to add some blazing guitar work and his deft touch as a producer, the song is incredibly powerful in its message and method. It packs an emotional punch without pandering.
Richardson recalls its evolution, “On a rainy Saturday afternoon, instead of getting ready to play a show somewhere far from home, my wife and I sat on our back porch and wrote a song. I cut acoustic guitar and vocals in my small home studio and then sent those to David who added electric guitar, drums, bass, piano and harmony vocals. Michael Ramos (John Mellencamp, Joe Ely, John Dee Graham) was the only other contributor, laying down some soaring Hammond B3 organ. It was exciting to see our vision come together, remotely, as we created a deeply textured and fully realized song. I’m incredibly thankful for the artistry of my collaborators and their willingness to work unconventionally.”
Set to hit streaming services June 12 with additional songs to follow in July and September, Richardson finds himself cresting a creative wave under the thematic influence of Yours, Mine and The Truth.
In conjunction with Hope’s digital release is a poignant music video that features vintage home movie clips from his wife Andy (Andrea is her birth name) who helped pen the lyrics. Johnny enjoyed the waltz down memory lane, “We burned a day setting up a Brownie projector and rummaging through a box of 8mm family film. After watching it all, we decided it would make a great background for a video. We hope this footage will be a great way to remind people: Life will go on, and love will continue to carry us all through the toughest of times.”
The unearthed footage features the Overton family, primarily Fred, Pat, Andy, Renee and Alan with appearances by their grandparents, aunts, and some close family friends. 50% of all proceeds from the song and its corresponding merchandise, which includes a ‘Hope Is Contagious Too’ t-shirt and custom facemask, will be donated to the Orange Dot Crew, a local Austin canine rescue group that rescues “naughty” shelter dogs (whose files are labeled with an orange dot) from the Austin Animal Center and trains them to adjust to life outside the shelter, in preparation for adoption.
Logging 100-150 dates during a normal calendar year, both solo and with RRB, Chops will embark on his first live shows since early March with a 10-day run in July with North Carolinian Kevin Daniel as they trek through Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
For the most up-to-date info, please visit Johnny Chops Music.