Rich has been studying, playing and writing music more than forty years. His main instruments are guitar, bass and harmonica but he also plays many, many other instruments too numerous to name (or not played well enough to claim).
He started in 3rd grade on piano, then violin, then cello, then wood winds, etc. Taking to the stage in high school garage bands he made the change to singer/songwriter in his 20s. After performing as a single for years in and around Denver he moved his family to Powell, WY. Soon he was playing dance music with the likes of Crooked Creek, The Thuggett Bros., The Blackwater Band and Uncle Ray & The Lounge Lizards.
And all that experience finally developed into an album… written, produced, mixed and mastered by Rich. Deep, melodic, danceable, thoughtful, fun, memorable… that's what people are saying. Listen and decide for yourself.
Guaranteed Good… by a songwriting FOOL.
Every so often an artist comes along with the ability to turn your head inside out, upside down and backwards. Rich Cloud is such a man, a singer/songwriter with a quirky vision and loads of personality, a roots rocker who taps into the folk, blues, rock and country at the heart of American music and transforms them into something fresh and new. Cloud is married with children and grandchildren and at an age when most of his peers are ready to retire, seems determined to launch a successful career as a wandering minstrel.
He?s based in Powell, WY and has played with lots of bands you¹ve never heard of - Crooked Creek, The Thuggett Bros., The Blackwater Band and Uncle Ray & The Lounge Lizards ¬ but if some enterprising indie label gives Fool the wider distribution it deserves, the CD could be a major contender for Americana album of the year. Fool is an embarrassment of riches. Cloud and his backing band, Ed Cook on guitar, ?Uncle Ray? Fetzer on keys and drummer Steve Vaughn play with understated authority. The funky, bare bones production lends the music an authentic, back porch air but it?s Cloud?s songwriting that steals the show.
There are ten tunes on the album and not one clunker; most of them have the ring of bar band classics. All You Got Tonight kicks things off in high gear. It?s the road house rocker every bar band plays to an indifferent audience ¬ ?order a drink, cause maybe we stink, we?re all you got tonight? ¬ but the humor and musicianship let you know this is a band that kicks serious butt. The Piggy Song is an ode to Porky Pig, a snide bit of basic R&B worthy of Lieber and Stoller. You can imagine The Coasters covering it and getting a hit. Destiny has plenty of old time cowboy twang and a classic pop feel. If Fred Astaire ever made a Western movie, this would be the song he?d sing to his best cowgirl. Cloud takes credible shots at swamp rock (Save Ya Now) Memphis blues (Fool) and anything else he attempts, including a Chicago style blues about playing golf (Follow That Ball.)
If you like down home music played with wit and style, you?ll love Fool. Cloud is a true American original, waiting to be discovered. Let?s hope he doesn?t have to wait too long. (j. poet)