Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rebecca Richards, based in Pontypool, is set to release her debut single “Unluckiest of Hearts” on October (13/10/22) on all digital and streaming platforms. Between October and December 2022, a mini tour will take the band to London’s Camden Club, Bourton’s Live Music Cafe Bar in Tredegar, Pontypool’s Panteg House Employees Club, and the South Wales Country Music Festival in Newport, South Wales. “Unluckiest of Hearts” is a classic piano-based blues ballad filled with Rebecca’s warm and welcoming vocals, drawing the listener into the world of someone who finds themselves yet to find and feel love.
During the lockdown years, Rebecca rediscovered her musical creativity and came across the nationwide celebrity backed age-positive movement “Talent Is Timeless’ for songwriters over 50. She entered and won not just one but two of the monthly competitions, as well as being long listed in the 2022 global competition. The artwork for the single was created by Simon Glossop, also a singer-songwriter and fellow Talent is Timeless member who goes by the stage name of Simon Sometime.
She sat down with Rock the Joint Magazine to tell us a little about the forthcoming single and where she is musically at the moment.
Rebecca- I’ve been involved with music in some shape or form all of my life, but over the last couple of years I got back involved with music again, and over the last couple of years I was part of a duo, Ruby Rebels with my friend, with whom I share a love of country music (and ice skating). We started to sing together, doing country covers pre Lockdown, posting videos on Facebook to entertain family and friends over the pandemic. Then during that time I was involved with songwriting, always a love of mine, and we did a couple of my songs together. But then, in December 2021, I discovered an online songwriting group for people over 50 called “Talent is Timeless,” and my songwriting started in earnest then. We have online songwriting contests and we write to certain themes. My first single, “Unluckiest of Hearts,” was the one noted by my peers as the one they liked best. Over the last few months, I’ve been doing live gigs and been in the studio.
We really hope that it takes off, as the single is beautiful, your voice is lovely, and the song has a wonderful blues feel, but you can tell you have a country background. We feel that the blues may come later in life. You develop the blues as life goes by and you develop this in your songwriting.
Rebecca- The theme of life experience is that you have to have lived to sing the blues. I feel that about songwriting generally, in whatever genre. As a younger person, I found making tunes came relatively easily to me, but the lyrics were a struggle. I had a decent childhood. There was no trauma to talk about, and the happy songs could get cheesy. I put off the songwriting until I find I have the lived experiences, and feel brave enough to express through my music. The blues genre I want to explore in my writing lends itself to expressive exploration of a life lived. I write in different eclectic styles, rock, soul, country, or blues. I have not left country music in my style. Isn’t everything in life a blend?
Here at the magazine we thought, country singer when we heard it, but it was lyrically blues. Then again we feel here in the magazine that British Blues is splitting between quite heavy rock infused blues and country blues. It is also distinctively different from the American Southern Blues.
Rebecca- I think this is the case. British Blues is a wide spectrum and there is something there for all. I feel with this record it is quite old school, but I like old school, so it appeals to me.
Music is for everybody, and we want to promote new bands and artists, and there should be no age bar! In her interview with us, Brenna Red of “The Last Gang,” commented that there is no age bar to liking/discovering her music. It was never a case that you grow too old to love discovering new sounds.
Rebecca- That is part of my thought process. In my village, we would go to church, and my parents are in their 80’s now, and the church is all modernised, and they sing different songs and pray differently. The words have been modernised. Yet my parents look for something more familiar, something that connects to what they know. I feel that resonates for people of my generation, and older. They like the songs they liked when younger and they search for songs similar to what they enjoyed in their youth. That doesn’t mean people can’t write songs that connect to that generation, why can we not have music with a thought to the older generation sometimes? The Beatles never go out of fashion, do they?
Plans Rebecca? We note you are an independent artist at the moment, and are heading off on tour. Would you like to tell us a bit about your plans?
Rebecca- I have a plan that starts with this single. Currently, I am in the studio recording four more tracks with the aim of putting out a second single from those sessions, maybe before Christmas. Then we would look towards an EP, or maybe an album, in 2023. I have written a few songs that I am seeking to perform in public, so it is exciting times ahead.
We wondered if Rebecca’s partner in crime from Ruby Rebels would be joining her, or if this was a purely solo affair.
Rebecca- It’s a solo affair as my friend is literally having a baby (in December), so congratulations, but she is embarking on her own venture. This was intended as a side venture for me, but is now much bigger than I intended. I’d love her to join me on the mini-tour as I love it when she sings with me. When things settle for her, we look to reconvene and go full country. This is more of an exploration of the blues.
We look forward to that! And we will put it out there that we are really looking forward to this release. We can’t put it up here at the moment as it is a week or so off release! But, if you want to explore a lovely piece of modern British blues, then check this out, it’s on release now!
Rebecca Richards – Composition, vocals, keyboards
Photo – Powis Photography
Sam Andrews – Drums, guitar,
production Artwork – Simon Glossop
Matt Evans – Backing vocals
Label – Rebelle works
By Benny (The Ball) Benson
& Mark C Chambers