Home Hear Now Hear This: Richard March | Let The Winter Come

Now Hear This: Richard March | Let The Winter Come

The singer-songwriter deftly balances the political & the personal on his fourth LP.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “California singer-songwriter Richard March was enjoying a burst of creativity when he had to stop completely while recording an ambitious new album. It was the pandemic shutdown and, like many of his musician peers, March’s 20-year career was swiftly halted, as was a deeply meaningful personal outlet. Yet, through deep introspection and hard work, he has emerged — reinvigorated with a renewed passion for the music he makes and shares.

March’s latest album, Let The Winter Come, his fourth overall, is the product of his love for and dedication to his craft. It speaks to that time of year when he feels the most productive. “I am a winter person — it’s when I feel a strong sense of ‘home,’ and feel ‘held’ by my environment as opposed to threatened. During this time, I am at my most creative,” March shares. The 10-song collection brims with timeless and timely songs that are poetically personal and, at times, pointedly political. “This album has wanted to come out for a long time. It started in my home studio, and was delayed by my time in the Peace Corps and then by the pandemic,” March says. “It was finally the right time to finish it and release it.”

Photo by Kent Lacin.

March is a native Californian who is a transplant to the Sacramento area, where he quickly earned an engaged fanbase and regular performance opportunities. But March’s Bay Area upbringing is indelibly etched in his evocative lyrics, and his storyteller songwriting. His breezy roots-based musicality recalls the heart-on-your-sleeve tradition of Jason Isbell, Patti Griffin, Tom Petty, Paul Simon and Jackson Browne. Thematically, March’s songs explore social commentary, aspirational self-talk, compassion, impressionistic descriptions of his beloved Bay Area hometown, and the many lives he’s lived.

Powerful moments that have shaped his songwriting include the loss of his son to a rare, incurable genetic defect before his first birthday, and the divorce that followed that painful time. March also took time away from performing in 2013 when he joined the Peace Corps and spent 27 months as an education volunteer in Ethiopia. Despite the deeply emotive lyrics and themes explored in his songs, March keeps his tempos bright and his musical language breezy, in keeping with his California, country-soul tradition.

The forthcoming album opens with the hard-luck heartland acoustic-rocker, Leaving, which recalls Steve Earle at his most vulnerable. March opens up here about losing his son and his divorce. His words speak to a lump-in-your-throat swell of emotion. He sings: Leaving, startin’ new / Heavy feet are hard to move / Taking off ‘fore the glue gets dry / Hope you learned a thing or two / Buddy when this is through / You better not ask why.

Photo by Kent Lacin.

On the seething, Abraham, March shines a line on the horrors of modern war, recalling Bob Dylan’s Masters Of War and, more recently, Isbell’s Dress Blues. He points the finger at the politicians, generals, and U.S. military-industrial complex, through the metaphor of Abraham. March tackles the world’s deepening climate and economic crises in Happy New Year with cinematic writing that paints a stirring portrait of the fallout from our “greed is good” model. “The unregulated American capitalism that took off in the 1980’s, decimated the middle class and has left us with an ever widening gap between the 1% vs the 99%,” he says. “Now, post pandemic, economic despair fuels a drug crisis and unaffordable housing creates tent cities.”

On the new record, March is joined by Tyler Ragle, his musical partner of 20 years who plays bass and sings harmony on the record; Steve Randall on lead guitars; organist Brian Steckler; and drummers Charlie Serrano and Larry Schiavone. Let The Winter Come was engineered and co-produced by Matt Baxter at his Baxter’s Ranch Recording in Auburn, Calif., on land that has been in his family for over 100 years.”

Check out Let The Winter Come below and find Richard March on his website, Instagram and Facebook.