Richie, you've had some highlights so far in your career, and it looks like you're ready to take the next step. What's happening right now in your career?
- Richie - "Right now I'm really excited because I've got a new team I'm working with. That's what's different for me. I started working with Martha (So Much Moore) in September, and started working with Cliff Doyle as my manager in December, and it's helped to raise my profile since that time. Right now I'm working with a new producer, J. Gary Smith, who's worked with Andy Griggs and Lonestar. We've got four tracks done on my next CD, and we're looking a release sometime in late summer, more realistically sometime like October 1, and I'm really excited about that."
Where would you place yourself among contemporary artists with the type of music that you play?
- Richie - "I would say it's a kind of rockin' country kind of thing, certainly with some songs I've done. But I really like ballads and mid-tempo songs that have a strong message and meaning behind them. There are some songs, I wouldn't call them traditional, but tending a little more that way, but at the live shows, people know me more for the rockin' country kind of sound."
Since the time you started, up until now, who have you been influenced by?
- Richie - "I'd say early on, the Eagles, and Brooks & Dunn. I've only been out there doing shows for about three years, and since that time, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley have been strong influences."
It looks like with new management group, your whole new team, are focused on the same thing.
- Richie - "Yeah, they are. I'm getting a lot of great material pitched to me from top writers like Chip Martin. He wrote my new single, "When You Love Someone That Much" with Jan Linville. I haven't met them yet, but I'm looking forward to it.
Have you done many duets, or sung with other artists?
- Richie - "I haven't, no, but I'd love to do that."
Anyone in particular you'd like to sing with?
- Richie - "Jennifer Nettles, certainly."
These days, it seems that you have to be a good songwriter to progress as a performer. Is there any particular song that you've heard that made you think "That's the song I should have written"? A song that hits you right where it counts, one that seems like it was written about your life?
- Richie - "Yes, absolutely, and it's "Believe", the Brooks & Dunn song. It's a song that just love, one that I sing a lot in shows. That one really hits home for me."
What's down the road for you?
- Richie - "The big focus for the next several months until the end of the year is finishing the CD, I've got seven more tracks to go on it, extending the tour and trying to promote the CD. I've got a new single out right now, "When You Love Someone That Much". We just got that out for radio, and it should be going for adds in the next few weeks. We kind of know what song we're coming with after that, but we're holding that one back."
Any surprises on the CD?
- Richie - "Surprises? Yeah, there probably will be a couple of surprises on there, yeah. There may even be a non-country surprise on the CD, we'll see."
How long have you been writing songs?
- Richie - "For about ten years."
As far as keepers, songs that you've got "in the bucket", saving for a later CD, how many would you say you've got?
- Richie - "I've probably got fifteen or twenty that I feel good about."
Are there any of the new guys in Country music that have been in the spotlight in the past year or two that you'd like to collaborate with, or that you keep an eye on?
- Richie - "Yeah, there are. I like to watch what they're doing, see how they're breaking through. People like Jason Michael Carroll, I love his music and listen to him a lot, and Jason Aldean, who's kind of risen up to star level. Some of the newer guys, Jake Owen and Luke Bryan, I like following them as well."
What is it that you think sets you apart from today's other new artists?
- Richie - "I think it's the passion that I put into my performances. Whether it's a ballad or an up-tempo song, I think I bring an intensity that stands out."
When you've devoted yourself exclusively to being on the road and promoting yourself, it sometimes doesn't leave time for much else. Do you do anything as far as giving back to the community?
- Richie - "Definitely, that's very important to me. If I get lucky enough to get more and more notoriety, I sure would like to be able to use that to help out with a lot of causes. I've kind of gotten behind autism. I was involved in a special event that was called "A for Autism", and that's one of the things about my new single that caught my ear, that the first verse is about a single mom raising a child with autism. It's exciting to know that I can use what little fame I've gotten so far to help other people out."
Richie, it's been great talking with you, and I'm looking forward to hearing the new CD.
- Richie - "Thanks very much, it's been great."
Richie Fields lives in rural Marriottsville, Maryland with a big family, and still has a hand in the marketing company he founded. Richie is the proud father of five (three boys, two girls) and two stepchildren. Fields divides his time between performing, family commitments, working out, songwriting, and booking shows.
You can find out more about Richie and his music on the web at his official website Richiefields.com, on MySpace at myspace.com/richiefields, or on Facebook at facebook.com/richie.fields