Richard Koechli's albums
Lucerne lies on the banks of the Mississippi too!
«Brilliantly delivered original compositions, deeply rooted in traditional blues Richard Koechli bows before the legends and gets every bluesloving soul moving. If it weren't for the few songs written in Swissdialect, no one would ever come to the conclusion that this exceptional celebration of sounds from the motherland of the blues is being delivered by someone from along the Reuss River in Lucerne. Koechli impressively proves why he is considered to be one of Europe s leading blues and slide guitarists.» (Guido Schmidt, Founder of Lucerne Blues Festival)
«Richard Koechli is our best ambassador of the blues. We are very proud that he wrote the jubilee song 'Lucerne is a Blues Town' for our 20th Lucerne Blues Festival in 2014!» (Kari Bründler, President of Lucerne Blues Festival)
Richard Koechli's albums ...
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The latest albums ...
The homage to the master
Fontastix 324117 (CD & Book), distrokid (digital)
J.J. Cale (1938 - 2013) is considered one of the most influential songwriters of the 20th century. Admired by stars like Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler or Neil Young, he leaves behind an invaluable legacy: world hits like Cocaine or After Midnight, a unique guitar style, an inimitable vocal aesthetic.
Swiss Blues Award winner Richard Koechli now respectfully and idiosyncratically interprets 10 of Cale's immortal songs - and even writes a book about the laid-back pioneer; a personal, subjective view of Cale's music and career, the myths that surrounded him, the historical context and the philosophy of musical restraint.
The sound recordings were made during the Covid-19 lockdown in spring 2020; Koechli hid in the studio, worked in the manner of a maverick (as Cale often did at the time), was partly supported at a distance by his live band - and now conjures 10 songs out of a hat that don't even try to come close to the originals. A very personal album that brings the master's splendours to new life without betraying their basic spirit. As an encore, 3 more songs from Koechli's pen that demonstrate Cale's influence.
Can be streamed and downloaded, of course - but the crowning glory is only physical: Koechli's 368-page book «The Silent Master» (hardcover german edition) is not available in bookstores, but exclusively as a free supplement to the CD. The book simply does not exist, has no ISBN number – it's a pure gift from fan to fan. «I don't want to make money with J.J. Cale's legacy – among real Cale fans you don't deal, you give each other presents», says Koechli.
This is called «Deluxe Edition» – and with the CD also come many download-goodies (an English and French book translation, mp3-files, 24bit-WAV master files and an unreleased HD concert video of Koechli's trio formation). You can order it worldwide!
Even more good news: Now, «The Real Chill» is released as a vinyl double LP!
Richard Koechli & Blue Roots Company – «Parcours» (Fontastix 323857, LC 16043)
80 minutes of finest Roots-Music from Swiss Blues Award-winning Slideguitar player Richard Koechli
Not just Blues, but footprints of Soul, Folk, Jazz, Pop, Country and Rock. A seductive balance of rhythmic contrasts, melodiousness and relaxed unobtrusiveness holds everything together – in a way that reminds us of Laidback masters such as J. J. Cale. 16 songs, a wonderfully dynamic band – and Koechli's voice, which has found its home somewhere between intimate Folk singing and soulful Blues power. "One of the strongest and most unique roots-Blues records of the year!" (Blues Blast Magazine, USA)
--> also available in an instrumental version for film music contact: info(at)richardkoechli.ch
«Parcours» receives excellent reviews worldwide: --> read the press review
About the album «Parcours» – track by track ...
Many thanks for the wonderful pictures Micha Eicher (www.scharfsinn.ch) captured at the release concert on March 29th 2018 at the Hotel Schweizerhof Lucerne. Please do not use without asking / copyright!
--> To pre-listen to the songs click on the respective title
«They're not just making music, they ARE music - in New Orleans, at every street corner and in every club. These are unspectacular, real stars that don't need artificial lighting. This spirit, and this enormous power to continue when everything is lost - that inspires me!»
Special Guest: The dreamlike Bluesharp of Swiss Blues Award winner Walter Baumgartner gives the song that certain Zydeco touch.
«Not only as a guitarist, but also as a singer and songwriter I learned a lot from the blues: You don't have to write a poetic masterpiece with eight verses à la Dylan - a few simple sentences, an emotion, that's it. No revolution, no provocation, but incredibly liberating.»
«There's not much talking in my band. 'My' boys know intuitively and with incredible style certainty how they can enchant every song. As an example here: That piece was almost finished; a typical electric guitar song, I wasn't sure if there was room for more - and then Heini Heitz played this incredibly coherent acoustic guitar solo (03:03 - 03:32) and Dani Lauk played these wonderfully earthy bluesharp phrases on it. Now the song was complete!»
«About the things that really matter. Happiness to be free, far from wealth and force, but close to the great gifts of liveliness. Love, friends, passion, health, a warm breeze on the face and birdsong in the ears. And when my keyboard player Michael Dolmetsch makes the song dance with such a unique riff, the world is perfect!»
The song finally became the first single of the album; --> Video-Clip
A nice gift was also the feedback from colleague Philipp Fankhauser to this song: «I don't write stuff about other musos too often. But man, it seems to me that Richard Koechli is the only one of the roots & blues guys in Switzerland able to lay it sooo far back until it gets that very particular JJCale kinda feel. Well done, Mr. Koechli, love it!»
«The years have passed since the great Laid-Back Master left us in 2013. To fly musically, without drive, in a relaxed glide: J.J. Cale taught us this art. When I wrote the first of my 16 album songs in summer 2016, J.J. must have been very close by - it was this number here, it came to me in one piece. Within minutes. And now when I hear what my band has made of it - I am even more surprised at the sovereignty with which J.J. whispered into the ears of every single one of my musicians.»
Marc Winter about this song in his album review on bluesnews.ch: «To describe a single title as outstanding would be like offsetting the jewels on a crown against each other. But the song that occupies the middle of my crown above my forehead is 'Just look what you have done'. The song has an addictive jazzy groove that smells of gumbo, soulful, mysterious.»
«I love hooklines, melodies that go straight to the heart, and I've always sung French too - a wonderful musical language. My mother is French. And my sweetheart is French: Evelyne; for 25 years we are in love!» 'A drop of love is more than an ocean of mind' (as said Blaise Pascal)
«An allusion to the legendary song by Tampa Red: 'Don't you lie to me'. There are a lot of wonderful interpretations, my favourite one is Albert King's (under the title'I get evil'). But I didn't want to cover the song, I wanted to give it a completely new message: You never lie to me, LORD. Gospel! Who says that blues always has to deal only with the devil...?»
Special Guest: Stefan Künzli's incredibly energetic saxophone is the crowning touch. Anyone who experienced Stefan's performance at the release concert in Lucerne knows that he also adds a special dimension to every show on stage.
«Familiarity, rootedness and gratitude to my wonderful parents Marlise and Walter Köchli - there's only one way to capture this feeling with an intimate, very slow jazz blues: in the language of my childhood, which is Swiss German. The incredible accuracy with which my band deepens the Mood makes me once again speechless: Fausto Medicis inimitable sounding drums e.g., or David Zopfis fine breathing contrabass!»
«And the wonderfully warm sound of my Swiss made 'Relish Jane' guitar (left in stereo panorama), in combination with the 'Artesound'-guitar amplifier (italien-made) and my long-time 'Harper Silvertube'-Amp (Swiss made) - almost turns the Bluesman Koechli into a Jazz Player ...»
«Our streets are paved with their sweat, yet workers constantly get the feeling:'It is the employer who creates the world'. It seems to me that the spirit of slavery has not yet been finally defeated. Decent remuneration hurts him, but respect and appreciation for those who work are an abomination to that spirit. Let's keep weakening him with this song.»
Koechi's 'Relish Jane' guitar with slide in Open-D tuning, Fausto Medici's percussion art, David Zopfi's subtle bass foundation - and on top of it, for a second time, the hardworking bluesharp by Specialguest Walter Baumgartner.
«Evelyne Rosier had long ago written a song about child-labour. A very sensitive subject! I think the text is great; it manages to express respect for these children, to admire their courage - and at the same time to appeal for their fate, to take responsibility. My musicians make a dreamlike 'Psychedelic Bluesrock Shuffle' out of it, Evelyne sings in the chorus - and 7 minutes go by as if in flight ...»
«My homage to the great slide master Tampa Red (1904 - 1981); it's the song to my recently published biography (in german) about this almost forgotten blues legend. Of course Tampa Red had not only played light-hearted songs of this kind, but he mastered that 'Hokum Blues'-style brilliantly. And this style is a lot of fun, even if you take away a traditional element from it - namely the indecent and ambiguous texts ...»
«By chance I met my then best school friend again: Stefan Burn. A fantastic feeling after more than 40 years. One year later Stefan died completely unexpectedly; his fate made me first angry - the song may radiate that. But basically only one thing counts: That I was allowed to meet Stefan in life is a gift.»
12 – Mother Nature
«No matter how you think about climate change: the changes are there, they affect us - and will do even more in the future. Our relationship with Mother Nature could not be closer. The desire to give something back does not have to mean bitter renunciation. For me 'Go green' is joy of life, organic products are pure pleasure. Thank you, Evelyne, for the inspiration!»
13 – Etat d'urgence (Urgency)
«This track was written by a good friend from France, my brother-in-law JB Rosier. He sings the song himself. Unbelievable, JB wrote the text more than 20 years ago - today he hits the nail on the head: The world in a state of emergency! As a symbol for this unrest the constant dueling and harmonizing of my two lead guitars - 'twin leads' in honour of the great Allman Brothers.»
--> english translation of the lyrics (download PDF)
«I always wanted to cover this song - and if so, then in a rather unconventional version. Willie Dixon is one of the great songwriters of blues history; his message here hits the mark in a funny way: Every prejudice is one too many! Max Stenz's arrangement idea and Michael Dolmetsch's boogie woogie piano also hit the mark ...»
15 – Irish Man
«As a great admirer of Celtic melodic art, I would like to be grateful for the wonderful Irish music culture - through this ballad about the wisdom of the old man. And on occasion also to say thanks to Mark Knopfler from Scotland, who showed me at that time - e.g. with his music for the film 'Cal' from 1984 - how such themes can be realized as a folk rock band. Tom Aebi plays the Uillean Pipes on my song, Paddy Bütler fiddle, Dani Lauk Irish flute, Michael Dolmetsch the accordion, and Evelyne Rosier sings with me in the chorus. I wanted to write a real hymn; for me a very important song, also in terms of lyrics.»
16 – Merci
«It comes quite late, but it is more than appropriate, because today I know: Those were great teachers back then, and they didn't have the easiest job with me. However, it was a dreamily easy job for me to play this wonderful 'Palomas' acoustic guitar, handmade by Hans Peter Holzer (1954 - 2021).»