Singer/songwriter Richard Shindell Returns to his Roots

Folk singer Richard Shindell grew up in Port Washington, where he began taking guitar lessons and learned to sing harmonies in the church choir. While he’s resided in Buenos Aires, Argentina with his family for the last fifteen years, the expatriate is still praised as one of America’s premiere songwriters.

The narrative songwriter graduated from Hobart College in upstate New York before heading to Paris, where he busked in the Metro stations. When he returned to New York he studied philosophy and religion, which inspired him to write his first “keeper song.” He was soon signed to an independent label and won the AFIM ‘Best Contemporary Folk Album’ for his 1997 album, Reunion Hill. With each tour, Shindell developed a loyal fanbase and was asked to join Joan Baez, who also recorded his songs, on tour in 1997.

He was also part of the 1998 folk supergroup Cry Cry Cry with Dar Williams and Lucy Kaplansky. The band released an eponymous album of covers, touring from 1998-2000.

Shindell’s latest album, Tomorrow You’re Going, was made with Kaplansky and includes covers by the likes of Gillian Welch, U2 and Nick Lowe. While putting the finishing touches on an upcoming studio album, Shindell has embarked on a tour of the Northeast which will bring him to the YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, March 19th. Accompanied by Marc Shulman on electric guitar and Radoslav Lorkovic on keys, Shindell will be playing both acoustic and electric guitars, along with the bouzouki. The audience will hear music from all of his records, including the upcoming studio release. The Americana artist discussed his latest album, favorite live experience and the evolution of his sound.

Pulse: How do you describe your sound? How has it evolved?
Richard Shindell: My harmonic and tonal palette has perhaps become wider. When I began doing this 25 years ago, I was very much focused on the acoustic guitar. Now I also use the electric. It’s a wonderfully versatile tool…

Pulse: What inspired your latest album Tomorrow You’re Going?
Shindell: Fellow singer/songwriter Lucy Kaplansky and I had been talking about making an album together for many years. Now was our chance. The songs led the way to the final product. Sometimes songs just want to be together.

Pulse: You’ve toured and worked with many musicians, including Joan Baez. What’s been your most exciting experience so far, and whom would you most like to tour with?
Shindell: Every show, no matter how large or small, high profile or obscure, represents a chance to get it right. And when I feel I have gotten it right, it’s the most exciting show I’ve ever done. Or at least that’s the way it feels. Having said that, touring with Joan was a blast. And to answer the last part of your question, I think I’d most like to see Cry Cry Cry reunite, at least for a few shows. That would be lovely.

lisa heffernan

Lisa Heffernan received a master’s in Communications from Emerson College before moving to New York. She has worked for publications such as: Details, Nylon, Rolling Stone, Time Out, Newport Mercury, American Songwriter and W magazine.