MUSIC

 

One-time rocker Richard Schroder looks to Nashville for inspiration and comes up with Drive, a new record that straddles country pop and rock somewhere between Tim McGraw and Blake Shelton, Garth Brooks and Keith Urban.

Like the best country music, Schroder’s work is impeccably constructed and beautifully realized. “Drivin’,” the first single, brings it with a sweet hook and big singalong chorus. "Pray for You" is an acoustic tune that blossoms like a flower in the sun. “Wildest Dreams” is tight and rockin' with a soaring melody and great guitar solo. ”Backseat Love” is a sly dose of sexy nostalgia.

For Schroder, whose hard work and perseverance have him poised for success, the only thing that matters is having great songs. And he has just that—eleven of them—on Drive.

 
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about

 
The songwriting is first rate, the singing is emotional and expressive and the players on Richard Schroder’s new recording are simply sensational. The combination makes for a fun and easy to listen to journey.
— Steve Seskin, Hit Songwriter (Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw and Waylon Jennings)
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Someone pretty smart once pointed out, “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” No one knows that to be truer than Richard Schroder.

As a musician, Schroder demands a lot of himself. In fact, he’d rather do things the hard way if that means it’s the right way. One of his colleagues, songwriting coach Steve Seskin, a hit songwriter who’s written for many of Nashville’s biggest names, describes him as the real deal. “His willingness to rewrite till it’s right sets him apart from many other singer/songwriters who settle for good rather than going for greatness.”

One thing’s for sure, Schroder never settles. His aptly titled new album, Drive, two years in the making, has been written and rewritten more than a Hollywood script, with the sort of fanatical dedication only a diehard songwriter like Schroder can muster.

“Rich is an excellent writer and singer,” says his producer Brian Charles, who worked on the album at his own red-hot Zippah Recording Studios in Boston. “But it’s his ‘don’t quit till it’s as good as it can be’ attitude that really shines through the whole project.”

Schroder has always had the tools. He’s written, rehearsed, toured and played plenty, with a stockpile of legit songs and a great band to play them with. Then… he started having second thoughts.

After stepping back and taking an honest look at where he was going, he realized he’d become a rock and roll stereotype: “Earnest, hardworking musician has a blast, spins his wheels.” Despite giving a persistent effort, his career never got the traction he sought. “Nothing was happening,” he recalls. “When I realized that, I stopped having fun.” Schroder packed up his guitar and walked away.

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    In retrospect, he has a pretty good idea what happened. “I was just too young,” he says. “Early on, I didn’t know what I was talking about. I didn’t have much insight. I believe I had the right idea, but I wasn’t writing good lyrics and my approach to songwriting was all wrong.”

    He took some time to absorb the change. A growing family, a rewarding business and a book publishing deal led him down a very different, rewarding path. But even then, the flame of making it in music never died. “That goal never faded,” he says. “I knew I wasn’t done.”

    Energized by hope and driven by his dream, Schroder rededicated himself to improving his skills and reinvigorating his repertoire. To help him achieve that, he turned to where else? the epi-center of song, Nashville, Tennessee.

    With a bunch of demos and a renewed focus, Schroder joined the Nashville Songwriter’s Association and enlisted expert tutelage from some of Music City’s best tradesmen. They coached him, tweaked his songs and set him on the path to making great music. Schroder’s songs benefited enormously from the expertise and enhanced his grasp on songwriting.

    Following the old adage, “nothing worth doing is ever easy,” Schroder rewrote and revised, edited and revised, rerecorded and revised. Producer Brian Charles notes, “Making great records requires hard work, and Rich is one of the most committed and inspired people I've ever worked with. His enthusiasm and his quest to make great music is infectious.”

    What started out as rough tracks began morphing into gems, with bristling verses, spot on bridges and gleaming choruses. Schroder’s new MO became about putting the time in, doing the work, attending to details, crafting his songs into miniature masterpieces. Each of his eleven tracks became a workshop, where themes, lyrics, hooks and melodies were altered and refined. “I went to school,” says Schroder, about his time in a Nashville state of mind. “I learned something new every time they opened their mouths. With songwriters like that, it’s not about ego. It’s about how you take a song and make it the very best it can be.”

    Drive, with its many meanings and connotations, is the result.

    A cross between country pop and rock, Drive straddles genres. Nods go to Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks and Brad Paisley as well as current country stars like Blake Shelton and Keith Urban. The record’s single, “Drivin’,” kicks off with a sweet hook and singalong chorus. "Pray for You" starts out a pretty acoustic tune then opens up like a flower in the summer sun, with simmering organ, gospel singing and sassy horns. “Wildest Dreams” is a tight rocker with a soaring melody and a great guitar solo. “Backseat Love” is a sexy dose of nostalgia.

    Elsewhere, “Nashville Girl,” is endearing and sweet, and highlights Schroder's sublime lyrical simplicity: ”One song and I was hooked/She sang as pretty as she looked.” “Someone Else” features a poignant lyric about a lost love, adorned by a melancholy cello. Each of Drive’s songs is worth talking about. It’s an expertly crafted, accessible work that is immediate even as it reveals enchanting layers with repeated listens.

    It also helps that the record stars the best musicians Schroder could get his hands on, including guitarist Duke Levine (Peter Wolf, Aimee Mann, Roseanne Cash, Mary Chapin Carpenter), keyboard player Jamie Edwards (Sara Bareilles, Michael Bublé, Lori McKenna), bassist Annie Hoffman (the Field Effect) and drummer Steve Chaggaris (Amy Fairchild, Ken Clark Organ Trio). There were also a number of additional musicians and back-up singers to round out the recording. “Everybody on this album is a better musician than me,” Schroder laughs. “I had to work way harder than everybody I was with. They have natural talent and they still work their asses off.”

    The finished tracks traveled to Portland, Maine, where Bob Ludwig put on the finishing touches. If anyone knows how to derive top quality sound from a recording, it’s the Grammy-laden sound engineer, who has worked with Springsteen, McCartney, Hendrix and Zeppelin, along with names of a younger generation: Beyonce, Beck and Carrie Underwood.

    “The reward has been in the journey,” Schroder says, finally content to take a step back and appreciate this accomplishment after an incredible period of reconstruction and rebirth. Schroder wanted to write great songs and he now hopes that these new creations will simply take on a life of their own, not to mention get to work on a follow-up. “If you don’t have great songs in this business,” he says, “Nothing else matters.”

 
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Videos

 

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Live Shows

 

November 4th, 1:00, Food Truck Festival, Cranford, NJ (opening for alden Street)

 

October 29th, 1:00, Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ (opening for alden Street)

 

October 28th, 7:00, Crossroads, Garwood, NJ (opening for alden Street)

 

September 25th, 8:00, Loretta's last call, Boston, MA

 

September 19th, 9:00, Main Street Cafe, Concord, MA

 

August 7th, 7:30, Loretta's last call, Boston, MA

 

July 21st, 6:00, The Country, Nashville, TN

 

July 20th, 10:30, The Commodore Lounge, Nashville, TN

 

July 9th, 8:15, The Madbatter, Cape May, Nj

 

 

 

 
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radio

The following Country Radio Stations are playing the Drive Album!

KINO     KINO Radio 1230 Winslow Arizona
KDOL The Wolf Radio 105.5     Livingston Texas
KAGH Crossett Radio 1049 Crossett Arkansas

 

The following College Radio Stations are playing the Drive Album!

AM1700 Community Radio Michigan Ypsilanti Michigan
KBSU Boise State Boise Idaho
KCR San Diego State University San Diego California
KDHX St. Louis Community Radio St. Louis Missouri
KKCR Kauai Community Radio Hanalei Hawaii
KMUD Redwood Community Radio Redway California
KNDS North Dakota State University Fargo North Dakota
KSJS San Jose State University San Jose California
KSYM San Antonio College San Antonio Texas
KTCV Kennewick High School Kennewick Washington
KUOI Universtiy of Idaho Moscow Idaho
KUWS Universtiy of Wisconsin Superior Wisconsin
MET Metropolitian State University of Denver Denver Colorado
SCAD Savannah College Atlanta Georgia
WARY Westchester Community College Valhalla New York
WBNY Buffalo State College Buffalo New York
WBOR Bowdoin College Brunswick Maine
WDCV Dickinson College Carlisle Pennsylvania
WIPZ Universtiy of Wisconsin - Parkside Kenosha Wisonsin
WLFR Richard Stockton College of NJ Galloway New Jersey
WMCO Muskingum University New Concord Ohio
WSIA CUNY Staten Island Staten Island New York
WSYC Shippensburg University Shippensburg Pennsylvania
WUDR University of Dayton Dayton Ohio
WUSO Whittenberg University Springfield Ohio
WVCW Virginia Commonwealth College Richmond Virginia
WVIA PBS Pennslyvania Pittston Pennsylvania
WXIN Rhode Island College Providence Rhode Island
WCVF SUNY Fredonia Fredonia New York
Radio Phoenix Phoenix Center for the Arts Phoenix Arizona
WAYN Wayne State University Detroit Michigan
WMUC University of Maryland College Park Maryland
BearCast Radio University of Cincinnati Cincinnati Ohio
KEUL Glacier City Radio Girdwood Arkansas
KLCZ Lewis Clark State College Lewiston Idaho
KMNR University of Missouri-Rolla Rolla Missouri
KRFP Moscow Idaho Radio Moscow Idaho
KSLU SE Louisiana University Hammond Lousiana
KSSU CSU Sacramento Sacramento California
KUNV University of Nevada Las Vegas Nevada
KWCW Whitman College Walla Walla Washington
KWLC Luther College Decorah Iowa
KZMU Moab Community Radio Moab Utah
Laselle Laselle College Newton Massachusetts
WDWN Cayuga Comm. College Auburn New York
WGLS Rowan University Glassboro New Jersey
WHFR Henry Ford Community College Dearborn Michigan
WMPG University of Southern Maine Portland Maine
WMUL Marshall University Portland Maine
WNSU Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale Florida
WNYO SUNY Oswego Oswego New York
WOJB Woodland Community Radio Hayward Wisconsin
WSIN Southern CT State New Haven Connecticut
WTCC Springfield Technical Comm. College Springfield Massachusetts
WXAV Saint Xavier College Chicago Illinois
WWSU Washington West University Dayton Ohio
WWUH University of Hartford West Hartford Connecticut
WHWS Hubart/William Smith College Geneva New York
KBBI Alaska National Public Radio Homer Alaska
KCSU Colorado State Univ. Fort Collins Colorado
WGMU George Mason University Fairfax Virginia
WIDR Western Michigan University Kalamazoo Michigan
WNIA Nash Community College Rocky Mount North Carolina
WRRC Rider University Lawrenceville New Jersey
CHMR Memorial U of Newfoundland St. Johns Newfoundland
CJAM University of Windsor Grosse Pointe Michigan
KAOS Evergreen State College Olympia Washington
KNSU Nicholls State University Thibodaux Louisiana
KPUR The Armadillo Forest Grove Oregan
KRZA National Public Radio Colorado Alamosa Colorado
WMRC Middlebury College Middlebury Vermont
WSOE Elon College Elon College North Carolina
WUTK University of Tennessee Knoxville TN
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Press

 

magazine Interviews / other

Vents Magazine - Read Full Review

 

FULL ALBUM REVIEWS

"Drive is a masterpiece!"

Warlock Asylum - Read Full Review

 

"A meticulously crafted set of songs that have quintessential country elements with Schroder’s own unique spin on them."

Skope Magazine - Read Full Review

 

"Richard Schroder is a country music storm cloud ready to break!"

TunedLoud - Read Full Review

 

"There are moments of songwriting virtuosity which, without a doubt, will help to boost this album to its rightful heights."

Buden Bay - Read Full Review

 

“Richard is a perfectionist country singer, which comes through strongly in each of his pieces. His great lyrics and sound urges us to continue listening and won’t let us stop.”

Music Industry News Network - Read Full Review

 

“On “Drive” Richard Schroder touches upon the true spirit of rock and roll with a great glorious rush of energy..”

Beach Sloth - Read Full Review

 

“This is a slice of country-pop in all the best traditions of modern radio-friendly tunes.”

(Ireland) Lonesome Highway - Read Full Review

 

“Drive features a collection of exciting songs with a timeless feel and unique take on genres as diverse as rock, country, and pop.”

The Band Camp Diaries - Read Full Review

 

"Drivin'" SINGLE REVIEWS

“An embracive track, that captures the mind, heart, and soul.”

Nataliez World - Read Full Review

 

“The lyrics of this country music by Richard Schroder are second to none.” 

Skope Magazine - Read Full Review

 

“Schroder is a talented musician with a passion for great melodies and vibrant arrangements.”

The Bandcamp Diaries - Read Full Review

 

“Richard Schroder balances tenderness and determination on the fantastic “Drivin'”, a song that lingers in the mind with perfectly catchy infectious hooks.”

Beach Sloth - Read Full Review

 

“The country music world’s diamond in the rough."

Warlock Asylum - Read Full Review

 

“Great country sound, with a fullness that doesn’t skip a beat.”

Music Industry News Network - Read Full Review

 

“A contagious, memorable hook carries itself over a delicious sound bed of awesome guitar tones and radio-ready pop appeal.”

Middle Tennessee Music - Read Full Review

 

“Richard Schroder’s voice has a genuine, heartfelt tone – it’s an accessible sound, not claiming to be on some other plain to the listener, but rather, expressing as if this is precisely the kind of person they can relate to.”

Stereo Stickman - Read Full Review

 

“It feels like a classic right from the first play through its simple but effective hooks, addictive chorus, clean but impressive guitar lines, rock driven urgency and groove some country vibe.”

Dancing About Architecture - Read Full Review

 

“As a listener, you can’t help but feel the authenticity in Richard’s words.”

Ratings Game Music - Read Full Review

 

conNECT

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RICHARD SCHRODER

richardmschroder@gmail.com

College radio promotion

brandon@tinderboxmusic.com

Country radio promotion

nancy@grassrootspromotion.com

Press promotion

krista@tinderboxmusic.com

press@tinderboxmusic.com

Social media contact

jim@grassrootspromotion.com

john@grassrootspromotion.com

 

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