Richard Shindell’s songs paint pictures, tell stories, juxtapose ideas and images, inhabit characters, vividly evoking entire worlds along the way and expanding our sense of just what it is a song may be. Taking up the guitar at the age of eight, he made his first attempts at songwriting during college, where he studied Philosophy. After college and a nine month stint in a Zen Buddhist community in Upstate New York, he headed to Europe with his guitar, performing in the Paris Metro. Upon running out of money, and despite being an atheist, he was accepted by Union Theological Seminary (NY), beginning his studies in 1986. Three years in an M.Div. program did nothing to cure him of his atheism. However, it did inspire his first “keeper”: “On a Sea of Fleur de Lis.”
More songs followed. He began frequenting a well-known songwriters circle on Houston Street in New York City. He started to think of himself as a songwriter, abandoning his theological studies. He released solo albums and, in 1998, Shindell joined forces with his friends Dar Williams and Lucy Kaplansky to make ‘Cry Cry Cry’ (Razor and Tie), leaving audiences spellbound by their gorgeous three-part harmonies. By then Shindell was beginning to stretch out as a harmony singer, guitarist and performer. With each successive record he toured relentlessly, building a solid following of loyal fans. Although known primarily as songwriter, Shindell takes a more holistic view of his career. Producer, writer, singer, guitarist, interpreter: it all adds up to a life in music.
Shindell is back with a new CD of original songs ” and that in itself is remarkable. ‘Careless’ is a project that stretched out over three year, between his work on The Pine Hill Project with Lucy Kaplansky and his life in Buenos Aires, Argentina (where he lives with his family). Shindell calls his new songs “ambitious and lush” and they stretch his musical sound into a place that is a little more electric blues than before. The collection is filled with the life stories and moments in time that make Shindell one of the most-powerful songwriters of his generation. Richard Shindell made his way to Beehive Studios in Saranac Lake, New York, in August of 2016 to talk about the power of change and play a few songs from ‘Careless.’ Hear the interview and watch exclusive performance videos.