Blues

Blues piano classes & tuition 
'Improvising Blues Piano' book
 
Blues links


You're listening to In The Balance, a gospel-influenced piano piece with an up-tempo boogie improvisation, performed live by Tim Richards at the Schott Recital Room, London, June 2009. To silence the track, pause the player on the right

Although best known as a jazz pianist, Tim Richards has been a blues fan since seeing Otis Spann with the Muddy Waters band when they visited Britain in the 1960s.

He has been an active performer on the blues scene since around 1988 when he took over the piano chair from Bob Hall in OTIS GRAND's first band, the DANCE KINGS. This ten-piece group toured extensively, playing at many European blues festivals including Peer (Belgium) where they appeared opposite John Lee Hooker. They also toured and recorded with US guitarist JOE LOUIS WALKER who produced their album Always Hot, now available on CD (Indigo IGOXCD505).

 

Since the days of Otis Grand, Tim has performed on and off in the bands of many of Britain's most popular blues artists, such as DANA GILLESPIE, TODD SHARPVILLE, and EARL GREEN. In 1998 he toured Europe with renowned Louisiana guitarist LARRY GARNER, appearing in Britain, Germany, Denmark and Ireland.

Throughout the 1990s, Tim led the funky five-piece Grooveyard, featuring vocalist Kathy Wilson (right) and guitarist T-Bone Taylor, appearing mainly in the South of England.

He also had a monthly Sunday-night residency at West London's famous blues pub The Station Tavern, playing keyboards with vocalist Queen Bee and her band, run by guitarist Jake 'Snake' Zaitz. They appeared at the Colne and Burnley Blues Festivals in 1999 and 2002 and released two very funky CDs on the Snakestone Records label: 'A' (1998) and 'BeeComing' (2002).

In 2002 he appeared at the Eccaussinnes Blues Festival in Belgium with 73-year old harmonica legend MOJO BUFORD (ex-Muddy Waters band).

The photo (left) shows Tim performing at London's 100 Club with Chicago blues singer DEITRA FARR, with whom he toured the UK in October 2004.

In 2006, he teamed up with MIKE PAICE, one of Britain's most in-demand blues and R'n'B sax players, for a series of duo gigs at The Green in South London's East Dulwich Road.

Tim's most recent bluesy project is the Soul Serenade band with vocalist SHIREEN FRANCIS (right), also featuring saxman Dave Blackmore and ex-Jazz Jamaica drummer Kenrick Rowe. Formed in 2008, they have played several gigs at the well-known Barnes jazz pub The Bull's Head, and festival dates as far apart as Algiers and Tonbridge Wells.

The Tim Richards Trio (piano, bass, drums) include some bluesy numbers amongst their mainly jazz repertoire. Their three CDs on the 33 Records label include the following bluesy tracks:

The Other Side (1998)
Blues in Three, String Bean, Blues the Most
+ title track.
Twelve by Three (2005)
It's A Grand Night for Swinging, Oh Well Oh Well, Whims of Chambers, + title track.
Shapeshifting (2010)
This Here, The Message.


Improvising Blues Piano - book

Tim's blues piano book was published in 1997 by Schott Music, and has been widely acclaimed as the best blues piano tutor on the market. It's a collection of over 60 pieces, complete with CD, assignments, improvisation tips, and an extensive discography of blues pianists.

For more details, and to listen to sample tracks click here.


Rockshool

In 2000 Tim was commissioned to write six bluesy pieces for the Rockschool Popular Piano Syllabus, which appeared in the grade 1-6 books.

You can listen to three of these by clicking on the player below right:

Raised on The Gospel (Grade 4)
Lazy Dog Blues (Grade 5)
Beauville Boogie (Grade 6)

All compositons by Tim Richards, as performed by David Rees-Williams on the ROCKSCHOOL CDs.

 

 



Blues Piano evening classes

In 1990 Tim set up the UK's first (and still the only) weekly blues piano class at London's Goldsmiths College. The course now runs at Morley College on Tuesday evenings,i startng in October.

Click here for information about this and other classes, short courses, workshops and private tuition.