Take Away Shows

Season 8 Episode 826

Richard Swift

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Richard Swift
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This session marked my third (and southern-most) outing down to the great state of Oregon for a Take-Away shoot. Richard was having a birthday party at his studio in Cottage Grove, a few miles south of Eugene, and so it was suggested to me by a rep at Secretly Canadian to shoot there. It’s a long drive from Seattle, but the birthday party setting seemed interesting and I had a place to stay in Eugene for the night, so sure, I would make the trek. For me, Richard Swift is an elusive figure. I was familiar with the name, but only slightly familiar with the music. One impressive bit of info I learned was that Wilco was so moved by his Jools Holland performance that they invited him on a 2007 U.S. tour. This definitely struck my curiosity. The songs I had heard I liked immediately. Tracks like "Kisses For The Misses", "As I Go" and "Dressed Up For The Letdown" struck me with their timelessness and well-crafted arrangements as well as Richard’s warm, inviting voice. I became more familiar with his work as the five-hour drive provided quality listening time. I arrived at the property in the leafy environs of Cottage Grove at about 9pm. I made my way past a neat, white house to Richard’s studio behind it. A small group of guests were scattered around, most of them outside around a bonfire. Richard greeted me as I gifted him a pint of tequila, then he showed me around the recording studio loaded with an array of analog gear (including a beautiful recording console given to him by Wilco). It was an intimate party consisting of his close friends and family and then there was me– the stranger with a camera. I enjoyed a cup of strong homemade wine and took in the surroundings. About an hour later Richard and I retreated to the back room where we set-up and then I left him alone to prepare a few songs. He was nervous to perform in such a personal setting, but he wanted to start playing before the alcohol really took hold. Then Richard casually emerged strumming "Dressed Up For Tmoreless
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