Head shot of JR Richards (original singer Dishwalla)

One of the best voices in rock has been used to describe J.R. Richards. He’s the original singer of Dishwalla, one of my favorite bands to emerge in the 90s. Richards has sold millions of records, written some chart-topping hits and has toured globally. Perhaps his most noteworthy accomplishment was writing “Counting Blue Cars,” which he performed and recorded with Dishwalla. That song won the Billboard “Rock Song of the Year” award in 1996 and two ASCAP awards for “Song of The Year” in 1997 and 1998.

Richards has also recorded a few solo albums and is on the cusp of releasing his next album, the 10th in his career. I only recently became acquainted with his solo work because I was looking for an acoustic cover of “Counting Blue Cars” for an acoustic 80s/90s covers project. I found an acoustic version, but when I saw the singer on that acoustic version, it occurred to me that it wasn’t the original guy. Down the rabbit hole, I went. I don’t know who the new singer is. He’s good, but I’m definitely partial to Richards’ voice. So I found his solo work, website and lots of other info about him that I never knew. I loved Dishwalla, but I’m not what you’d call a super fan. I lost track of the band after they stopped releasing new stuff.

But I am a big fan, so I was stoked when JR agreed to an interview. Speaking with him was kinda weird. The time passed so quickly! I spend most of our time nerding out with him about e-commerce, the importance of email lists and other topics I typically pursue on the podcast. I ended up with several questions that we never got to. The other thing is that he’s a ‘normal’ person, a dad and husband; a very talented normal person, but just a guy. 

I don’t know what I expected, but I enjoyed speaking with him. Richards is as kind and humble as any other indie musician I’ve ever had on the podcast. We talked about Dishwalla, his forthcoming record, email marketing, e-commerce, touring, adapting to changes in music, Spotify Discovery Mode, SOME of his work as a producer, what he’s got cooking in the near future, and more. 

Find everything JR is up to at JRRichardsMusic.com. Please enjoy my conversation with JR Richards, the original singer of Dishwalla.

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