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Meet $Daddy Rich$ (a.k.a. Richard Crisman) in Clarksdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to $Daddy Rich$ (a.k.a. Richard Crisman).

$Daddy Rich$, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born in Clarksdale, MS, home of the Delta blues. At age 8, as many kids, I saw Marty McFly playing Johnny B. Goode in the movie Back to the Future, and from that moment on, I knew what I wanted to do with my life.

I spent the next 15 years teaching myself to play guitar, drums, and bass guitar.

After forming and joining several local bands over these years, I finally began to take an interest in the Delta blues that my hometown is so well known for. I honed my skills while working as a music instructor for the Delta Blues Museum’s award winning Arts & Education program and performing at Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero Blues Club. I started out in the blues genre performing as a sideman and eventually released my first album as $Daddy Rich$ in 2005 (“Pay Your Dues”). The name $Daddy Rich$ was given to me by local blues legend Terry “Big T” Williams after bothering him to no end about $20 he promised me as payment for a local gig that I played with him. I did a terrible job attempting to back him up at my first live blues gig, but after a few months of persistence, I received the $20 and earned a new stage name to go with it.

In 2006, I landed a gig as bass player for internationally acclaimed blues artist James “Super Chikan” Johnson. Shortly after, I was in a terrible car accident in which a tree fell on my car while I was driving during a bad storm. With a 2 month tour in Canada, approaching for my band and gigs lined up with Super Chikan in Italy, France, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center & Library of Congress; taking time off to heal was not an option to me. I began taking prescribed (and unprescribed) pain medication and proceeded to wreck my body even further touring over the next few years.

In 2010, following an appearance on A&E’s Gene Simmons Family Jewels, ( I began tracking my third full-length album with the promise of a record deal at hand. During this period, I crossed paths in the studio for the first time with one of my best friends and song writing partners KP Fitz from Evanston, IL. We had chemistry instantly. While the producer and engineer went out for a smoke break, KP and I had nearly completed two new song ideas before their return. Although neither of our records deals ended up panning out back then, we formed a lasting bond, friendship, and partnership that lives on to this very day.

By 2014, my addition and deterioration of my physical health had progressed to the point where I contemplated suicide on a regular basis. Fortunately, shortly after the death of a close friend, during a moment of clarity, I instead made the decision to attend a treatment facility and have not taken a single drink or drug since that day. The past four years have been a process of growth and rebuilding my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

$Daddy Rich$ is back (new and improved) under new management by Nuala Quinn-Barton.

Currently, I am in the final phase of recording my new album, “The Killing $ide” which will be released in late 2018 by MoNeY Mu$iC ReCoRdS in conjunction with Mania Entertainment.

“Hope rises like a phoenix from the ashes of shattered dreams.” – S.A. Sachs

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In life, we all have struggles that almost no one else gets to see. I have had my share just like anyone else. What’s most important is to continue to move forward despite the challenges you face in life and to grow from the experiences rather than allowing them to break you or define who you are. Nothing good comes easy. When I find myself making excuses in life, it boils down to me being unwilling to put in the hard work to reach my goals.

Finding balance is one of the most difficult struggles that I still deal with. My excuse is that I don’t have enough time, yet every person is granted 24 hours each day. It’s how we use that time that determines whether we succeed or fail.

$Daddy Rich$ – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
$Daddy Rich$ was officially born in 2005. My goal was to find a way to bridge the gap between fans of the blues genre and modern music. Over time, I believe I have created a new style of music that can’t be placed into a specific genre or easily labeled, yet speaks directly to the heart of the listener in a way that only music can.
That is my most proud accomplishment in my entertainment career thus far.

To be able to capture something real from a place inside your soul and deliver it with love to another human being to help them through difficult times is an indescribable feeling, and the love you receive in return is just as indescribable as well.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
So far, the proudest moment of my career is when I decided in early 2018 to write, record, and sing the music that I truly embody and want to perform regardless of what is popular and regardless of whatever is the current trend.

The day, when I decided to be musically true to myself is and will always be my greatest accomplishment no matter how much “success” I attain in the years to come.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Mark Yacovone

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Madge

    May 23, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    I love $Daddy Rich$’s music! I have heard the track “The Killing Side” and am already hooked on it! Looking forward to the new album!

    I’ve gollowed this gifted musician for years! His music is important!

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