Richard Cousins

It must have been back in the 1980's when I first saw Richard Cousins play with The Robert Cray Band at The Birmingham Odeon up on New Street, Birmingham. I was just getting into bass playing back in those days. I remember thinking at the time "this guy has to be the coolest bass player in the world" and I've loved his work ever since.

I'm going to keep searching to see what other videos I can find for Richard Cousins, I just can't get enough

Best Wishes
Nick



 
 

Biography

The five-time Grammy Award winner summarized 35 years of mastery on the debut Nozzle release Live From Across the Pond (2006), an electrifying two-CD concert set drawn from a series of shows (opening for Eric Clapton) at London’s Royal Albert Hall. When the time came to follow up that widely praised collection with a studio recording, Cray viewed it as an opportunity to move his sound in other directions.

He found exactly what he was looking for by turning to one of his oldest friends and colleagues: bassist Richard Cousins, whose tenure with the Robert Cray Band began with its barnstorming regional origins in Eugene, Oregon, in 1974 and extended through 1991, encompassing such early high-water marks as Strong Persuader (1986) and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (1988), both winners of the best contemporary blues performance Grammy.

I’ve known Richard for 40 years,” Cray says. “We go back to 1969, and we grew up in the same area together. We’ve always had a really good rapport together stage-wise. Richard and I have remained the best of friends ever since he departed way back in ’91. I’d still see Richard, whether it was in the States or in Europe – where he still lives. He’d always come to see us at the gigs. We always remained close. We talked on the telephone all the time.

“It just so happened that last year, I wanted to make personnel changes in the band. So I asked Richard to come back.

”

Cousins’ return to the Cray fold bonds him once again with keyboardist Jim Pugh, a cornerstone of the guitarist’s group since 1989.

In the hunt for a new drummer, Cray – with encouragement from Cousins—struck on a musician whose style and experience perfectly complemented his own: the road-tested Tony Braunagel, whose résumé includes work with Bonnie Raitt (including her Grammy-winning Nick of Time and Luck of the Draw), Taj Mahal, Keb’ Mo’, and B.B. King.

Cray recalls, “I’d seen Tony work in a lot of different situations before. My first real opportunity to play with him was three years ago, when we did a benefit up in Portland, Oregon, for our friend Curtis Salgado. Tony was playing drums there, and Richard was there, too – they were the rhythm section. Richard was working really well with Tony, and they were kind of fronting the whole jam. It was great. I was talking to Richard after he’d rejoined the group, and I said, ‘We need to find a drummer.’ He just went, ‘Tony!’”

The refreshed lineup of Cray, Cousins, Pugh, and Braunagel came together at Santa Barbara Sound Design in Santa Barbara, California, to record what became This Time. Cray produced (though he notes, “Every time I produce, it’s like a communal effort”), with Don Smith engineering.

Cray says of the sessions, “I really looked forward to it—to how Richard and I were going to gel together after having not played together for a long time, and to bringing Richard back to work with Jim, because we did all get a chance to work together for two years, before Richard left—and then having Tony come in.

“Richard and Jim and myself have all known each other for a while, but when we added Tony to the mix, it was like, ‘Hey, where you been?’ We all get along really, really well. It was fun, and everybody brought something to the table. Tony’s interpretation of what we were doing was just spot-on, and of course, with his background, all the music that he’d listened to and played coincided with the music we’ve listened to and played over the years. It was like the perfect hand in the glove.”

All of the band members contributed fresh material to This Time. Cray brought in the title track, “Chicken in the Kitchen,” “I Can’t Fail,” and “Trouble and Pain,” and co-wrote “Forever Goodbye” with his wife Sue Turner-Cray. Pugh authored “Love 2009” and “To Be True.” Cousins and the Swiss soul/blues musician Hendrix Ackle collaborated on “Truce.” And Braunagel and guitarist Johnnie Lee Schell co-authored “That’s What Keeps Me Rockin’.”

As ever with Robert Cray’s undefinable sound, the music on This Time remains stubbornly beyond category. He has been internationally admired as a stylist whose innovations have brought new life to the blues, and such punchy outings as “Chicken in the Kitchen” and “That’s What Keeps Me Rockin’” should satisfy the most demanding blues fans. But the new album’s barrier-busting material – whether it’s the soulful “Love 2009” or the profound balladry of “This Time” and “Forever Goodbye” – demonstrate once again that attempting to slot Cray in a single genre is an exercise in futility.

Blues is one of the foundations of our music, but it’s not all that we play,” Cray says. “When I first started playing guitar, I wanted to be George Harrison – that is, until I heard Jimi Hendrix. After that, I wanted to be Albert Collins and Buddy Guy and B.B. King. And then there are singers like O.V. Wright and Bobby Blue Bland. It’s all mixed up in there.”

He continues, “Every time somebody asks me about where my music comes from, I give them five or six different directions – a little rock, soul, jazz, blues, a little gospel feel. Then there are some other things that maybe fall in there every once in a while, like a little Caribbean flavor or something. You just never know. I always attribute it to the music we grew up listening to, and the radio back in the ‘60s. It’s pretty wide open. It’s hard to put a tag on it.”

Cray, who began 2009 with concert appearances in Brazil and Japan, will support This Time with shows around the country with his reconfigured band.

Gear:

Guitar: Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster
Amps: 2 Matchless / Clubman 35
1 Fender / Vibroking
Rack: Zack Manufacturing / Vibroman 1.0
TC Electronics / 2290
Samson / Wireless
Peavy / Valveverb
Korg / DTR-1 Tuner

Source: http://robertcray.com/band/ accessed 28th June 2013
See, I know I can’t write about no Richard Cousins with no objectivity. And I don’t intend too. This is my longest and best friend. This is a young man I admire and love like he was my own Son.

See without Richard Cousins I’d still be working up there in Oregon in a pine smell filled, high noise level, saw mill. I’d still be believing if I could become the best green chain puller in all of Josephine County I could walk down town and my neighbors would admire my hard work. Richard told me back in about 1976 this: "We’re all gonna be stars...we got Robert Cray. We don’t need nothing else."

It was the first time I’d heard or imagined that. Back then me and Bruce Bromberg were just making records because we loved to. Never occured to us we’d ever make any money, or make a living producing...HUH??...blues albums!!

"We’re all gonna be stars..."

I didn’t really know what that meant but it set off a sound in my head like a piece of hot wire being pulled across a hasp.
Like...schreeechrecch!!!..well...maybe.

Let me tell you a Richard Cousins story: See back then,"Bad Influence" had just come out but no body really gave a shit. Cray and the boys were riding all over the country opening for John Lee Hooker and were so broke they had to take turns breathing.

One early morning they got about two hundred miles into Iowa when the blinking light on the gas gauge turned a ferocious red. The engine sputtered a bit, but they were able to make it to a filling station on the out skirts of a small town nestled in acre upon hundreds of acres of corn. But there were no lights on in the building and they could see a shade the color of old parchment pulled down over the window of the front door.

"It’s closed," Olsen mutters. Half asleep. Grouchy. "Figures."

"Don’t matter." Cray says. "We’re broke anyway."

"Huh?"

Mike Vannice was the keyboard and sax player and arranger in the band then. He told me, "We were stuck out there in the middle of no where waiting to call the west coast to get some money wired to us. Me and Rand and Olsen, we were disgusted and hungry and hung over and our heads were hung down and we were all thinking all we wanted was some bacon and eggs and a bed we’d seen more than once.

Ok. So Richard opens the side door of the van and says, "Look at this boys...we’re out here in America. Look at that sunrise. Breathe in that fresh air. Smell that plowed up corn field. Lucky. Ain’t we? And on top of that... you...all of us... get to play tonight with Robert Cray...Huh?? How lucky could you get...tonight...We get to play with Robert Cray!!!!.It don’t get any better than this."

Mike continued: "And you know, all at once, watching this guy, this Richard Cousins, standing up with every odd against him, just delighted to be him, and where he was, and knowing for certain about a future none of the rest of us could even imagine, it never failed to invigorate me and make me think, "This guys a whole other breed."

And truer words were never spoken. And I ain’t talking about no couple years on the road or one Thanksgiving spent in a diner in Duluth. I’m talking twelve years of diners. I’m talking twelve years cramped, four or five guys deep, in a van, driving from Pocatello to Missoula to play one night at Elmer’s Bar and Bait Shop. Twelve years of driving back roads and beating the bushes basically for just enough money to get to the next job.

By the time Strong Persuader came out they’d beat so many bushes the band was so far in the red nobody could read the spread sheets with out high powered raybons to deflect the glare. The first time Richard Cousins got a check he didn’t know how to cash it.

Cray is so hugely talented he’d a made it big one way or the other. But I think he’d agree it wouldn’t have happened the way it did with out Rich.

See, without Richards singular vision and constant positive attitude, and he and Cray’s oak hard determination, a lot of us would be working over time plucking chickens just to pay the rent. I won’t mention no names but we all know who we are.

And in the mean time he’s become the best R&B and blues bass player in the world. Softest touch, best choice of notes, best feel, and a groove so fat a half dozen sparrows could land on it. As I said, I’m highly biased. but I also know the truth when I hear it. Richard Cousins.


Richard Cousins Discography

Bad Influence (1983) - Robert Cray
By: Robert Cray
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Phone Booth, Bad Influence, The Grinder
Who's Been Talkin' (1980) - Robert Cray
By: Robert Cray
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Too Many Cooks, The Score, When The Welfare Turns Its Back ...
Best of Friends (1998) - John Lee Hooker
By: John Lee Hooker
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Boogie Chillen, This Is Hip, The Healer
Boom Boom (1992) - John Lee Hooker
By: John Lee Hooker
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Boom Boom, Hobo Blues, I Want To Hug You
Too Long in Exile (1993) - Van Morrison
By: Van Morrison
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Too Long In Exile, Big Time Operators, Lonley Avenue
Mr. Lucky (1991) - John Lee Hooker
By: John Lee Hooker
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: I Want To Hug You, Mr. Lucky, Backstabbers
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1988) - Robert Cray Band
By: Robert Cray Band
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark, Don't You Even Care?, Your Sec...
Chill Out [Shout! Factory] (2007) - John Lee Hooker
By: John Lee Hooker
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Chill Out (Things Gonna Change), Deep Blue Sea, Kiddio
One Believer (1991) - John Campbell
By: John Campbell
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Devil In My Closet, Angel Of Sorrow, Wild Streak
Score: Charly Blues Masterworks, Vol. 16 (1993) - Robert Cray
By: Robert Cray
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Too Many Cooks, Score, Welfare (Turns Its Back on You)
24 Nights (1991) - Eric Clapton
By: Eric Clapton
Credited Role:Guitar (Bass)
Song List: Badge, Running On Faith, White Room
Healer (1989) - John Lee Hooker
By: John Lee Hooker
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: The Healer, I'm In The Mood, Baby Lee
Gold (2006) - B.B. King
By: B.B. King
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: How Blue Can You Get?, Sneakin' Around, Help the Poor
Watching from the Safe Side (2006) - Philipp Fankhauser
By: Philipp Fankhauser
Credited Role:Arranger, Bass
Song List: It's Over Now Baby, Watching from the Safe Side, Too Little...
Strong Persuader (Gold) (1993) - Robert Cray
By: Robert Cray
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Smoking Gun, I Guess I Showed Her, Right Next Door (Because...
Hooker [Shout] (2006) - John Lee Hooker
By: John Lee Hooker
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Boogie Chillen, Sally Mae, Black Man Blues
Too Many Cooks (1990) - Robert Cray
By: Robert Cray
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Too Many Cooks, The Score, When The Welfare Turns Its Back ...
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Robert Cray (2002) - Robert
Cray
By: Robert Cray
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Smoking Gun, Right Next Door (Because Of Me), Bouncin' Back
Greatest Hits [MCA] (1998) - B.B. King
By: B.B. King
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Everyday I Have The Blues, Sweet Little Angel (Live), How B...
False Accusations (1985) - Robert Cray
By: Robert Cray
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Porch Light, Change Of Heart, Change Of Mind, She's Gone
Blues Summit (1993) - B.B. King
By: B.B. King
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Playin' With My Friends, Since I Met You, Baby, I Pity The ...
Best of Van Morrison, Vol. 3 (2007) - Van Morrison
By: Van Morrison
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Cry For Home, Too Long In Exile, Gloria
Midnight Stroll (1990) - Robert Cray
By: Robert Cray
Credited Role:Guitar (Bass)
Song List: The Forecast (Calls For Pain), These Things, My Problem
Healer (Gold) (1992) - John Lee Hooker
By: John Lee Hooker
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: The Healer, I'm In The Mood, Baby Lee
Heavy Picks: The Robert Cray Collection (1999) - Robert Cray
By: Robert Cray
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Phone Booth, Forecast (Calls For Pain), Smoking Gun
Strong Persuader (1986) - Robert Cray
By: Robert Cray
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Smoking Gun, I Guess I Showed Her, Right Next Door (Because...
More Than You Can Chew (1995) - Curtis Salgado
By: Curtis Salgado
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: To Hell With It (Part 1), Little Charmer, I Don't Care
Don't Look Back (1997) - John Lee Hooker
By: John Lee Hooker
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Dimples, The Healing Game, Ain't No Big Thing
American Music: Hightone Records Story / Various (2006) - Various Artists
By: Various Artists
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Phone Booth, Stoned, Cold, & Blue, Tore Up
Curtis Salgado & the Stilettos (1991) - Curtis Salgado & The Stilettos
By: Curtis Salgado & The Stilettos
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: More Love, Less Attitude, You Love Me and I Don't Blame You...
Heritage Of The Blues: Phone Booth (Rmst) (2003) - Robert Cray
By: Robert Cray
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Phone Booth, Don't Touch Me, Porch Light
Anthology: Sound+Vision [2 CD & DVD] (2004) - B.B. King
By: B.B. King
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: How Blue Can You Get?, Sneakin' Around, Help the Poor
Essential Blues, Vol. 3 (1999) - Various Artists
By: Various Artists
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: You Can't Always Get What You Want, Got My Mojo Working, Yo...
Red Blooded Blues (1995) - Various Artists
By: Various Artists
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: I Wonder, Don't Burn Down the Bridge, Chill Out (Things Gon...
Gold Blues / Various (Rmst) (2006) - Various Artists
By: Various Artists
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Walkin' The Streets, On The Hook, Woke Up This Morning
Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: B.B. King (2003) - B.B. King
By: B.B. King
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Three O'Clock Blues, Everyday I Have The Blues, Sneakin' Ar...
Blues Masters, Vol. 17: More Postmodern Blues (1998) - Various Artists
By: Various Artists
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Statesboro Blues, Walking The Back Streets And Crying, Boog...
Blues Classics: Millennium Collection (Rmst) / Var (2003) - Various Artists
By: Various Artists
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: The Thrill Is Gone, I'd Rather Go Blind, Wang Dang Doodle
Woman Like Me (2003) - Bettye LaVette
By: Bettye LaVette
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Serves Him Right, The Forecast, Thru The Winter
Standing At The Crossroads (2006) - Frankie Lee
By: Frankie Lee
Credited Role:Bass, Rhythm Section
Song List: I Wish I Had A Dime, High Horse, I Need Lots Of Love
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Bad and Blue (2000) - Jimmy Dillon
By: Jimmy Dillon
Credited Role:Guitar (Bass)
Song List: Break the Chain, Crave, Sea of Blues
Payin' for My Sins (1999) - Grady Champion
By: Grady Champion
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: I'm Smilin' Again, You Got Some Explaining To Do, Good As N...
Catfish for Supper (1996) - Jon Sholle
By: Jon Sholle
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Mississippi Gal, Plum Cake, Sweet Kind Of Love
Going Back Home (1994) - Frankie Lee
By: Frankie Lee
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Finders Keepers, Too Busy Thinking About My Baby, One Stone...
Soul of Freddie Hughes (1997) - Freddie Hughes
By: Freddie Hughes
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Do My Thing, Save Our Love, Nick Of Time
Blues Masters, Vol. 9: Postmodern Blues (1993) - Various Artists
By: Various Artists
Credited Role:Bass
Song List: Wah Wah Blues, The Thrill Is Gone, I'll Play The Blues For ...


Source: http://www.denniswalker.info/Richard_Cousins.htm accessed 28th June 2013

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