Joe Richard was raised in a small town called Loudonville in Central Ohio. He spent the first 32 years of his career playing music in area clubs and bars. We caught up with Joe at his home in the US, “As it says in the Bible, sin is fun for a season, but the destruction that is done to your body and to your life in general last a lifetime. I spent those years of my life drinking, taking drugs, and many other things. I was trying to fill the void and the emptiness that I always felt inside.”
“My family were never church goers when I was growing up so I had never experienced anything like the following story I am about to share with you. In 2001 my wife and I were invited to a baptism of my wife's uncle. Her family's church performed their baptisms in a small river outside of town. When we walked over the hill to a clearing near the river, there were people everywhere lining the creek bank. A couple of preachers lead my mother in law's brother into the water, raised their hands in the air and said, 'we baptize this our brother, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost' and dunked him under the water. When they pulled him up, he had a glow about him and the congregation began singing, “Let’s All Gather by the River” (It tore me up). At that minute I decided I wanted a change. I was so tired of the life I was living! Conveniently, they had a revival the following week, my wife and I attended, she was saved on Thursday, and I was saved on Friday. A couple of weeks later we were baptized in that same river, and we have been blessed ever since.”
Which brings us to his current release of “Roots”, a moving video and song which truly encompasses who Joe Richard really is – watch it on YouTube here:
He continues on, “I was raised in a home where I was surrounded by musicians. My Father had a country band called James Paul and The Blue Country featuring little Jimmy on the lead guitar (my older brother). His band always had band practice at our house so their instruments were always set up in the sun room. At five years old I began standing behind the drums and started teaching myself beats that I had saw my dad's drummer playing. My dad took notice and bought me a drum set for my sixth birthday. A year later I join my first band called Iron Fist. We played Kiss, Peter Frampton, and stuff of that era. We played Jr. High school dances and that kind of stuff and we weren't bad.”
A year later, his brother Jimmy started a group called The Country Kids, the oldest guy in the band was 13 years old. By this time his brother was 12 and a seasoned veteran, with five years of experience playing with his dad. The band was an overnight success, they were playing state fairs, and for other large crowds, then one day they grew up.
“We played in several bands throughout the years but our greatest success came when I was in high school, The Ramblin’ Band. We were opening up for large bands like, Charlie Daniels, David Allan Co, Emilio Harris, Tom T. Hall, Ray Stevens, and many others. We were playing in front of thousands of people every month, playing live on television and even sang on a Christmas special. That group broke up and a few years later I gave my heart to the Lord.
“I sing solely for God now and absolutely love what I'm doing.”
For more on Joe Richard visit: joerichardgospel.com/product-page/roots-by-joe-richard