Those of you dear readers who regularly scan the “8 Days a Week” calendar section of this paper have undoubtedly come across Richie Reinholdt’s name more than once, and often three or more times in a week. Reinholdt is one of the most ubiquitous performers in the area, playing solo or in Britchy with Britt Arnesen, as well as performing with the Country Kings. Having seen Reinholdt perform on many occasions I can say that he is one of the most laid back and competent players around these parts. If he made a mistake we wouldn’t know it unless he owned up to it. And he most likely won’t be smashing any guitars or doing his best Pete Townsend windmill impression either. He simply respects the songs he plays and performs them graciously and with alacrity.
His new album, Pleasure Madness, is a quiet affair lacking bluster. No bluster is a good thing. This is the kind of album you might put on in your living room while cooking dinner. The kind that quietly catches your hips and has your feet shuffling as you dice tomatoes or shred cheese. The topics are your basic country music tropes: love, lost love and trains. In “Breaking My Heart” Reinholdt sings in his Tom Petty-esque voice, along with musical accomplice Britt Arnesen, “You’re out every night and I’m walking the floor/Waiting for you to stumble through the door/Whiskey on your breath when you finally come home/Your lipstick is smeared, dress is tattered and torn.” As Dr. Phil would say, you treat people how to treat you, and the narrator of this piece gets what he deserves in my book (Just leave her already!). However, if what Dr. Phil says is a truism, then Reinholdt’s latest release teaches us that we should check out an artist with a lifetime of sustained superior performances and that we’ll be rewarded with earfuls of tasty licks and timeless tunes.