Chorne Music
 My First Car
 That's Shor-nay
 Rich's Story
 Radio Play
 Press Raves
 Rich's Story

Rich returns to the mountains of Lincoln County, New Mexico after achieving an impressive track record in the East Coast and Mid- Atlantic region for his three CD’s and memorable performances at major festivals.

A kinetic performer as well as award winning songwriter, Rich Chorné has just completed work on his latest CD, entitled The Rich Chorné All Stars featuring Nadine Rae. Press reviews received have been extremely favorable of Rich’s latest CD venture, and addresses the elements of Rich's guitar-playing, songwriting, and the high quality of the vocal and instrumental musicianship of those who performed on his CD. The D C Blues Society says, “Chorné may be a powerhouse guitarist but he plays with swing, imagination and more than a bit of finesse…”

"My first car was a Buick Roadmaster, a four holer around 1955. That was a huge car.” ...and so we have the origins of Rich's sophomore CD, entitled My First Car. Just as our first cars were a means to venture from the safety of the family nest and explore the world, Rich continues his exploration of American roots music on this album of classic party music. From the opening bars of the classic “Route 66”, you know you’re in for a wild ride. On this journey through the fertile territory that encompasses  the Latin rhythms of “My First Car (Bossa)” and “Bouncing Betty” — both original compositions — to the classic R&B of Robert Parker’s “Barefootin’,” Rich leaves no road untraveled in his search for a musical good time.

Well traveled but not road weary, Rich began his journey in the early 1960s. A native of El Paso, TX, he started playing guitar and sax at age fourteen and was soon playing radio hits by the Yardbirds, Rolling Stones and others with his high school band, The Phanatics. Before he was eighteen and legally of age to play in the clubs he was in, Rich was performing at El Paso night-spots such as The Goldfinger. In college, he began playing upright bass in nightclub shows with then up-and-coming El Paso star Joe Renterria, performing the music of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr. and other standard cabaret fare.

It was around this time that Rich first heard Texas bluesman Long John Hunter at The Lobby in Juarez, Mexico, home to Hunter’s legendary all-night shows. Soon after, Rich was playing rhythm guitar in Hunter’s band on a regular weekend gig at the El Paso club King’s X, which at the time featured blues sax-great Art Lewis. Rich recalls of that time, “Long John didn’t take set breaks, so if you had to go to the bathroom, you just put your instrument down and went, and the band played on. Then you’d just join back in when you returned. We always found the pocket and the place jumped all night long.” Rich also played with a number of other acts, including a bass stint with local bluegrass band The Shade Tree Boys. “In one week I would play a blues gig, a folk gig with a bunch of frat guys, a bluegrass gig and a rock and roll gig.  I was doing it, playing five nights a week.”

After college, Rich decided to explore other parts of the country, and so headed off to a regular gig for the next couple of winters at a ski lodge in Ruidoso, New Mexico.   From there, he was off to Colorado, where he met fellow Texan Jay Boy Adams. He started to play in Adams’ band and eventually moved to Lubbock, TX. Soon, the Jay Adams band was getting road work, as Adams hooked up with a  promoter who was booking the Electric Prunes on tour.  Rich played bass for the Prunes and also for the Jay Boy Adams band who would open for the Electric Prunes.  As it turned out this was a bogus band.  "At a gig in Blythe, CA, a guy in the audience started yelling that this wasn't the real Electric Prunes and the promoter maced him.  The promoter used to carry a gun.  Those were some wild times.”

Those wild times came to an abrupt end when Rich and Jay were kicked off the tour bus in the middle of Kansas because they were upstaging the headliner and unhappy with the promoter. . With just their instruments and suitcases in hand, Rich and Jay headed back to Lubbock, but they didn’t stay for long. Soon after their return, they got the call to open for ZZ Top on a national tour. As they made their way around the country, Rich met and jammed backstage with a number of legendary performers, including Albert King, Michael Murphy, BJ Thomas and Jerry Jeff Walker.

When that gig ended, Rich ran into a an old band-mate named Alan Fowler, who had a line on some work back east. Rich joined Fowler’s band Timberline, and soon they were scheduled to be the band for the movie “The Buddy Holly Story.” However, before production started, the guitarist quit and in the confusion that followed, the movie deal fell through. Timberline continued on for about a year, playing throughout the Delaware Valley, but soon the band fizzled out, unable to recover from the earlier disappointment. Rich continued to play, but also started doing electronics work on the side. This experience led to a year on the road as a technician with Daryl Hall & John Oates on their “Sarah Smile” tour.

After over a decade of leading a basically nomadic existence, Rich married and settled down, leaving live performance behind. However, during this time he never quit playing, and slowly began focusing on his songwriting. After a dozen years away from the stage, Rich began performing again in 1994 with Baltimore blues favorite Automatic Slim in a group called Slim & Rich.

This experience gave Rich the urge to perform again. However, this time he would do it on his terms, so in 1995 he formed his own band and began rehearsing original material he had written. The band got off to a strong start, and was soon opening for notable acts such as blues singer Lou Ann Barton and zydeco godfather Boozoo Chavis. Rich was headlining clubs from Richmond, VA to New York, NY, and at major festivals such as The Preakness Festival (Baltimore, MD), Artscape (Baltimore, MD), Frederick Festival of the Arts (Frederick, MD) and Friday After Five (Charlottesville, VA).

Now back in the thick of things, Rich has led a consistently all-star band that has featured a who’s who from the Mid-Atlantic and beyond, including Tommy Lepson, Daryl Davis, Meg Murray, Danny Beirne, Mookie Siegel, Jeff Muller, Andy Hamburger, Wade Mathews, Jay Turner, Steve Wolf and many others. As well as heading his own band, Rich has backed up Mid-Atlantic veterans such as Cathy Ponton King, “Choo Choo” Charlie Williams, Cathy Jean, Tommy Lepson, Bobby Griffin, Danny Beirne and done a guest spot with Mary Lou and the Untouchables. At the 1999 Music Monthly All Star jam, he performed with Dennis Chambers, Deanna Bogart, Ron Holloway and Kelly Bell, and at the Eva Cassidy Tribute at the Bayou in DC he performed with Keter Betts and Linwood Taylor.

His journey back to heart of American roots music experienced a recent epiphany as Johnnie Johnson — the piano legend who helped shape Chuck Berry’s signature sound — joined Rich on stage for a set at the 13th Floor at the Belvedere in Baltimore. Rich makes more literal journeys as well, including regular trips back to El Paso, TX. Of these trips, he says, “When I go back to El Paso, I rekindle some of my musical past, and I usually get together with Art Lewis. Alot of the old things that were going on are still happening, and I bring a little of that back with me.”

As a guitarist, Rich has been a national clinician for Sony Effects Units and an endorser of G & L Guitars, the last company established by the great luthier Leo Fender. His guitar playing and performances have gained considerable recognition, as evidenced by critic William C. Hitchcock (The Beachcomber, Ocean City, MD) labeling Rich “one of the finest guitar players in the Washington DC/Baltimore area.”

As a writer he has achieved considerable recognition, both locally and nationally. The Songwriter’s Association of Washington awarded 1st Place in the Jazz/Instrumental Category for “Bouncing Betty,” which appears on the new album, and second place for the R &B tune “Don’t Leave Me Hangin’”, which appears on his debut CD.  Recently,  BillBoard magazine awarded “Walkin’ with my Baby” - also off the first CD - Honorable Mention, placing it in the top 1%  of  the tens of thousands of entries received.

His debut CD release, That’s Shor-nay, was well received, both critically and popularly, and garnered radio airplay throughout  the Mid-Atlantic area. Music critic J. Doug (Music Monthly) said of the album “(That’s Shor-nay) is a splendid slab of savory R&B with even tastier surprises.”

Now a New Mexico resident, Rich now performs with various configurations including playing for the Kat Crosby Blues Band; his duo work with local favorite, P. Blake Martin; restaurateur and performer Aaron La Combe; and his country/blues trio, The Noisy Water Boys, with locals, Jim Helms and Frank Potter. Additionally, he has been incorporating the flute into the repertoire.

Rich’s journey has been a long one so far, and it’s not over yet. He’s traveled many miles of highway, both literal and figurative, and in the process has developed a mature musical voice which embraces the diversity of American roots music. More importantly, he’s still excited about the music that’s influenced him, and that energy comes through in the music he makes.

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