Kim Richey: Wreck Your Wheels

Yeah, two posts in two days… how’d that happen?

I saw Kim Richey at the Belcourt Theater in Nashville. I discovered Kim kinda late in the game – well after her 3-record tenure at Mercury Records in the late 90s/early aughts (which I contend was over-shadowed by the more photogenic, less musically authentic Shania Twain, but that’s a whole different blog post…) – but now I marvel at her songs and her singing every time one rolls around on my iPod. I have all her records now, and purchased her newest, Wreck Your Wheels, from her after the show last night.

I saw this video for the firs time and found it rather compelling, but like it even more after Kim told the story of its making from the stage last night. First the video:

And now the story: I don’t know the precise details of how all this was engineered, but through Kim’s e-list and Facebook page, fans were asked if they wanted to participate in the video; those that responded were given a single word from the lyrics to the song, and asked to make a photograph of that lyric. The result is what you see here (and kudos to the editors!) — a video which is as clever as any of the high-concept things that groups like OK-Go are making now at great expense, but with the added benefit in this case of being very fan-participatory.

I think that getting the fans involved in the creative process the way this video does is going have a much better long-term impact on Kim’s career than clever dance moves or elaborate contraptions. If nothing else, everybody in this video (and it looks like there are hundreds) will want to see if their photo made the cut, and then they’re going to tell their friends, and those friends will hear the song, and they will become Kim Ritchey fans, too.

The video is sorta like a high-school yearbook – you know how you can look at somebody else’s yearbook and swear that the people in the photos look like your classmates, too? That’s sorta how the video works – I could swear I know some of these people. That may be my eyes playing tricks on me for the most part – but I definitely recognized Jed Tilley of the Americana Music Association and David Macias of Thirty Tigers holding the word “your” in the frame at 3:13.