Jordan Richardson’s resume would be the envy of just about any musician. His name is an easy frontrunner for garnering the most Google hits in the local music scene outside of Leon Bridges. He was a drum prodigy from the age of 3, a skill that put him behind the kit of TCU’s top jazz ensemble throughout college. He backed Austin-based indie-pop outfit Oliver Future, which made a brief splash in the early aughts. That led to being scooped up by blues rock icon Ben Harper, with whom he toured the world as a member of the Relentless7, a post that found him performing on late night talk shows, sharing the stage with legendary musicians like Ringo Starr, John Paul Jones, and Nick Mason, and ultimately snagging one of those little bronze gramophones called a Grammy.
All these impressive accomplishments fail to take into account his countless production and engineering credits. His name is on lauded local albums by the likes of Steve Gnash, The Longshots, War Party, and Oil Boom to name but a few. In recent weeks, his work has included the much-anticipated follow-up albums by wall-of-guitar party rockers Duell and ’70s Southern rock revivalists Quaker City Night Hawks. As proud as he is of his contributions to those records, he’s perhaps most proud of an album coming out on Friday: Diamond Cuts, the third recording from his own project, Son of Stan.
“It was really weird and fun making this EP,” Richardson said. “I did a lot of the things that bands do that frustrate me when I’m working with them, like booking a release show before the record was done. I was mixing it right up until 10 minutes before I sent it off [for mastering].
“Unlike those bands, I did finish it by the deadline,” he added with a laugh.
Richardson has an easy humor and an infectious enthusiasm, especially when he talks about music, whether his own or any of the wildly diverse other music he loves. His tastes touch every genre. He is as giddy about dad-rock staples like Huey Lewis & The News and Phil Collins as he is about more artistically heralded artists like Joni Mitchell and Elvis Costello. No doubt this insatiable and eclectic taste plays a central role in Son of Stan’s wholly individual sound.
“I’ve always really liked every kind of music,” he said. “I think the clash of all of the things that I like form that sound. And it being just me doing it, it just becomes this mutant thing.”
The songs on Diamond Cuts (just as they are on his two previous albums, 2013’s Divorce Pop and its follow-up, 2014’s Georgia) are a savory amalgam of clever punk-rock credo wrapped in an ’80s yacht-rock aesthetic. At first blush, the chunky riffs and anthemic vocals that trade off with the glittery synth lines and virtuosic guitar leads could almost be mistaken for novelty, but there’s an unmistakable authenticity and honesty that make it obvious that Richardson is no put-on.
“I really get off on esoteric and sort of oddball production and things that make me laugh in making music,” he said. “Those forces just kind of combine. I just hope [it sounds] genuine.”
And to his credit, it does. Beneath the cuffed-blazer Crockett and Tubbs machismo, layered within the disparate sonic palettes and the push-pull of off-kilter mood changes, there’s a palpable integrity that shines right through the nostalgic quirks. When Richardson sings, “My heart’s about to break,” over the hook of “Hostages,” a single released earlier this week, you get the very real sense that it is.
Though Richardson has used a band for live shows for years, the new EP is different from his previous releases, which were recorded solely by him. Diamond Cuts features the newly dubbed Boat Club Road Band, which boasts the likes of guitarists Michael Doty (Duell, House Harkonnen) and Zach Edwards (Oil Boom, All Clean), drummer Austin Green (The Cush, Telegraph Canyon), keyboardist Justin Pate (Relentless7, The Orbans, Pablo & the Hemphill 7), bassist (and Fort Worth Weekly contributor) Steve Steward (Oil Boom, Epic Ruins), and keyboardist Sam Villavert (Sealion).
The album, he said, “definitely has a band attitude. This is the first one where the band is actually on the record. Everyone is playing their parts like you would see it live. It’s been fun to have their influences on these songs.”
Son of Stan and & The Boat Club Road Band celebrate the release of Diamond Cuts Saturday at Three Links in Dallas and then here in Fort Worth at Twilite Lounge on April 5.
Son of Stan EP Release Show
Fri, April 5 at10pm w/Taylor Young at Twilite Lounge, 212 Limpscomb St, FW. Free. 817-720-5483