Richard Marx

WHEN: October 9th, 8pm
WHERE: Ponte Vedra Concert Hall TICKETS:
PHONE: (904) 209-0367

It’s been nearly a decade since Richard Marx released his own new material, but the Grammy-winning artist has been anything but idle. Through the years, Marx has established himself as a successful songwriter, penned hit singles for many of the industry’s top recording artists, from Jennifer Nettles to Keith Urban, and he is preparing to launch a new project with Vince Gill.

But first, Marx will hit the road in support of his new album Beautiful Goodbye. His October 9 performance at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall will be a festive event full of music, stories, and lots of laughs.

“It’s like a big party,” Marx says. “I will do a few songs from the new album and let everyone hear what I’ve been working on, because I’m real proud of it. But the majority of the show will be just me hanging out with the audience and playing the hits that they know. It’s like a big sing-a-long show. There is no real serious singer-songwriter aspect to any of it. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a really nice catalog of hits that I can play, and I look forward to playing every one of them. It’s a blast.”

Marx says he didn’t set out to write and record a new album, but the opportunity slowly revealed itself. “I just realized that I had a couple of songs from a couple of years ago that sounded good together and sounded like the beginning of an album. That sort of inspired me to write eight or 10 more,” he says. “I’ve been making a ton of music with other artists in between all along, but I hadn’t made my own album in a long time. It inspired me to make a different kind of record. I slowly but surely started going in the studio and writing and recording.”

While his previous albums have centered around the notion of romance and relationships, Beautiful Goodbye is a sexy record about instant gratification. “That was the intention. I think it’s a pretty sexy album. It’s an album that’s mostly about seduction, as opposed to a lot of material that I’ve written over the years that’s more about eternity and forever,” he says. “This is more about what are you doing for the next few hours. It’s just fun and free[ing] to make an album that was designed for seduction, just to put you in the mood. I found that there was plenty of beautiful poetry in that as well.”

“I really enjoy producing and making songs come to life. I love performing, but it’s recreating music instead of creating it. I love creating music. I love that rush the first time you finally start to hear the song that was in your head now coming through the speakers or through the amps or whatever. Next to sex, it’s about as good as it gets. It’s a thrill that is hard to describe. I still get off on it after all these years.”

Marx is clearly doing something right as he continues to churn out chart-topping hits for mega-stars. But if he knows the secret to crafting a moneymaker, he’s not giving it up. He acknowledges the change in climate from the days of the 80s power ballad, saying “certainly the dissemination of music is ever-changing. The landscape of the industry doesn’t look anything like it did when I was in my heyday. It’s very, very different.” But he remains charmingly vague in his avoidance of what makes a good song, opting to focus on the attraction to a piece of music instead.

“It’s too subjective. What’s a really good song to me may not be a good song to you. That’s the beauty of art. I could be staring at a painting in a gallery for an hour just because I am so mesmerized by it, and you could look at it and go ‘I don’t get it.’ The same thing with songs, movies, literature,” he says. “I don’t think anyone has a formula that works all the time. It isn’t an exact science. I don’t think that anything will ever change the approach to songwriting. The recording process is night and day, and the whole history is very different. Writing a song is still a process, and everybody has their methods. I have mine. I don’t see anything changing that.”

Whether he’s basking in the spotlight or helping to shine the light on another deserving performer, Marx has no regrets and no real plans for his future. But if he’s learned one thing throughout his career, it’s that good things happen when you’re not looking for them.

“I don’t really have a bucket list. I’m interested into stumbling into things. I’m not really a planner anymore. I’m doing a couple of projects now that are very different from anything I’ve ever done. They are tapping into my creativity in a different way than just writing songs. They are still very much songwriting, musical projects, but they are just different,” Marx says. “I have a huge bucket list for my life, but creatively, it’s kind of like not pursuing having a relationship, and you find the right girl when you’re not looking. Everything that has happened in my career that has been amazing has found me as opposed to me pursuing it, so I just let it come to me, and let it happen.”

About Liza Mitchell