Music industry veteran Richard Marx to play Snoquamile Casino

September 25, 2013

By Sherry Grindeland

 

Richard Marx

Richard Marx

Expect a laid-back and relaxed Richard Marx when he appears on stage at the Snoqualmie Casino Ballroom Oct. 3. He will be coming to the Northwest following a 10-day vacation in Tuscany.

“I’m a foodie, and I love good wine,” Marx said during a telephone interview while he was on his way to the airport before his trip. “And going to Tuscany is going to the mecca of food and wine”

For many of his fans, a similar phrase would describe his shows: Listening to Marx in person is a chance to hear the musical equivalent of a fine wine. Or in Marx’s case – the equivalent of a multicourse gourmet banquet filled with a wide variety of songs.

Marx has sold more than 30 million albums, had platinum after platinum hit and holds a record for having his first seven singles reach the Top 4 on the Billboard charts. His success as a songwriter and producer of all genres has been just as phenomenal – from the ‘N Sync hit “This I Promise You” to the recent “Long Hot Summer” he wrote for country singer Keith Urban.

During his more than 30-year career in music, Marx has toured internationally numerous times. These days he does shows instead.

“I don’t call them tours anymore,” he said. “I’ve always associated tours with albums. Now when I feel like going out and playing, I just line up a few shows in a row and go and have a good time.”

He describes these shows as a time to share some of his greatest hits and some stories. It’s like, he said, having people hang out in his living room and they all enjoy some conversation and some music.

“I talk a lot between songs,” Marx said. “That’s one of the problems with tours, people don’t get to know the performers. But in these smaller shows, it is like mini parties.”

Marx said his goal is to make audiences feel that they’re just hanging out with a friend – not a world-famous musician and songwriter. Professionally and personally he doesn’t need what he described as the insanity of tours – promoting album after album in a whirlwind of crowded venues.

It’s much more fun to simply be Marx, the musician. And being a musician comes naturally to the man who just celebrated his 50th birthday Sept. 16.

He was born to a musical family – his father was a jazz pianist who developed a successful career as a jingle writer.

“Mother was a big band singer and did a ton of famous commercials,” he said. “I grew up watching musicians all the time. There was never a question in my mind that I would do anything but music, even when I was 5. Writing songs was something that crept into my life in my teen years.”

These days Marx combines his writing and performing talents with another passion – producing. He’s not giving up writing – indeed, he wrote a song the day before he left on vacation.

“It was an effortless song,” he said. “Songwriting is rewarding, and that one just flowed. But sometimes writing isn’t fun; sometimes I, literally, have to bleed on the page to get it right.”

Producing he said, is where music is born; it’s where he gets to create music as opposed to recreating it when he sings.

Even after more than three decades in the music business, Marx isn’t bored.

“My dad used to say, find something you love doing and you’ll never work a day in your life,” he said. “To me this never gets old. Every new recording is a thrill. I have the best job in the world.”

Marx has sold more than 30 million albums, scored 14 chart-topping singles and, as a songwriter, earned a Grammy for song of the year. He frequently does benefit concerts, particularly for children’s causes.

If you go

Richard Marx

7 p.m. Oct. 3, Tickets start at $30, Must be 21, Snoqualmie Casino

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