Back in the summer of 1995, Kim Richey was just getting started on a solo recording career with her bright debut single, “Just My Luck.” She was 38 years old when she arrived at country radio, and with that age came real-life experience, not to mention a clever sense of humor.
I was in college when I discovered her debut album, and I bet I’ve played it hundreds of times since then. Although she sings beautifully and the melodies would get stuck in my head, what I admired most was her perspective. When she sang about being content with the single life in “Just My Luck,” it got my attention. (Yeah, it turned out to be a love song, but still …)
The first time I remember hearing Richey was as a harmony singer on Radney Foster’s 1993 hit single, “Nobody Wins,” which they co-wrote. As a mainstream recording artist, her own career never ascended to the level of her peers, like Mary Chapin Carpenter or Trisha Yearwood, yet she remains one of my favorite songwriters in Nashville. I caught her set at a songwriting event at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum earlier this year, and she’s as quirky and relatable as ever.
Richey’s newest project is The Nashville Sessions, an EP written and recorded with Irish musician Gareth Dunlop. One of its tracks, the bittersweet “One and the Same,” sounds like it could be an outtake from her self-titled debut album, which continues to be one of my reliable standbys for winding down.
Check out this vintage music video for “Just My Luck,” filmed on the streets and bridges of New York City.