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Music Review: Most of All, by Richie Reinholdt (2022)

Musician from Missoula, Montana, Richie Reinholdt
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By AARON PARRETT

Richie Reinholdt is a musical institution in Missoula, Montana, having played in numerous bands over the last half-century. He cut his teeth in the spectacular 1970s roots band the Live Wire Choir, a group who expertly blended folk, swing, bluegrass, and country rock. 

Originally a California kid, Reinholdt fell in love with Missoula when the band was on tour and settled down to make a living as a working musician, playing everything from hard-core bluegrass in the legendary band Pinegrass, to ska and reggae in the Skanksters. 

You might also remember him from one of the most popular bands in Missoula in the 90s, the Psyclones, or from his work with the Acousticals or Britchy, or countless other bands along the way. 

But over his career, he’s also written hundreds of songs, recording many of them in his home studio, occasionally recruiting local virtuosos to round out the sound. 

His latest effort, Most of All (2022), happens to showcase some of the best stuff he’s done, and in my mind, captures the essence of one of Montana’s favorite players and personalities. 

Reinholdt has made dozens of CDs over the years, but this one has an organic consistency that unifies his broad musical tastes into an album that captures the wide gamut of styles he’s known for. 

Consider his quirky sense of humor, for example, in “Tabloid Queen,” a paean to people who take their cues on how to get the most out of life by skimming through the sorts of magazines you find at the checkout aisle at the grocery store. It’s light, but heartfelt, and makes a solid point. 

“Hanging Around,” meanwhile, is a travel ballad, a long-ish song that tells a story and offers a few memorable insights along the way—think of a short story set to the music of Tom Petty. 

Some of the songs are straight ahead country numbers, complete with pedal steel (played by Bob Knetzger and Tom Wolverton), or more bluegrass-oriented gems like “She’s Walking,” (the only cover song on the record—a classic penned by the late Pete Goble), which features the expert fiddle work of Taylor Buckley. 

The first cut, “Number One,” is a compelling love song about a long-term relationship and what keeps a person in it for the long haul: as life winds its way many worlds collide / I can handle anything when she’s by my side / a stumble now and then / she’ll catch me when I fall / through frozen years and secret tears / we’re still standing tall / she’s my number one.

But the standout song in this collection is the title track, “Most of All,” with its soaring Everly Brothers-style harmony vocals (Reinholdt sings both lead and tenor). The melody will follow you around long after you’ve finished the song, and its message is just as memorable. The key line offers a ray of hope in troubling times, but also sums up a Montana musician’s enviable career: “Most of all, I believe in song.” MSN


Most of All, as well as other music by Richie Reinholdt is available at richiereinholdt.bandcamp.com/album/most-of-all, Amazon and on Spotify. 

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