It all started when...
Turn off your laptop. Hang up your cell phone. Richard Hal Dobson and his debut album "A New York Night" are about to take you to a simpler time.
Richard was born and raised an hour south of Washington D.C., in the rural town of La Plata, MD. The son of the local doctor, Richard moved at age 18 to Baltimore to study music at the University of Maryland. There, he studied guitar and voice, both classical and jazz, while simultaneously studying privately under teacher David Perry. Perry, a world-renowned classical guitarist and lutenist, soon became a mentor to Richard. Along with his traditional music teachings, Perry enjoyed frequent explorations into the deeper meaning and impact of music, inadvertently introducing Richard to another great passion: spirituality and spiritual healing. Richard's simultaneous study of metaphysics tremendously enhanced his musical path, and the results are subtle but unmistakable.
After graduating from college, Richard began playing jazz and folk in local bars, restaurants and clubs to support himself. He soon followed his muse from Baltimore to Boston, and finally to New York City, where he effortlessly straddled the jazz and folk circuits, including the legendary Fast Folk scene. He currently keeps residences in New York and Los Angeles, and continues to perform and record in both.
Increasingly, Richard's peers are discovering his musical gifts. As a sideman or session player he has performed with Bonnie Raitt, Mary Chapin Carpenter, producer John Jennings, country songwriter Mary Beth Stone, and Los Angeles cult folkie Nick Bischoff. As a performer, he has opened for Caroline Aiken, Salamander Crossing, and Rounder recording artist Kristina Olsen. As a producer, with growing credits, he was asked to produce several tracks on the SONY compilation "Harmony at Home", a benefit album to raise awareness of domestic violence and child abuse. He has also been invited to travel to Cuba to play guitar for Latin sensation Xngo (pronounced "Shongo"), as part of a U.S. State Department-endorsed cultural exchange tour.
Equally talented at writing, singing, and guitar, Richard's music frequently evokes comparisons to James Taylor and Lyle Lovett. His songs paint pictures of characters and situations that are warmly familiar, and his style seamlessly carries traditional folk into the new millennium with honesty and authenticity. "A New York Night", recorded live at Fast Folk Café, captures it all.
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