Stephen Lee Rich - Singer/Songwriter, Yodeler, Comedian, Harmless Crazy Person
Over 40 Years and Still At It! There’s No Stopping This Train Now! Most teenage boys hang up their guitars after securing their first full-time job, but Stephen Lee Rich, after winning a talent contest at the county fair in Mariposa, California in 1969, has kept the music, jokes, and yodels coming. The 1970’s found Rich learning and honing his craft at such seminal Chicago clubs as the Earl of Oldtown, the Barbarossa, Somebody Else’s Troubles, and the No Exit Cafe. An article about him as a street musician â€“ published in August of 1979 by the Reader, Chicago’s alternative newspaper inspired then-mayor Jane Byrne to put city-sponsored street musicians at strategic places around the city the following summer. They called it the Troubadour Program. In the 1980’s, when the folk venues started to disappear, he began working at comedy venues like Zanies, the Comedy Cottage, and Kobart’s Komedy Kove. He soon joined forces with a number of variety acts to inaugurate the Revolving Door Revue, a touring troupe whose peripatetic engagements first brought Stephen Lee to Wisconsin, specifically Fort Atkinson’s Cafe Carpe and Madison’s Wild Hog In The Woods Coffeehouse. Relocating to Madison in 1995 to sing country music for The Road Band, he soon found work at the Anchor Inn, in Madison, as the host of their weekly acoustic jam. He also became one of the rotating hosts of the open mic at Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse. Eventually he found his own venue running the open mic at Speed Jump Java Joint, then Urban Market and Coffeehouse, and finally Escape Java Joint. He kept that open mic going, at on venue or another for six years. It got popular enough to get written up in a mainstream, daily newspaper, Madison’s Capitol Times (See the press page for the full article). In 2002 he released the CD, “Facing Monday” to much critical acclaim. He’s now in the studio working on another to be called “Reality Checks Shouldn’t Bounce”. In 2001 he started working with Sandy Andina to form the duo Andina and Rich. They can be found touring around the country and on their weekly, internet TV show, “The Andina and Rich Comedy Hour” which airs every Sunday night at 7:00pm(CST/CDT) on Red Dragon TV ( http://reddragontv.tv/ ). Now he tours with Sandy and as a solo from the state of Washington to North Carolina. Check the calendar page for tour dates.