Richard Marx Loves to Entertain You

prof_richardmarx_sm.jpg"We live a normal life. I just happen to have a recording studio in my house and my kids might happen to run into Chad Kroeger [Nickelback] in the stairway."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Marx is a really nice guy. He’s friendly and funny, and has worked with such an impressive lineup of legends and soon-to-be legends that it is almost impossible to believe he is genuine. But he is.

I saw Richard Marx back when his hair was poufy and I was rockin’ tight-rolled jeans. After conquering the charts with hits like "Hold On to the Night" and "Should’ve Known Better," Marx has gone on to write songs and produce with some of the top names in entertainment. Marx, who is not at all boastful, has worked with the likes of Barbra Streisand and Billy Joel and is currently working with Keith Urban on new material.

"I’m 44 years old and I have a good career and have made smart business decisions because I have chosen my projects well," said Marx. "But we live a normal life. I just happen to have a recording studio in my house and my kids might happen to run into Chad Kroeger [Nickelback] in the stairway."

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Over the years, Marx has stayed to true to making good music. He has worked hard to create a life that balances his passion and talent with his dedication to his family. Marx and his wife, Cynthia, live near Chicago with their children. Although the musical tastes in the house tend to vary, Marx loves raising music appreciators.

"I’ve got three teenage sons, ages 14, 15 and 17," he says. "My kids are interested in music, in the process of making music. I’m lucky to expose them to that."

Marx’s career is constantly evolving and he is eager to collaborate with like-minded artists. Right now he is working on a number of new projects that expand his production portfolio, writing and producing with new artists and is especially excited about plans to make a large amount of new music available to fans. When we spoke, he was preparing for a trip to Los Angeles to work with one of his idols, award-winning film composer David Grusin.

"I’m juggling about six different projects," he reminds me. He’s a busy, busy guy.

Arguably, one of Marx favorite collaborations in recent years has been with Matt Scannell of Vertical Horizon. What started as mutual professional admiration has resulted in a friendship and rapport that translates well on-stage.

"Matt writes really catchy melodies and I found myself really identifying with the lyrics. That record [Vertical Horizon’s 1999 release Everything You Want] didn’t have a shitty song it."

Marx and Scannell began co-writing songs together a few years later while Scannell was touring lead guitar with Marx’s band. Now, Marx and Scannell are visiting six towns. An Intimate Acoustic Evening with Richard Marx and Matt Scannell will feature a simple song list that includes hits from both of their songbooks. Many of the hits have been reworked and Marx promises a few all-new collaborations as well.

"It’s Everly Brothers-style; we’re going to have fun," quipped Marx. "This is really a result of what we do together, getting together and hanging out." | Raymee Holshouser

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