With 14 top ten hits on Texas radio, it’s safe to say that Rich O’Toole knows where to call home. But like any multi-dimensional artist, especially those with one million plays on Spotify and over 1,000 full band shows performed throughout the US, including opening slots for Willie Nelson and the Josh Abbott Band, this Houston and College Station native is always looking to challenge himself and spread his wings just a little bit more. Presently, Rich O’Toole has planted his country-rock sound in Los Angeles, where he penned his latest album, Jaded. Although the city may be an unexpected spot for a man with a killer collection of cowboy boots, it has quickly fallen under the spell of Rich’s sweet Southern charm coupled with his high-energy, heartfelt rock shows.
Jaded, Rich’s fifth studio album, released in June 2014 on PTO Records. It was recorded in Nashville at Benchmark Studios and produced by Rich, Ilya Toshinsky and Mack Damon. Billy Decker, who has had 14 #1 hits in Country music, mixed the album. Jaded showcases a more mature sound compared to Rich’s previous four albums, but proves once again that he is an open book and true salt of the earth. The album also captures Rich’s mantra of always having an honest, heartfelt dialogue with fans. The vulnerability that Rich weaves into his lyrics shows that he is not afraid to bare his heart and keep a close, personal relationship with those around him. Covering topics such as dating, heartbreak and family, his stories invite us to tap into our own hearts. At the same time, however, Rich’s melodies give life to his fun, playful demeanor, creating songs that turn his sensitive lyrics into upbeat anthems.
The album’s title-track, “Jaded,” was written with Rich’s buddy, actor Evan Gamble, when the two escaped to Palm Springs to ride out the painful sense of defeat they felt after enduring similar breakups. “Take My Heart” may also resonate with urban-living men and women as it addresses the difficulty of moving on and finding love in the vast, and sometimes lonely, city of Los Angeles. Rich’s personal favorite on the album, “Uncle Hank,” was written with Chris Monteverde and Suzi Cochran, the nephew and widow of the late-songwriting legend, Hank Cochran, who wrote hits for George Strait, Willie Nelsen and Patsy Cline among others. The song, written in Hank’s home in Nashville, marks a tribute to his music, utilizing Hank’s famous song titles to recount a story of past love.
This fall, Rich O’Toole will embark on a US tour and release the official music video for “Jaded,” directed by Oden Roberts, whose movie, A Fighting Season, comes out next year. The video was shot in Joshua Tree and Pioneertown, California and simply yet beautifully illustrates the story that Rich and Evan penned.