Big Richard Want to be Your Besties! (1/28 at MilkBoy)

“We are four women, but celebrating our masculine energy and leaning on that…  We celebrate both genders!  And we ask our fans to do the same!” says platinum recording...

“We are four women, but celebrating our masculine energy and leaning on that…  We celebrate both genders!  And we ask our fans to do the same!” says platinum recording artist Bonnie Sims, mandolin player for Big Richard, a Colorado-based Americana supergroup, where Bonnie (Bonnie & Taylor Sims, Everybody Loves an Outlaw, Bonnie and the Clydes) is joined by cellist Joy Adams (Nathaniel Rateliff, Darol Anger, Half Pelican, Bruce Hornsby, Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea, Ben Folds), bassist and guitarist Emma Rose (Sound of Honey, Daniel Rodriguez, Whippoorwill, Courtney Hartman), and fiddle player Eve Panning (Lonesome Days, TEDx, Barrage, Hollywood Film Score Orchestra).

Although the quartet do have as much fun as their name would suggest, during our recent phone chat, Bonnie assures me that the music always comes first: “I think the most important thing [to know about us] is that there’s a strong thread of irreverence in everything we do, but we also take the music very seriously.”  “We’re only a couple years old, a baby band, or a toddler band,” she jokes of the group, who first came together in 2021 for a festival date, but who have already played some major shows, including performances at Telluride, the legendary Boulder Theater, and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

The band play a pretty profoundly diverse range of settings, from major music festivals to listening rooms, barrooms, theatres, nightclubs, and even a number of family-friendly, often-free arts festivals.  Sims says that they very much enjoy the variety of spaces and audiences, but they definitely approach their performances differently, depending on the circumstances: “We have our curated listening room show, which is very different from our late-night, 12:30, party-all-night show…  I mean, music is the soundtrack to a party a lot of the time, which is fine… but I really enjoy after we have a listening room show, when they’re laughing with you, crying with you…  I feel radically grateful.”

Big Richard are about to kick off a tour with a local (to them) date at Ogden Theatre in Denver, before a handful of Northeast dates that the band have dubbed, “the unofficial ski tour,” after having noticed that they’re playing a number of ski towns in a row (Joy is apparently, “a maniac for skiing.”)  And on Sunday, January 28th they’ll be in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection for a headlining show at MilkBoy, which Bonnie tells me is definitely one of her favorite kind of spaces: “200-300-capacity ticketed shows are our sweet spot.  It’s the perfect size, where we can get to know each other and we’re future besties.”  For those considering coming out (which I would highly recommend), she tells me that a Big Richard show is a high energy show, but that you should, “Come for an experience of not only the music…  By the end we can all be best friends together!”

*Get your tickets here.

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.