Richard Wilkins - Life's For Livin'

Richard Wilkins

Life’s For Livin’
Self release

Review by Anni Piper

Originally from sunny California, Richard Wilkins has made Portland his home and obviously rode the rails into the blues scene here in a big way. Wilkins is a vocalist, bassist, saxophonist and composer. That’s quite a mouthful if you try to say it out loud! According to the liner notes, Wilkins has two big passions in life: blues music and trains. Chugga chugga choo choo, indeed.

The packaging, performances and production are all great. Wilkins lays it down on bass, while Kevin Selfe rips it up on guitar. “Richmond” is a standout as one of the handful of originals on the album. It’s a country-flavored ballad with some lovely pedal steel from Don Brainard. “Hydramatic Woman” features a frenzied barrelhouse piano solo from Steve Kerin, and some super snappy snare work from Jimi Bott in this old school rock ’n’ roller.

This album’s very danceable, and I’m sure it’s also perfect for shunting, or whatever it is that locomotives do. Catch the Richard Wilkins band in our Journey to Memphis competition next month. This release is available on BandCamp and all the streaming platforms.

Total time: 43 minutes

Howlin for My Darling / Help Me / Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby / Here I Come Mama / Honest I Do / Life’s for Livin’ / You Don’t Have to Go / Night Train / Richmond / Hydramatic Woman / I Don’t Drink No More / Running On Faith