Rich McCulley: The Grand Design

Rich McCulley: The Grand Design

Contact: Rich McCulley
Phone: 323.533.4606
Email: [email protected]


After six albums and twelve years of solo music making, roots rocker Rich McCulley is still finding fresh beginnings and new inspiration in life. With his latest record “The Grand Design, he’s coming to peace with the past few years of loss and hardship and celebrating a better life today, with new love in his life and a young son of his own.
He’s brought his classic, road-tested sound: satisfying melodies, chiming guitars, hummable harmonies, whirling organs… all the elements of catchy roots pop and recorded in a richly-arranged Americana style that is McCulley’s trademark. Ever present is his distinctive gravelly voice (hailed by as “a great rock and roll voice), providing a solid dose of heartfelt character throughout the songs.
McCulley’s guitar is heard on every track, alongside with prominent playing and song craft from frequent co-writer Todd Herfindal (The Meadows). The sound is driven by McCulley’s well-worn black book of LA’s roots royalty, including Taras Prodaniuk (Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam, Merle Haggard) and Greg Boaz (Dave Alvin) on bass alongside drummers Tommy Rickard (The Meadows, Linda Perry), Steve Mugalian (Dave Alvin), DJ Bonebrake (X, The Knitters), and Brian Young (Fountains of Wayne, The Posies). Craig Ferguson and Chris Lawrence appear on pedal steel with Carl Byron (Anne McCue, Micelle Shocked) on piano, organ, and accordion, layered with harmonies by Anna Maria Rosales, Bob Woodruff and Grant Langston. He has also co-written a song with Will Kimbrough (Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Buffet, Rodney Crowell) for the album.
Since his debut solo record in 2000, McCulley’s credits have included critical acclaim, hundreds of storied gigs from coast to coast, tens of thousands of touring miles, hundreds of published songs and co-writes, and production credits on dozens of records by important LA bands. His songs and co-written tunes appear in several movies, including 2012’s “Little Birds and “Donner Pass. His music has also been featured on FX’s “The League, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy and “Men In Trees, CBS’s “Cold Case, HBO’s “Cathouse and Lifetime’s “Army Wives to name a few.
McCulley hails from the Central Valley of California where he wrote, recorded and toured with a variety of county rock and pop rock bands on labels such as Geffen and Columbia. He now makes his home in Los Angeles.

Praise for “The Grand Design

The Alternate Root
…McCulley is obviously an artist who’s boots have seen the boards, the road and the gas pedal and his documentation of the journey and the destination is a moment to savor. Like a good movie you watch over again to see what you missed, this album reveals new and interesting twists with each listen. The playing and the production are so damn good you miss the lyrics at times.

“The Grand Design is one of those albums that moves from work to pleasure for me. I hear hundreds of albums every month and write about many of them strictly from a professional point of view. Doubtful I will listen to many of them from a perspective that strays from that. Not this one, this one moves to the personal collection for pleasure and personal time…there with The Replacements, The Connells, The Del-Lords and The Old 97’s. This album is all about the pleasure of music.-Bill Hurley

Absolute Power Pop
LA-based Roots rockin’ power popper Rich McCulley is back with The Grand Design, his sixth solo album, and the man proves he has a knack for topping himself each time out…There isn’t a duff track to be found here, and McCulley has himself a 2013 top 10 contender on his hands.

Pasadena Weekly
McCulley knows his way around smart pop hooks. Proof’s in these 12 tuneful compositions, most co-written with guitarist Todd Herfindal and/or LA singer-songwriters such as Grant Langston and Bob Woodruff. Informed by loss and McCulley’s initiation into fatherhood, those collaborations provide variety as he segues from country-flecked confessions like “Promises and “Don’t Know What to Do to the touching “A Little Bit Broken (written with the late Amy Farris).-Bliss Bowen

Power of Pop
Ten years ago, I had written that McCulley had – with his sophomore effort – discovered roots rock, “lining his obvious pop-rock chops with a rustic country edge and which made McCulley’s music, worthy for “all lovers of melodic rock ‘n’ roll, country rock and everything in-between. This assessment rings through for The Grand Design as McCulley continues to emphasize rustic melodicism, which rings out loudly and proudly his influences viz. Elvis Costello, Gram Parsons, Marshall Crenshaw, Tom Petty, Squeeze et al. Yet again, McCulley pulls off yet another loving toast to the power and beauty of Americana-based rock n’ roll. Long may he run.- Kevin Mathews

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