Gary Ritchie | Drake, Near the Alley

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Recommended if You Like
Beatles-ish, Kinks, The Knack Nick Lowe, Raspberries,Wonders Pezband, The Who, The Hollies

Album Links
Pop! Radio Hum, Sing...Repeat! Myspace Beat The Meatles! Bandcamp Beat The Meatles! Discogs Facebook

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United States - Texas

Other Genres You Will Love
Pop: Power Pop Rock: Retro-Rock Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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Drake, Near the Alley

by Gary Ritchie

TOP 10 for 2013! Stocked tight with harmonious ditties, Drake, Near The Alley injects healthy shots of British Invasion flavorings into Power Popping New Wave stylings. Plucky guitars, edgy rhythms and excitable vocals equal timeless music! EXCELLENT!
Genre: Pop: Power Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Hum, Sing, Repeat
3:45 $0.99
2. Victimized
3:43 $0.99
3. Charming Life
3:09 $0.99
4. Hear My Pleas
3:57 $0.99
5. Midnight Lovers
3:34 $0.99
6. Do You Remember?
2:29 $0.99
7. Back to You
3:55 $0.99
8. Woman, Oh Woman
3:14 $0.99
9. Here's to You
3:48 $0.99
10. Mr. Ordeal
2:03 $0.89
11. Kathleen
4:25 $0.99
12. Invisible Man
3:41 $0.99
13. Pull Your String
3:13 $0.99
14. Tailspin
3:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
TOP 10 for 2013!! - Beverly Paterson (Something Else Reviews)

Wow!! Gary is at it again. After his highly praised "Hum, Sing...Repeat!" cd from 2011, and his "Pop! Radio" album from 2006, he's back and rockin' the joint. Yes, the volume has been turned up a bit. This may be considered more of a "Guitar" album than his previous work. Oh, don't get me wrong...The POP is still there but with a definite edgier sound. The catchy melodies, harmonies, pounding drums, cool guitars are still front and center. Imagine if the Kinks, Herman's Hermits, The Who, The Beatles, Hollies, The Romantics, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Fastball, Nick Lowe, Bobby Fuller 4, The Records, Badfinger, The Raspberries all got together to play Everly Brothers tunes. Well, you get the picture. This is a labor of love and you can feel it. So turn it up....and RUN! as Gary likes to say.

Here's a little background on Gary....


GARY RITCHIE a lifelong CHICAGOAN (nw side) until recently (more on that later) thought he was going to be the next shortstop for the CHICAGO CUBS, until one night some kids on T.V. were singing YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! Then came the DAVE CLARK 5, The ANIMALS, KINKS, Gerry & the PACEMAKERS, HERMAN's HERMITS, and many more. He was in!

The next thing he knew was that his younger brother got a guitar, formed a band and was playing at the movie theater BETWEEN movies. People applauded and there were um...GIRLS acting friendly! He thought, in the words of JOHN LENNON, "THAT seems like a good job". The next thing he knows is that his brother is asking him to audition for his band THE PARAMODS. Well, he didn't even own a set of drums, but, he could try-out on the other drummers drums! The first thing they ask him to play is WIPEOUT! He couldn't play WIPEOUT. So needless to say, he failed the audition. But, that really got him interested in playing. So during the great SNOWSTORM of '67 his dad drove down to the south side of CHICAGO to get his first set of drums. Oh, by the way, Gary's brother Greg has still never said a word about the failed audition!

Gary went on to play in many bands, toured, recorded and just had a good 'ol time. And he has his younger brother to thank for getting him started. Oh, and of course those four MOPTOP guys too!!

That leads us up to the NOW!

Gary was sitting around one day preparing to record one song from every "BEATLE" album, just for the fun of it. His friend from a former band (LOOSE LIPS) called and asked what he was up to? His buddy JEFF KING, wanted to be part of it. So they went on and recorded "Beat The Meatles". They ended up recording 22 songs for the album. It was so much fun they decided to do it again, this time doing ORIGINAL material. So "POP! RADIO" was born, as was "HUM, SING...REPEAT! And now "DRAKE, NEAR THE ALLEY" has joined the catalog. These records were made in the UPBEAT spirit of FUN! FUN! FUN!
Oh, by the way. If you ever see a copy of "Beat The Meatles"...GRAB IT!! It's Goooooooood.

Gary hope's you enjoy "DRAKE, NEAR THE ALLEY", "HUM, SING...REPEAT!" & "POP! RADIO" as much as he does.

Gary is now living in AUSTIN, TEXAS as of 11-5-06. He went "kicking & screaming", but is starting to get used to the change.



to write a review

The Misfit

I LOVE the sound of Melody in the morning!
Awesome! Brilliant! Outstanding! Lovely! Fabulous! Superb! 5 STARS!!!! I love the sound!

Baby Sue

Groovy Stuff with plenty of Cool Vibes!
More groovy underground guitar-driven pop/rock from Wimberley, Texas recording artist Gary Ritchie. Gary isn't afraid of letting his fans know who his influences are, as his albums include a handy list for easy reference. This time around folks who have influenced his sound include The Nobles, The Grapes of Wrath (one of our favorites), Sluggo, The U.M.F.'s, Malchick, Loose Lips, and more. Unlike a lot of independent artists, Ritchie's music has a great deal of commercial appeal. Almost all of the tunes on "Drake, Near The Alley" sound like oughta-be hits. The mood is upbeat and positive...and Gary's got a voice that really makes his songs sizzle. Plus...the guitars always hit the target. Fifteen meaty tracks here including "Hum, Sing, Repeat," "Back To You," and "Pull Your String." Groovy stuff with plenty of cool vibes.


A TERRIFIC collection of songs! Rock on Ritchie!
Gary Ritchie “Drake, Near The Alley” 9/5/2013
Chicago based Gary Ritchie gives us a follow-up to Hum, Sing, Repeat from 2011. This time we start with the title track from his last album “Hum, Sing, Repeat,” a loving nostalgic look at rock back in Richie’s childhood. With his partner in crime Jeff King (bass, guitar, keys) they play through a terrific collection of songs. “Victimized” and “Charming Life” are catchy melodies that compare well to The Romantics.
The band takes on early Beatles simplicity for “Hear My Pleas” and then it’s back to the guitar riffs of “Midnight Lovers,” which sounds like a lost Raspberries tune. Clearly Ritchie knows his classic power pop, as “Back To You” has some Badfinger-styled guitar. The quality of tracks vary after the mid point, but standouts include “Invisible Man” and “Pull Your String.” Rock on, Ritchie!

Jeremy Morris

Wondrous Catchy PowerPop Hooks Galore!
New 2013 release! This is the 3rd cd to come out from pop master Gary Ritchie and the cd is full of wondrous catchy pop power hooks galore! Think of bands such as.. Beatles, Kinks, Buddy Holly, Dave Clark Five, The Hollies, The Romantics, etc.. and you know the score. Nice short catchy tunes crafted in the 2 to 3 minute range. It's the perfect deal and should bring great joy to all retro-active poppers! Yesterday's sounds..Today! Grade A

Richard Hancock

A Nice Dose of Cheap Trick
Power Pop galore! A nice dose of Cheap Trick mixed in with good ol' Chicago rock n' roll...Keep on rockin' Gary!

Phil Barton

T. REX meets HELP!
Fantastic cd. It rocks when it needs to (T.Rex) and is as Melodic (Beatles) as anything you'll hear this year. Cool stuff with it's roots in the 60's and a great late 70's vibe. Classic songwriting and hooks that will stick to you ribs. A dash of British Invasion, a pinch of New Wave, a bit of Classic Rock, all equals....GREAT! Gary certainly doesn't take himself too seriously (a-la Nick Lowe) but takes his craft seriously. Well done!! This cd bounces from one tune to the other with great pace and energy. There's a little surprise at the end that I won't give away. Just to say that after "Tailspin," hang around for a little while. I love this! No, it's not what's on the radio these days. Like I said, it's good old fashioned songwriting with more hooks than a tackle-box. Cool guitars, rocking drums, vocal harmonies everywhere. Cheers!!


Another Gem from Mr. Ritchie
I just heard that Gary had just released a new cd. Wow! two years after his last "Hum, Sing...Repeat!" record (Highly Recommended). A great collection of Poppin', Rockin' tunes. The guitars are a little crunchier this time around, but the melodies and harmonies and all around catchiness is still front and center. I think he's giving us a wink to his last recording because this one starts with the song "Hum, Sing, Repeat"...very cool. Then he gets down to some rockin' business with "Victimized" with a real neat transition into the very, very cool "Charming Life". "Woman, Oh Woman", "Here's To You"....too many to mention. Great stuff!! It really clicks into a rocking gear toward the end. "Tailspin" has a Bass guitar solo very reminiscent to The Who's "My Generation." And just when you thought it was over, about 15 seconds after what we THOUGHT was the last song comes a very "Badfinger-ish" ballad. Nicely done!

Terry Flamm

Melodic Pop With Ringing Guitars!
Singer-guitarist Gary Ritchie once again taps into the 1960s on his latest collection of power pop songs, Drake Near The Alley. He has logged time with a number of bands over the past few decades, most notably Loose Lips and Mike Jordan And The Rockamatics. Some of that experience surfaces in the lyrics on Drake, and Ritchie also reflects on his childhood and high school years.
“Hum, Sing, Repeat” includes the line, “I spent my milk money to get a 45,” and celebrates the rock and roll era of Chicago AM radio station WLS. There’s a nice shout out in the liner notes to the late DJ Art Roberts and his nightly Top Three Songs. The acerbic “Charming Life” depicts a guy who still feels empty even while boasting about all his accomplishments to the girl who snubbed him back in their high school days. Other tracks deal with crumbling relationships, like “Hear My Pleas,” which has an easy-going arrangement reminiscent of Chad And Jeremy.
At times, Ritchie’s vocals sound over-articulated, which can throw the song off a bit. He comes across stronger while cutting loose on the harder-edged “Back To You.” Still, fans of melodic pop with ringing guitars are sure to appreciate the approach on "Drake, Near The Alley", particularly on “Woman, Oh Woman” and “Midnight Lovers.”

Glenn O.

My FAV new cd! Totally fun, upbeat stuff.
Not a bad song on this great new release from Gary. 14...or are there? tunes that bring back some 60's, 70's music with a modern edge to them. Nice rocking guitars fill the air and slamming drums, Soaring vocals are reminiscent of the Hollies at times. Or are The Hollies actually in there...nah, couldn't be. Songs range from 2 minutes "Mr. Ordeal" to over 4 "Kathleen." Also, a good mood throughout. Upbeat, melodic. This cd will be in rotation on my player or in the car for some time to come. Think Beatles, Cheap Trick, The Wonders, Knack, Peter & Gordon, The Records, Badfinger...You get the idea. Excellent!

Michael A. Baron

Hits the sweet spot, and never lets up!
GARY RITCHIE: Drake Near the Alley (Fancy Two/Tone) Ritchie hits the sweet spot on the first track and never lets up. Drake hums and throbs like the best of Shoes or Dwight Twilley sustaining an incandescent power pop mood. "Total domination from the English boys/We were glad all over they made a joyful noise," he sings on "Hum, Sing and Repeat," which sums up the record. Jeff King's guitar hovers over these songs like God's flaming finger with a distinctive buzzing tone. Like the Toms or classic Shoes there are no weak tracks. Influences sometimes peak through the curtains but Ritchie's got his own sound. "Woman Oh Woman" could have been a Cars hit with Ritchie's Ocasek-like vocal. The Yardbirds are in a "Tailspin," with its rawer bluesy approach and King's insistent guitar. Four and a half stars.
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