Music legend to play at Crestwood music cafe

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First concert at newly opened Hewn From The Mountain Cafe

By Tracy Harris

When Hewn From The Mountain Music Cafe hosts its first concert Thursday, it will bring owner Tom McShane full circle.

Legendary musician Turley Richards will play at the store — one of McShane's earliest influences. 

Richards, a long-time Louisville resident, released his debut album in 1970. He appeared on "American Bandstand" and Johnny Carson's "The Tonight Show," performed alongside countless notable artists and sold more than 1.4 million records.

Richards is also blind. At age 4, an arrow pierced his left eye, and a sympathetic reaction later caused blindness in his other eye as well. 

That didn't stop Richards from pursuing a music career, even though his first record deal was a struggle. After that, Richards signed with seven different major labels throughout his career.

Now 70 years old, Richards still performs, mostly around Louisville. He's also a producer and vocal coach.

McShane first heard Richards perform in 1972, when McShane's parents hired Richards to perform at their housewarming party. 

McShane, then 11, considers Richards an early inspiration. So when he stumbled upon Richards' information online recently, everything clicked.

"I thought, what would be better than Turley?" he said. 

Richards is currently working on a new album and an autobiography. 

"He has an incredible vocal range even at his age," McShane said.

McShane will open for Richards, and will be playing violin made entirely out of matchsticks. The fiddle is one of several designed by former Luther Luckett inmate Dale Brown and is stained with coffee grounds.

If you go:
Turley Richards and Tom McShane
7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17
Hewn From The Mountain Music Cafe
5801 Veteran's Memorial Parkway, Crestwood
Free admission