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Jason Riggs: Press

Live Review Oct. 12, 2004 in Pueblo, CO
"There Must Be a Special Place in Heaven for the Mothers of Musicians...," this is what Jason Riggs wrote in a CD copy of his new album, Pawn Shop Special, that I had purchased for my mom at the break in the show.

Jason gave an excellent performance at his acoustic gallery on October 12, 2004. The crowd was a little thin at the Irish Pub, but that had no effect on Jason. He played the show as if it was a full house. With acoustic guitar in hand and the occasional hamonica, he entertained us for two sets, playing mostly originals from his first album, These Wheels, and his most recent release Pawn Shop Special as well as some brand new songs which will hopefully be on the next release. And just for the hell of it, he even threw in his take on Johnny Cash in a solo guitar version of "I Walk the Line."

The whole show was very entertaining from the opening arpeggio's right on down to the last single chord strum. Jason has a very intricate way of weaving stories together into simple, catchy, and great songs. There was one he did that I really liked, but couldn't get out of my head for the next week. The song was "Everday Like This" and I had to keep asking what the title was.

Jason had a habit of telling stories to the audience that was very similar to the work of Utah Philips, who would always open a song with a tale from the road. Jason did just that in song like "This Machine", "Everyday Like This", "My Heart's Not Broken Anymore" and many others. He also did a few new tunes and one in particular I liked was political. He introduced himself as 'Your Write-In Candidate' for the presidential election that really got the audience going.

Highlights of the evening include all the stage banter, storytelling, and of course the music. There was also a real good moment when right at the end of the song, Jason paused. We thought the song was over as he got a drink of water, but sure enough, the song started back up again and ended a minute later. It was great, but you really had to be there...I would suggest seeing Jason in concert. You can find a tour schedule and CD information at
David Buck - P.S.M.A. Notes (Dec 1, 2004)
Song Review of "Everyday Like This" January, 2005

Simplicity permeates this song all though it beguiles. Every sound has its place from the motor style guitar and hand thump to the crisp shaker and pedal steel guitar soaring above the vocals that have a satisfied attitude about them. Remember the early recordings of Elvis and Harry Belifonte on RCA, that almost empty hall effect?

There is a beautifiul picture of domesticity. This song is a snap shot of the mythical boy and girl relationship. It conjures up the dream romance that never came for most of us. The repetitive nature of the chords with the droning bass allows us to stay in their world. Happy, warm and in love. I'm waiting for her to get off work too and I want to leave this town with her, where are my keys?...

The way the song travels from 1st verse-bedroom, kitchen, 2nd verse-car, highway, bridege-advice to 3rd verse-dinner booth, adios to bliss is a smooth transition. The line, "Everybody's dancing like the songs about to end" is fabulous imagery in the bridge. The one thing that would help is if it was easier to hear the words. The second time through I able to get them all. The understated solo interlude does not over shadow the overall lovey-dovey atmosphere and keeps with tone of the song. Having the pedal steel guitar echo the "la da da da da" at the end reinforces the "this is going to last forever" feeling.

To be able to capture the sights and smells of a moment and place them in time is the goal of any writer.
Peter Burg - Pueblo Songwriter & Musicians Association Newsletter (Jun 16, 2005)
He describes himself as a “singer-songwriter with nothing left to lose” and “desperate, but optimistic,” and kicks off his latest record, Pawn Shop Special (, with an unabashed tribute to Woody Guthrie, “This Machine”—as in “This Machine Kills Fascists.” New Mexico expat Jason Riggs is a real-deal folk singer with grimy fingers in Americana and rock, spinning haunting yarns like “Stronger than Death” as only a former semiconductor plant worker could. SATURDAY, July 17 @ Little Union Theater, University of Utah, 8 p.m.
Bill Frost - Salt Lake Weekly-Music Picks 7/14/04 (Apr 5, 2005)
Singer-songwriter and former Albuquerque resident Jason Riggs will be back in town for the first time in many moons on Saturday, July 10, for a CD release concert at Winning's Coffee at 8 p.m. The CD, titled Pawn Shop Special, contains a track or two locals might recognize from Riggs' debut released back in the Dingo days, but it's full of new material that's quite refreshing. Visit to get a copy of the new record or pick one up at the show.
Michael Henningsen - Weekly Alibi-Music to Your Ears 7/8/04
Jason Riggs will sing at The Daily Grind on Monday evening. Singer returns for Daily Grind show
A musician who is lauded for easily cycling "between haunting ballads and guitar-propelled rock" is scheduled for a single performance at 7 p.m. Monday at The Daily Grind Espresso Bar, 209 S. Union Ave.

New Mexico native Jason Riggs, who spent about five years in Pueblo, said his brand of music is "Americana, you know, some rock ’n’ roll, country and folk, all tied together." He is both a singer and songwriter.

"I spent six years in a soul-sucking day job at an Albuquerque semiconductor plant and played guitar at night," the 33-year-old musician said. "My big break came when I got laid off the job and, separation check in hand, started my own independent record label, BINGO Recordings, and I released my first album, ‘These Wheels.’ ”

Riggs is on a multi-state regional tour promoting his new 11-cut album, "Pawn Shop Special." He's no stranger to Pueblo, having played for at least three Pueblo Songwriters and Musicians Association-sponsored Acoustic Gallery shows. There's more information about the artist on and information about his CD on
Marvin Read - Pueblo Chieftan-6/25/04 (Apr 2, 2005)
Top Entertainment Stories
...uniqueness of Americana

Jason Riggs’ latest CD, ‘Pawn Shop Special,’ hits Laramie

Much of the uniqueness of Americana is told through a microphone accompanied by an acoustic guitar. Jason Riggs, who’s new album “Pawn Shop Special” was recently released, will come to Laramie bringing with him stories of growing up and finding a place.

Riggs came to Laramie to promote his last album, in 1999, but hasn’t been back since for multitudes of reasons, he said.

Nonetheless, he added, he’s enthusiastic in his belated return.

“It’s a little different than my first one. In some ways it’s more stripped down, in some ways it’s less stripped down, as far as production goes,” Riggs said. “This one was actually recorded very old fashioned on analogue tape.”

The initial recording and mixing were all done manually without the help of many of the current recording tools, Riggs said. The idea, he added, is a more authentic sound.

“I had chosen the studio because a lot of the stuff I’d heard from there had kind of an … old record sound,” Riggs said. “I don’t think (the record) sounds extremely old or anything, but I do think that recording on the analogue kind of helped the spirit of things.”

Riggs doesn’t want the record to sound old, but recording it in the way he did helps the music sound ageless. He does attribute one of the songs and much of the sound to listening to old Hank Williams songs on a less than top of the line turntable.

Whether or not the album will carry the sound and the feelings to its listeners is one of many things Riggs questions.

“You never feel like you really — well, any artist that thinks they’ve succeeded, I’m not sure I want to know them,” he said. Riggs makes it clear that he would play the music even if no one was there to listen.

The name, “Pawn Shop Special,” comes from Riggs’ experiences in music performance. Many years ago, when he was with an entire band, he was playing in a bar in Albuquerque, N.M., when his Gibson gave him a hard time.

“Every gig something went wrong with it. If a knob wasn’t falling off, or you know — you’re putting it on one channel and you’re getting feedback like crazy,” Riggs said. “This fella that was in this other band came up and he told me that, ‘pawn shop special.’”

The album, and the first song especially, reflects the enthusiasm that creativity evokes and the reality of how common many people’s aspirations are, Riggs said. While he realizes how life as a musician isn’t always a promising endeavor, Riggs carries a positive attitude and an enthusiasm for his music.

The album, which is dedicated to Riggs’ grandmothers, has been in the works for some time.

“For about two years now I’ve been thinking this record would be out in six months,” Riggs said. “And something always came up. I had a hard time getting it the way I wanted it.”

Riggs recorded the album five times before he was finally happy. The problem was that all the music needed to be recorded together, instead of multi-tracked the way it usually is. Finally when he was ready to record the album with only himself and his guitar, he found studio musicians that could make it happen with him.

The show is still a solo act, but Riggs was in a complete band at one time, but because of complications with making all the components fit, he went out on his own.

Since being on his own, he’s had less complications with getting shows. Sticking to coffee houses and smaller gatherings, Riggs enjoys his career as a solo musician.

Jason Riggs will play at Coal Creek Coffee House Friday at 8 p.m.
James Myers - Laramie Boomerang-6/24/04 (Apr 2, 2005)
Riggs, Parke return to Acoustic Gallery Stage
The last time local musicians Jason Riggs and Steve Parke performed on the Acoustic Gallery concert stage, it was a memorable evening. It was Sept. 11. Despite the day's horrific events, the show went on as scheduled, although both Riggs and Parke played abbreviated sets in front of a small crowd. Parke, assisted by Riggs' backup vocals and harmonica, concluded the emotional night with a rendition of Bob Dylan’s "Blowin’ in the Wind." Riggs and Parke will return to the Acoustic Gallery spotlight, under less stressful circumstances, on Tuesday night at the Riverwalk Restaurant and Lounge, 219 S. Grand Ave. The singer/songwriters will play from 7 to 9 p.m., and admission is free. The Acoustic Gallery concerts, held on the second Tuesday of each month, are sponsored by the Pueblo Songwriters and Musicians Association and used to showcase local musicians. Riggs' compact disc, "These Wheels," will be for sale at the concert. All proceeds from the album sales on Tuesday will be donated to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. ©1996-2000 The pueblo Chieftain Online
Scott Smith - Pueblo Chieftain-11/9/01 (Apr 2, 2005)
Local singer/songwriter Jason Riggs will take time out from working on his second CD to perform Tuesday night at this month's Acoustic Gallery concert. Riggs - guitar in hand and original songs on his lips - will play from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Riverwalk Restaurant and Lounge, 219 S. Grand Ave. There is no admission for the concert, which is sponsored by the Pueblo Songwriters and Musicians Association. Riggs' musical influences include Johnny Cash, the Ramones, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel, but his sound is strictly his own: a mix of Americana, folk and rock.
unknown - Pueblo Chieftain-9/9/01 (Apr 2, 2005)
Jason Riggs checks out of Heartbreak Hotel endlessly in search of that dream lover.

There's a working man's riff and rhyme to Pueblo singer-songwriter Jason Riggs' debut release, "These Wheels," though he doesn't quite see it that way.

"I wanted that concentrated theme, but I didn't want it to be like a jukebox in a waffle house with truckers," Riggs said.

Point it out to Riggs, 28, and he's surprised, but he will concede that the record does, at times, strike a "Born to Run" chord.

"I like the steel town aspect of it," Riggs said.

But it's hard not to ignore the possibility that "These Wheels" is meant for any guy who worked all summer at construction, just wishing he could split town and drive endlessly in search of that dream lover. It's evident in the titles of many of the tracks: "Voices in the Wind," "Windows Rolled Down," "These Wheels," "Sunsets." Sounds like Riggs is that guy, and he has driving on his mind.

He did, a few years ago, when he dropped out of college, swung different day jobs (the last in semiconductor plant) and lacked a significant other. Yes, a trip to Memphis - the ol' heart of rock and roll- was in order. "I hated my job and I was single, and I hated being single, and my apartment was lame," Riggs said. "It just seemed like a good idea to get out of town."

But, before he did, Riggs wrote the album's title track and a tune he says is its central point, with the opening lyrics "Something in the air's got me feeling down/nowhere I can breathe in the fumes of this town" reflecting all the frustration and wanderlust wrapped into a dirty work jacket.

Sounds like Springsteen doesn't it?

"Every time I wanted to go home," Riggs said of traveling from Albuquerque to Pueblo where his folks lived, "there was this big long drive. So when you're playing Springsteen's music when you drive, I don't know, it does something to you."

Though it sounds like an outtake from Meatloaf's "Bat Out of Hell," Riggs said the album's opener, "Remember the Night," is maybe the most Springsteenesque track on the record--but it's not like he's trying to be from New Jersey. "I also do an 'oh-oh' that's a total rip from the Ronnettes," he said. "That whole Phil Spector sound was a big influence on both Springsteen and the Meatloaf album, from what I've read."

Getting closer now to classic sounds, Riggs said he was never a big fan of the 80's mix growing up, opting to wear out his copy of the "American Graffiti" soundtrack instead of the something like a Soft Cell record.

And if you couldn't tell, "These Wheels" has its share of sad songs and loverboy blues. Where do you think that comes from?

"Um, lack of a girlfriend is what started it," he said. "I gues that's a little obvious, huh?"

But have no fear. He's now with girlfriend and feeling fine. However, Riggs' is preparing to go back into the studio for a follow-up to "These Wheels," the album ridden with ballads and heartbroken anthems, written back in the days when long drives south eased the pain.

"I can always spin off a heartbreak song...," Riggs said with confidence. So no worries-- we'd like to think.

"...But yeah, my girlfriend was letting me know," he added, "that's getting a little old with her."

Riggs will appear on Wyoming Public Radio's "All Things Acoustic" with Heidi Nibbelink Saturday at 1 p.m., followed by a performance at Coal Creek at 8 p.m.
Eric Rohr (Boomerang Features Writer) - Laramie Boomerang-1/19/00 (Apr 2, 2005)
...heavy on the words ... backed by acoustic melodies.
Jason Riggs is a passionate man. The singer-songwriter from Albuquerque is a minstrel, traveling around the Southwest in his pickup truck singing about life and love to whoever cares to listen. The troubadour life began when Riggs was laid off from his "soul-sucking" job at a semiconductor plant. He decided that he had had enough with the day jobs and set off to find fame and fortune through his music. He created his own recording label and produced a debut CD, These Wheels.

The album is heavily influenced by the everyday-man sound of John Mellencamp (pre- and post-Cougar), the youthful passion of Bruce Springsteen and the romanticism of Johnny Cash. These Wheels highlights Riggs' own emotional fervor, with every single song dwelling on past loves, past adventures, past relationships or future pain. The CD focus more on lyricism than instrumentation, with most songs heavy on the words but backed by acoustic melodies. Kiren Bahm adds a striking violin solo on "Every Word," and Andrew Fietek's organ, accordion and mandolin appear throughout. Riggs plays his own guitars, and Roger Jameson and Kenn Rodriguez help out on bass and drums, respectively.

Riggs' travels ended up in Pueblo, which he now calls home. He'll be setting out again on his "Acoustic...and Alone" tour, playing coffeehouses throughout the area until February. The tour begins with his performance Friday night at Starbucks. Call 719-265-9291 to find out more.
Kirsten Sherwood - Colorado Springs Independent-1/6/2000 (Apr 2, 2005)
Acoustic Gallery to feature Riggs' Brand of folk music
He plays music from the heart-and the heartland: some folk tunes, or Americana if you will, with a smidgen of rock’n’roll thrown in for good measure. But whether his guitar of the moment happens to be acoustic or electric, Jason Riggs creates sounds that audiences applaud.

On Tuesday night, his style will be unplugged, as befitting a performance at the Acoustic Gallery at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center. Riggs, a 28-year-old Albuquerque, N.M. native who now lives in Pueblo, will perform at 7pm at the arts center.

What should listeners expect? Plenty of original works from a singer/songwriter who says he wears his heart on his sleeve and isn’t afraid to sing about it. With a raspy, deep voice, Riggs will regale the crowd with passionate tales from real life-songs of unrequited love, escape, and redemption. The song titles from his first CD, “These Wheels,” reflect Riggs’ creative direction and personal experiences: “Remember the Night,” “Voices in the Wind,” “Windows Rolled Down,” “Run Where You Will,” and “Sunsets.” After being laid off from his job in a New Mexico semiconductor plant last year, Riggs has worked full-time polishing his music.

He’s toured the Southwest, publicized his CD and even created his own recording label. Riggs’ musical influences include Johnny Cash, the Ramones, Bruce Springsteen, and Billy Joel.

Also appearing at the Acoustic Gallery will be local guitarist/singer David Gouge. Gouge calls his style traditional picking and strumming, an “Austin” type of country sound. Gouge’s musical inspirations include Keith Richards, Willie Dixon, Woody Guthrie, and Ralph Stanley.
Pueblo Chieftan-10/9/1999 (Apr 2, 2005)
9/27/1998 Ear to the Ground with Amanda Boles

"What are we degenerates?"

The following is a transcript of the KUNM FM Radio program "Ear to the Ground" broadcast live on September 27, 1998 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Amanda Boles hosted. The program started with Jason playing "These Wheels" and "Run Where You Will." Jason said he had a great time doing the show, and really enjoyed Amanda's questions. His only complaint was he was not allowed to bring his can of diet coke into the studio.

"They pry saw me bumping my guitar into chairs and walls, and were rightfully worried that I'd spill coke on the microphones and not have the cash to pay for them," Jason said.

Amanda: You're listening to Ear to the Ground, your showcase for local music. I'm Amanda Boles here today with singer/songwriter Jason Riggs. Hi Jason.

Jason: Hey Amanda, how you doing?

Amanda: I'm good, how are you doing?

Jason: I'm doing pretty good. Amanda: Good.

Jason: I'm very happy to be here.

Amanda: Yeah? I'm happy to have you here.

Jason: Cool.

Amanda: Yeah, I've been enjoying your music.

Jason: Oh, thank you.

Amanda: So, Jason, tell me about the last two songs we just heard. What were their names?

Jason: Uh-the first one was "These Wheels." Which I went ahead and named my album after it. The second one was a song called "Run Where You Will."

Amanda: The words on the first one, "These Wheels." What were you thinking about when you wrote them?

Jason: Actually, I wrote it a couple of years ago. I was working in a job I really didn't like. And I wasn't happy with the direction my life was going. I needed to get out of town and just cruise. Some friends of mine were taking a road trip through the South, and I was just kind of sitting there packing up things and the idea came to me that this is the kind of moment I need to write about.

Amanda: Yeah, I love road trips.

Jason: Yeah, well, they're an important part of life I think.

Amanda: That's one good thing about America, I think.

Jason: It's a funny thing. We have the most cars; we cause the most pollution. And everyone's aware of that. However, I don't think I could surrender my keys.

Amanda: There's something very liberating about it.

Jason: Exactly. I think it's got a lot to do with just the American character in general. It was wagons, it was railroads, now its cars. So, I think we're going to be a threat to the environment for quite some time.

Amanda: Yeah, no doubt.

Jason: And I'm part of the problem.

Amanda: Yeah, me too. Is writing, songwriting and maybe even lyric writing, really kind of therapeutic for you?

Jason: Oh yeah.

Amanda: In ("Run Where You Will") it seems like it.

Jason: (Laughing.) Yeah, definitely. I think, ideally, that's what makes it better. It's one of those things, you know, whenever you're going to meet somebody, you've got to be yourself. That's always the cliche advice, but it's so true. And it's the same thing with songs, I mean the more walls you can break down and really expose yourself, the better it works for everyone, the listener and you. And everything.

Amanda: Honesty.

Jason: Exactly. This is-I'm sure in many radio stations around the country, whenever they have a songwriter interviewed, he says the same thing. Sometimes, I think it's those hard truths that never quite get through, and everyone has to constantly remind themselves of the 'cliches.' Breaking down barriers and exposing.

Amanda: Was the CD "These Wheels" that for you?

Jason: In many ways. Unfortunately, it took me, being totally independent and everything, it took me a while to get to a point where I could actually record the CD. Just funding and setting things up. It was a start and stop process for a while. I'd work with some people until the money ran out here. So, the songs are actually kind of a time capsule from a point maybe a couple of years ago. Some of them were written more recently, but the gist of the album is where I was at a couple of years ago. So, I'm looking forward to the next one and catching up. By the time I get that out, I'll be two years behind. So, every time you see me, you get the last two years of my life.

Amanda: (Laughs) So, Jason, you were actually born in Albuquerque, but you don't live here anymore, do you?

Jason: Oh yeah, I was born and raised in Albuquerque, and then, less than a year ago, I was working in a semiconductor plant here in town, and I got laid off. So, I thought, well, now is the time to dedicate myself to music. So, I've been kind of based out of Colorado, but I've been traveling quite a bit. Trying to play here and there, I'm just now kind of getting everything rolling with it.

Amanda: Did you just get off a tour?

Jason: Yeah, this summer I took a drive through—I played a couple of dates in the Midwest, and I played along the East Coast. And, I'm trying to set up some dates in the Southwest. I've been trying to keep moving. Just keep moving. That's been the whole point of my existence.

Amanda: Well that's kind of nice, and I think to really get out there you have to that.

Jason: It's a catch 22. Because, if you do have the day job, you're going to be able to pay your rent, but you don't have the opportunity to travel. However, if you're traveling, odds are you're not making too much money. At least, where I'm at. It's a double-edged sword; I'm just trying to work both blades.

Amanda: Well, great, I hope it works out for you.

Jason: Yeah, me too.
You're helping me by letting me come on your show.

Amanda: When are you going to performing in Albuquerque again?

Jason: I'll be back in Albuquerque December 18th, I'll be doing an instore at Bound To Be Read.

Amanda: How about some more songs?

Jason: Sure. You bet.

Amanda: What's the next one?

Jason: I think I'm going to do "Incomplete Turnaround." This is a song I wrote-um (strums guitar) there was this park in town that when I was younger. I'd go to, 'cause if you had a roommate, you couldn't bring your date home, and if you couldn't go to her place 'cause someone was there, so you end up hanging out in parks like some kind of degenerate.

Amanda: (Laughing.) There's couples necking on blankets.

Jason: Exactly. And the sad thing is that's when there's the real spark. And then as the years go by, and the love starts to die, you know you try to tap back into that initial spirit, "hey let's go back to that park we used to go to!" I think she told me, "what are we, degenerates?"

Amanda: (Laughing.)

Jason: So, it was kind of stuck. So, anyway—but its always nice to have a nice place you were at that now every time you drive by it, it reminds you of someone and makes you sad.

Amanda: Great, Jason. Thanks.

Jason then plays "Incomplete Turnaround," and three more. "Voices," "Stronger Than Death" (an unreleased dark, folkish tune that is not on the album), and "Windows Rolled Down."

Amanda: This is "Ear to the Ground." I'm Amanda Boles with singer/songwriter
Jason Riggs. Hi Jason.

Jason: Hey, again!

Amanda: (Laughs.) We just heard "Windows Rolled Down", before that was "Stronger than Death", and "Voices." And then we started off the set with "Incomplete Turnaround." So, Jason, your new CD, we can get it at Bound To Be Read?

Jason: Locally, you can get it at Bound To Be Read, Bow Wow Records, Natural Sounds, and all area Hastings. As well as on my Internet site, if you're an Internet person. I have a website that you can order it from.

Amanda reads the Internet address out loud, and the two laugh at how complicated it is.

Jason: Anytime I enter the picture, it becomes very complicated.

Amanda: Oh.

Jason: You were even saying that things were running kind of crazy today. It's cause I'm here.

Amanda: Well, its not really crazy, its just because we had two hours before you came on. I got here at two and you had already done your soundcheck. We had a lot of time. It's not all crazy though.

Jason: Oh no, I wasn't insinuating anything bad or anything---

Amanda: Oh no. I just hope you didn't...

Jason: Oh! Now I've done it!

Amanda: Oh no (sympathetically).

Jason: I dissed KUNM!

Amanda: Okay. Well, anyways! I am here today, this is Amanda Boles with "Ear to the Ground", and I'm here today with Jason Riggs. I wanted to ask you about the song "Stronger than Death." That isn't on your new CD is it?

Jason: Actually, it's not. I could've put it on there, but I didn't think it fit in thematically.

Amanda: It has a different feel to it.

Jason: Yeah, that one's more folkish I think.

Amanda: (Is that a direction) we might look forward to in the future from you?

Jason: At this point, but I might change my mind next month and decide I need something happier or something like that. (Laughs.) Depends on my mood. But yeah-I'm already tracking some stuff and I'm thinking the next one, whenever I get around to recording it, will pry go more towards that direction.

Amanda: Well, don't you think its kind of nice to have a variety of stuff on one album, or do you like to go with one feel?

Jason: Um-well it just depends on what you're trying to say and what you think the album is doing. With this album, like I said its kind of a time capsule of life from my teens to my mid-twenties. To kind of capture that, thematically on that one I didn't really want to go real dark with it. And I just wanted to tell a story from one point to another point. So, nowhere did it call for that particular song or that particular kind of song. That's why I hesitate to say 'the next one.' I mean, I kind of have to assess what it needs and where its going to go before I pick out each and every song. But, I would like that ("Stronger than Death") one to be on the next one.

Amanda: So, the last album, the years that it features, they were kind of light, and fun, and happy?

Jason: Well-not really.

Amanda: No?

Jason: I don't want to make it sound like it's a total bubblegum kind of thing. You know, the darkness on that one, on my first album, is going to be more centered around heartbreak, stuff like that. Themes like that. And growing pains. What am I going to do with my life? Where am I, who am I? Finding yourself. That's where (my album) went. Whereas the
song "Stronger than Death" that I just played is more of a grief scenario. That really wasn't available for the first album, but maybe the next one, I can tap into that. If that answers your question, that was a very wordy answer.

Amanda: No, no. That's what we want. Words. Your guitar! I mean, this guitar is beautiful.

Jason: Oh, thank you.

Amanda: It is like this red wood. It just glows. What kind of wood is that?

Jason: Oh God, now you're going to expose me for the fraud I am. (Thumps his guitar.) I'm not sure. It is a—

Amanda: It has to be dyed, don't you think?

Jason: Oh yeah, yeah. They don't—(laughing), they paint these.

Amanda: Yeah, red.

Jason: See, I could tell you two stories. I could say that I was walking home, and I found it embedded in a big stone rock, and, like, no one else could lift it out of the rock and then a lightning bolt hit, and I could do it. Or, I could tell you I bought it for—you know, I bought it for about five hundred bucks at a store, it's a Fender guitar, Fender acoustic, and –uh— (strums again) it's been a pretty good friend.

Amanda: Yeah. I bet. And I'm sure that a guitar is pretty important for you.

Jason: Yeah it is. It is. It's a pretty good guitar. I appreciate your compliments on it. I got one war wound; well I guess no one can see it.

Amanda: Its character.

Jason: Yeah, it's a little character.

Amanda: A little ding on the—
Jason: Yeah, exactly. It's a little ding on the face of the guitar. I'm kind of hoping within the next twenty years its gonna be like faded and really beat up like Willie Nelson's. That would be really cool.

Amanda: Hey!

Jason: That's my goal. That's my professional goal—is for my guitar to get as beat up as Willie Nelson's.

Amanda: It'll show all the things that you've been through.

Jason: Exactly. Exactly.

Amanda: Well great, Jason. I think we have time for one more song before we go to our archive piece. But then, Jason, will you stay around and take us out with the last song? We'll go out today with a song from you.

Jason: I'd love to do that.

At this point, as Jason prepares to perform "Sunsets," he spends about twenty seconds of dead air time trying to adjust his harmonica rack. Finally, he blows into his harp and plays "Sunsets."

Amanda: So, Jason, I think we actually have time for maybe a song and a half!

Jason: (Laughing) Okay.

Amanda: So, what's up next?

Jason: I'm gonna play a little ditty called "Remember the Night." It opens up my album. It's kind of an ode to summertime.

Amanda: Or goodbye to summertime.

Jason: Well, yeah. It's a fondness/looking back thing. But, I want to thank you for having me here. I really appreciate it. And KUNM is always very supportive of local artists and everything. And I've utilized that quite a few times, I really appreciate your guys' continuing efforts.

Amanda: Well, thank you! You've done, actually, a lot for us. You came in here, I think it was last year, and did "Little Drummer Boy" for our Christmas –

Jason: That was fun.

Amanda: Yeah, it was.

Jason: Will that be played again?

Amanda: I'm not sure. I'm not sure what we're going to do for Christmas this year.

Jason: (Laughs.)

Amanda: So, this is "Remember the Night." Thanks Jason. Jason plays. Amanda: I want to thank Jason Riggs for being here. Also, Jonathan Lancourte for his production work and for being here to tell us about the Folk Alliance. Thanks to you all for listening out there. And thanks Kay Day for turning us on. I'm Amanda Boles for KUNM. Thanks again.

The End
DJ Amanda Boles - "Interview with Jason Riggs on KUNM Radio"-9/27/1998 (Apr 5, 2005)
BIG RIGGS - Acoustic Rocker Hitting the Road
9/25/1998 Albuquerque Journal Venue Entertainment Guide
"...acoustic afair with a rock'n'roll heart."

Unlike country super-snob Tanya Tucker, homeboy singer/songwriter Jason Riggs would never arrive 90 minutes late for a show because the vehicle was not a limo. In fact, Riggs seems like the kind of guy who would grab his red acoustic guitar and hop a ride in the back of a pickup truck to get to a show. Regardless of how he gets here, Riggs will launch his Southwest tour at 8 PM. Saturday at the Riverside Theatre, 112 Washington SE. He'll be playing tunes from his new CD "These Wheels," a mostly acoustic affair with a rock 'n' roll heart. He easily cycles between haunting ballads and guitar propelled rockers, nearly all with hooky choruses. Here's your chance to catch him before he's riding in limos. Tickets are $6 in advance, $8 at the door.
Anthony DellaFlora - Albuquerque Journal-9/25/1998 (Apr 5, 2005)
Life on the Road - Pueblo's Riggs can sing a thing or two about it
Jason Riggs "Remembers the Night" he drove with his "Windows Rolled Down" and the radio on.

Then he made an "Incomplete Turnaround" letting "These Wheels" take him " Where There's Love" and " Sunsets" ... and music. Riggs is no stranger to smoky bars, coffeehouses and staying up late because that's the road he's been taking (not that there's any other) to foster a career as an acoustic singer/songwriter.

At 27, the Albuquerque native-turned Puebloan said he has had an ear for music since he was 5 years old when he discovered his parents' Elvis Presley records. "This event, coupled with a high school devoid of female attentions, could mean only one thing: I was destined to be a musician and songwriter," he says.

In high school, music was really a way of survival, he added. "I was writing lyrics in class when I should have been reading British literature," he confessed with a laugh.

After getting laid off from his job at a New Mexico semiconductor plant earlier this year, Riggs moved to Pueblo to be with family and to focus on his music career.

"In Albuquerque, I'd work during the day and gig at night," the energetic singer explained. " I did that for three years until I got laid off and moved here."

His plan?" To get my record done, promote it, and hit the road," he said. In less than a year, Riggs has lived up to his word by creating his own record label B-I-N-G-O Recordings, recording his first CD and touring the country. Describing his music as folk rock, or Americana, Riggs released his CD " These Wheels" in March and already has played the coffeehouse circuits in New England and the Midwest. A Southwest tour of Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona is in the works.

As a preview to his upcoming tour, Riggs will be performing from 2-4 p.m. Saturday at Hastings in Pueblo's Regency Shopping Center. The following weekend he'll do the same in Albuquerque.

Riggs, who in 1993 opened for country western star Colin Raye at the Colorado State Fair amphitheater, said he will perform acoustic selections from his new album and sign CDs during his appearance.

Although those who hear Riggs live will just hear his guitar and his voice, they might be surprised at the sound of his CD.

"The concept there is, I'm still doing what I normally do in coffeehouses and bars, but for the CD, I just put an electric rock 'n' roll band behind it."

Unplugged or not, it's obvious that Riggs is a rock 'n' roller at heart. With his deep, raspy voice and forceful guitar that can instantly calm down for a tender ballad, the rock 'n' roll feel is there.

When it comes to lyrics, Riggs describes his first recording endeavor as a "rite of passage" from his teen years into his 20's.

"I was kind of a young punk who wasn't quite ready for the real world," he explained. " But all that's changed now that I'm older. For my next CD, I want to write another group of songs that will fill that gap."

With influences ranging from Johnny Cash and the Ramones to Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen, Riggs' future works should offer quite a musical spectrum. For more information on Riggs, check out his website at He may also be reached at P.O. Box 3238, Pueblo, CO 81005-0238.

His "These Wheels" CD is available for purchase at Hastings and Pueblo Records and Tapes.
Yvette S. Padilla - Pueblo Chieftan-9/18/1998 (Apr 5, 2005)
"Rock'N'Roll Acoustic Guitar from New Mexico"

9/1/1998 Guitar Nine Records Online Magazine

"...unflinchingly rocks with heart, soul, and guts galore."

Jason Riggs, to quote his press release, is a singer/songwriter who wears his heart on his sleeve and isn't afraid to sing about it. His debut CD, which Riggs co-produced, is entitled These Wheels, and features a collection of ten rock numbers dominated by Riggs' voice and acoustic guitar. Rather than recording his songs as he performs them (solo and acoustic), Riggs chose to use a full band, even including a bittersweet violin solo (played by Kiren Bahn) on the plaintive "Every Word". Highlights on These Wheels include the rockabilly ode to lust, "Tumble", the stark "Voices In The Wind", and the title track, which unflinchingly rocks with heart, soul and guts galore. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jason led a fairly normal life up until the age of five, when he happened to discover his parent's Elvis Presley records. This event, coupled with a high school career devoid of female attention could mean only one thing--a career as a musician and songwriter. Jason fronted the 'loud, electric' band Rumbleseat for two years before leaving to craft some accessible acoustic tunes. After a nine-month hiatus from live work, he is back playing solo in front of audiences. Jason counts Johnny Cash, the Ramones, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen among his many influences. Riggs will be touring the east cost of the United States this summer and in the fall, expects to play live throughout the southwestern U.S. You can get more information about Jason Riggs and his music by contacting B-I-N-G-O Recordings. B-I-N-G-O Recordings P.O. Box 3238 Pueblo, CO 81005-0238 USA
Guitar Nine Records Online Zine-9/1/1998 (Apr 5, 2005)
These Wheels - Jason Riggs
By Anthony DellaFlora

Cars, girls, heartbreak and regret are proven rock 'n' roll themes. Mix them with some catchy songwriting and you've got "These Wheels," a strong effort from homegrown Albuquerque talent Jason Riggs. A singer/songwriter with a rock 'n' roll heart, Riggs is equally adept on stripped-down acoustic tunes and all-out rockers. His performance is heartfelt and passionate, and he's got the knack for the anthemic hook. Riggs only needs time to perfect his artistic voice. The influence of Springsteen, and perhaps, John Mellencamp, is still heavy. And he tries to cram so much lyrically into each song that sometimes they can barely breathe. The promise is there, though, in tunes like the title cut, "Run Where You Will," and the raucous "Tumble."
Anthony DellaFlora - Albuquerque Journal-9/1/1998 (Apr 5, 2005)
Bar-band dropout is back onstage with solo show
Jason Riggs is a loner.

Riggs, a local musician, has eschewed band life for almost a year now for the chance to hone his songwriting skills as a solo artist.

But night owls who have checked out the Riverside Repertory Theater company's Friday night Reptilian Lounge Variety Show during the last few weeks know that Riggs is back.

"It'll be good to get my stage legs back," Riggs says, adding that the variety show has been a forum for him to get back into the music scene after a nine-month hiatus.

Riggs will tease audiences tomorrow night at the variety show and plug his own gig at the theater on Saturday. The show is called "Acoustic...and Alone." And for obvious reason.

Riggs had been the frontman for local band Rumbleseat for two years when he left the group last summer.

He says most of the tunes the band performed were his, but the songs he plays now are new tunes that didn't fit in with the "loud electric band."

So, taking some time to develop a somewhat softer style, Riggs has been crafting some acoustic tunes that should be more accessible.

"This is the chance to be the sensitive songwriter," he says.

Riggs says his influences come from many different sources, including Johnny Cash, The Ramones, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen.

"I'm really unhip," he says, adding that he's not just trying to be alternative by not being hip. "I was about five when I found my mom and dad's Elvis collection."

While trying to grow his sideburns out in the 20 years since that discovery, Riggs has been writing lyrics like most authors: He writes what he knows.

"My songs aren't as riddled with clichés as my interviews," he promises.

He says the songs' subjects' range from love to working in a semiconductor plant.

Most of all, though, Riggs is just trying out the acoustic solo gig, though there may be additional players in the future.

"If it works with me and a guitar, it's work with whatever I add to it," he says. "At some point in the near future I'll be putting a band together."

The difference between a band and a solo act is something Riggs has had to work out.

"You can't lean on anybody," he says. "You have to be all there."

He thanks the Riverside Repertory Theater for indulging in his musical whim.
Zachary T. Shank - Daily Lobo-1996 (Apr 5, 2005)

2/1/1997 Albuquerque Journal

By Kenn Rodriguez and Kevin Hopper

...the stripped-down center of rock 'n' roll.

Used to be that if you saw a guy in a cafe playing a guitar, he was: a) singer/songwriter; b) singing a James Taylor song; and c) as far from rock 'n' roll as you could get.

Well, if you go see Jason Riggs play his acoustic rock at Emma's Silvertone Cafe tonight, you'll probably hear no James Taylor and you will be at the stripped-down center of rock 'n' roll.

Riggs is the kind of guy who plays his guitar standing up, unplugged or not, wears his heart on his sleeve and isn't scared to sing about it--and he'll add a bit of snarl to his bittersweet tunes that neither Taylor nor Simon and Garfunkel would allow.

Riggs is part of a gaggle of Albuquerque acoustic singer/songwriters who are, like Donny Osmond, a little bit rock 'n' roll. He also is a big Springsteen buff, which explains his reluctance to sit down. His catchy songs may have you wanting to stand as well.
Kenn Rodriguez and Kevin Hopper - Albuquerque Journal-2/1/1997 (Apr 5, 2005)