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singer-songwriter richard cortez weaves a unique blend of his off-color humor, heart-wrenching ballads and upbeat anthems for an unforgettable show that surprisingly can please just about any audience.
since founding his independent record label, wollenberg records, in the fall of 2004, folk rocker richard cortez has been taking the indie music scene by storm one busted guitar string at a time. named best of south florida’s male entertainer of the year ’07, cortez has appeared most recently at ft. lauderdale, charlotte, south carolina and milwaukee pride festivals with legendary musicians and television personalities like rupaul, kathy griffin, joan rivers, bruce vilanch, patti labelle and melissa ferrick. from his 10 years of experience performing his original material live in front of captive audiences nationwide to his in-house brand management team that handles all graphic design, richard cortez is truly a musical package that can’t be missed.
when richard cortez takes the stage, he doesn’t just “sing” his original material— he performs it! recalling every bittersweet heartache or laugh-out-loud life experience with an earnestness and sincerity as if it had just happened to him, richard cortez truly raises the standard for what an audience member should expect in a world filled with aspiring singer-songwriters. having played both intimate coffee house stages and power house festivals with crowds by the thousand, richard cortez’s versatile and unique presentation of his award-winning and critically acclaimed material (and the occasion unexpected cover song) is perfect for nearly every venue.
known mostly for his infamous first single, “craving something beautiful,” which appeared on cortez’s first full-length studio album, it was clear from the get-go that richard cortez was not your average recording artist. the record, appropriately entitled craving something beautiful, started appearing for sale online and in small gay retail shops in the summer of ’05, and has become somewhat of a gay folk cult classic. lyrically raw and uncensored, the album showcases the voice of a heartbroken but determined cortez striving to find meaning in the crowded streets of new york city as he leaves the only love hes ever known.
almost immediately after releasing his debut musical effort, richard embarked on his first tour with friend and cellist greg bortnichak of sparta philharmonic. the tour consisted of an intimate array of coffee houses and dive bars along the east coast. it was this high level of intimacy and performance quality that brought to the table the idea of recording a live album similar to the likes of these shows. on june 16th, 2005, in a room filled with only his closest friends, richard cortez recorded his sophomore record, live @ the red room. this personal and musically profound follow up to his debut record showcases new and improved renditions of pre-wollenberg records compositions, songs off craving something beautiful, and raw first takes of songs off “he loves me not.” with material spanning his entire career as a writer and musical arrangements that will leave you breathless, this high-energy album is the perfect introduction to what richard cortez really has to offer as a live performer.
in the spring of 2008, the folks at wollenberg rediscovered tracks from a five-song EP entitled he loves me not, which was shelved due to a loss of essential music files. a burned cd of the five songs in their rawest form luckily resurfaced and the low-fi tracks were released as a free download—a “gift” to all of richard’s loyal fan base. we are proud to announce that hundreds of people have downloaded the album all over the world and the album is still receiving extremely positive feedback.
in 2010, richard cortez explored the darker side of his music on his highly anticipated second full-length studio album sleeping with strangers—with a rock n’ roll flare. from its catchy and radio-friendly pop songs like “be alright” to the dark depths of its heart-wrenching title track “sleeping with strangers,” this all-encompassing autobiographical memoir tugs at the heart strings of anyone who has ever woke up hung over, heart broken and alone.
in 2012, richard cortez rocked the pride festival circuit, performing with well known “out” artists like tom goss and eric himan. along the way, he was able to put together a small intimate house concert where he set up his recording gear and thus came the birth of lived in : a live richard cortez recording, cortez’ 1st live album in 6 years.
wollenberg records catapulted into multi-media full force with the release of “for the record.”
for the record follows the making of [rec]ord in documentary format. filmed and edited by wollenberg records founder, richard cortez, this fast paced & fun high energy footage includes tell-all interviews with the wollenberg records team, footage of the tumultuous recording process and a behind the scenes look at the making of a richard cortez album.
[rec]ord, wollenberg records sixth release since 2005, is exploding with five brand new never-before-heard richard cortez songs! This DIY EP, carefully constructed in cortez’ home recording studio, is driven by an airtight 13-piece orchestra and a wailing chorus of back-up singers. richard’s quirky signature hammering and finger-picking of his acoustic guitar, memorable mouth-curling lyrics and adoring warm baritone voice lay a strong foundation for the album’s expansive and soaring arrangements written by none other than cortez himself. from the soulful heartfelt rock anthem “patsy cline” to the big-band Beatles-inspired “the next best thing”, this is richard’s strongest and most eclectic work to date. listen to richard cortez like you’ve never heard him before with [rec]ord, available from digital sources and wollenberg records on may 1.