Richie Onori’s Blues Messenger, fronted by rock musician Richie Onori, champions human rights and individual freedoms with the release of “In The Name Of Freedom.” The album was produced by Dave Jenkins, known for his work with, among others, Tori Amos, Dionne Warwick, and Tower of Power. The band (Phil Woodard, guitar; Marvin Sperling, bass; Richie Onori, guitars/vocals) is fronted by Onori, renowned for his high-energy drumming in both multi-platinum bands The Sweet (“Ballroom Blitz,” “Fox On The Run”) as well as Heaven And Earth, both of whom he continues to be active in.
All Access Contributing Editor Doug Deutsch (DD) recently interviewed Richie about the thinking that went into the songs on “In The Name Of Freedom,” as well as his thoughts on Ted Nugent’s social/political views, and much more. Here’s how it went.
DD: On your latest album “In The Name Of Freedom” you state, “the system is rigged in such a way that “We The People” are pitted against each other to create controversy, chaos, and hear. Their intent is to distract the attention away from them. We can’t, as citizens, come together to defeat this attack if we don’t know who the real targets are. There are very few who know who the real targets are. Do you?” Who exactly are you referring to here, and what has led you to have the feelings you do?
RO: Who? The enemy is the Utopia-minded social and economic planners who think “they know better” and whose arrogance is destroying the cultural standards of the people and replacing them with untried and insane concepts of total social control. This arrogance starts with the most powerful people in the world and filters down to governments and there-on downwards.
What led me to these feelings? My observations and investigation into the truth by pulling strings if you will, thus finding the truth without getting caught up in the political circus or the conspiracy theory crowd? As a citizen and an artist, I feel it is my civic duty to make a difference in a very troubled world in which we all live in through the message of music.
DD: On “Power To The People,” you sing, ‘we better come together if you want to stay free.’ Those are strong words that suggest an ominous fate for us all. Can you elaborate on this?
RO: The 2008 financial debacle should be proof enough – and I assert this was no accident, but rather, staged. Everybody feels better now even after such a greed-fest. The American public as well as the world are very vulnerable, and with the technology that is now available it’s easy to imagine how quickly all of our realities and life as we know could totally change. History has proved how greed, control and tyranny can slowly erode freedoms; one day you wake up and everything has changed because “they” are fully in control. We have to unite as a people or it won’t be good for our future or our children’s future. Divide and conquer is a term that I’m sure all have you have heard. Guess what? That’s exactly what’s been going on. We as a people deserve a stable and prosperous future and it starts with ethical behavior.
DD: Like Ted Nugent, you are a well-known rocker conveying some very strong social-political feelings. What similarities and/or differences do you see between the two of you?
RO: I think Ted has all the best intentions as most people do that wave the flag for freedom. My stance is, I’m neither left or right per se. I see injustice and corruption on both sides of our political system. I look at every issue on a non-partisan basis whereas Ted, I could only guess, is firmly fixated on the right from what I’ve seen and heard.
DD: You also state, “the time is now to organize and unify before it’s too late.” As a solutions-oriented person, how can the populace actually achieve this end?
RO: Taking and sharing this responsibility for such a monumental cause is daunting to say the least. I have a plan and I will roll it out as things develop.
DD: You have strong feelings about Native Americans that you express in the song, “Buffalo Nation.” What led you to write this particular song?
RO: I respect the Native American ways, not to mention indigenous people around the world. Their connection with the Earth and spirit resonate through me. I think we can learn a lot as a society from them. We live in a mechanized society, which in some ways made life a lot easier for man; however, it’s got us in trouble. Going back to basics by respecting our fellow man and environment has to come first, I believe we are at the crossroads and it’s time for us to take the right road or will most likely end up in a ditch on a really bad highway.
DD: Do you identify or align with any one particular political party, i.e. Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, etc?
RO: I see a lot of caring and conscientious people in those three parties that really want to make a difference. I also see with each one of those parties, that in order for them to operate and survive they must play the political game, which means they have to cut deals if you’re going to win. Unlike the aforementioned, I’m from the party of “We The People”. I would like to aspire to the position (in short order) of being a major representative for the common man and unifying our people so we can get something done unlike Congress and where “We The People” wags the dogs tail instead of vice versa as it is right now.
DD: Ultimately, what’s the most you are hoping can happen to people after they listen to “In The Name Of Freedom?”
RO: The reviews have been phenomenal and I have no doubt from the reaction thusfar that people are truly affected by my work so the jury’s out, people are affected by the record. There is hope in this world and let my life work shine as a beacon for real change in our society. As I plan my tour to promote these messages I welcome all to jump on the train and challenge the status quo in creating a better and everlasting freedom.