Eloie Richard gaining ground with his new single, Middle of the Night, and is part of the CBC Searchlight contest

Eloie Richard’s musical career really taking off

Oak Haven – Eloie Richard is feeling pretty excited

about his musical career these days, after his first single “Middle of the Night” was the number two download last week on CD Baby, and he is also competing in CBC’s “Searchlight” competition.

CD Baby is an online music store specializing in the sale of CDs, records, and music downloads, from independent musicians to consumers.

“CD Baby is a big music distributor – one of the world’s largest- and it was kind of cool to have my name in that group of people. I was the only Canadian independent artist on that list,” said Richard, who lives in Oak Haven, and drives a plow truck for the provincial Department of Transportation.

As for the “Searchlight” competition, he said there will be winners from the different regions across Canada, then an overall winner will be selected.

“I submitted a video introducing myself and sent my song ‘Middle of the Night’. It is my first single release nationwide to radio. People can buy it on CD Baby, and it is supposed to be on i-Tunes Monday.”

Richard, who grew up between Blacks Harbour and St. Stephen, comes from a very musical family, and is the youngest of the 10 children of Frank and Sadie Richard. His father died last spring, and he has eight surviving siblings, who all play and sing.

“I wish my father could be here to see it. I am starting to get a little headway. I didn’t start taking it seriously until I was in my late teens.

“My brothers always played in bands. They were my heroes. My older sisters would sing and play. We always had jam sessions or kitchen parties.”

When one of his brothers called him to say they were planning to start a family band, Richard said he practiced day and night – he plays guitar and bass.

“All my brothers and sisters were singing in my ear and teaching me harmony lines to sing and I practiced on my own, playing day and night.”

The family band, Thicker Than Water, went on to play showcases at the ECMAs, as well as the CCMAs. Richard said they had a great time, and it was a great experience, but they didn’t go out on the road as they should have, because they all had families.

“I have been in a few different bands over the years. I do a lot of acoustic shows myself. This single is just me with background vocals from my sister Deb.”

Richard said he tries not to say no when asked to play at benefit concerts, and always tries to be there. His dream is to be a full time musician.

“But I don’t have my head in the clouds. I am still buying lottery tickets. My goal is to make a living playing music – doing what I love to do. I am getting a little closer to it. If it is meant to be, it will be.

“We (family members) have all dreamt of it, but sometimes it is hard because you have a mortgage and kids. I am still working hard, and trying to get to that stage.

“I am trying not to get my hopes up, but it is very exciting. I know this is a big step for me, but I am trying to stay grounded.”

Richard said his children are older now than when he was in Thicker Than Water, and he has great support from his wife, who he described as his best friend, so if he got the chance to sign to a label or go on tour, it would be a lot easier now.

“Middle of the Night” was written by Richard and his nephew Shawn Richard, and he said he is supposed to go in the studio soon to record some more songs, plus there are some exciting things being lined up by his manager, Jeff Liberty, for the spring and summer.

When he plays at bigger venues, he plays with a band, One Night Stand, which was formed in 2009, and includes a sister and her husband, as well as a cousin.

“We still play together occasionally. It is a lot more fun for me to play with a band than on my own. I have the greatest band, because they are so helpful and so supportive.”

There is a video of “Middle of the Night” which features Richard’s son Cody, and his girlfriend Meagan Cheney. He said it was made with an almost zero budget, and filmed in St. Stephen.

“It was a learning experience. It was a long day and we got a little stressed out, but we had a lot of laughs. There have been almost 10,000 views on YouTube.

“I am getting so much support from my hometown. I am so happy and grateful for all the friends and family I have. I am so overwhelmed by all the support I am getting from Charlotte County.

“I love everybody and I can’t thank them enough. It seems to be a good start coming out of the gate – and this was all done right here in New Brunswick. I didn’t go out of New Brunswick to record.”