Interview with the band #4 – Rich Hinman

Today we put an end to our series of interviews with the band. After Misty Boyce, Steve Goold and Chris Morrissey, get to know Rich Hinman! Rich is Sara’s guitarist. He has played in Rosanne Cash’s and Ben Kweller’s bands before. He has also recorded with Marc Cohn, Rhett Miller, Anais Mitchell, Lucius, Bobby Long, Kelly Jones and many others.

Here’s our interview with this talented musician :


– How long have you been playing the guitar? When did you first start?

I started playing the guitar when I was nine, which is a pretty long time ago at this point. I started playing piano earlier, but despite that I’m a pretty bad piano player.

– What inspired you to play this instrument?

I think I mostly wanted to jump around. I was nine, it was 1987 or 88 and I was really into hair metal. My first concert–this is embarrassing but I’m trying to be honest here–was Whitesnake (all the youngsters out there can google this band and understand my shame) and I think I just wanted–like them–to play an instrument that allowed me to run from one side of the stage to the other as fast as possible. It would be much harder to do that with a piano. Even a keytar wouldn’t really cut it. The irony is that I now stand relatively still when I play.

– Have you had any ‘formal’ music training?

I learned to read music on piano and then I started with classical guitar. In my teens I took lessons with some really great guitar players. Then I kind of stopped the formal training part and went to college for something besides music.

– How did you meet Sara?

Chris Morrissey and I both met her through Pete and J from the band Mosco Rosco, who were called Harper Blynn at the time. We met once socially and then she came to one of our duo shows. Sara thought my name was Chad for some reason. Anyway, we cleared that up after that show and she said liked my playing, and then asked Chris and me to play a show with her in Calgary. I played some guitar and pedal steel on The Blessed Unrest, and then I started playing in her band.

– What do you enjoy most about performing with Sara? How is it different from other bands you’ve been a part of?

Everyone on this site knows this already, but Sara is an insanely great singer. I honestly didn’t know that much about her music before I started playing with her, so it was almost startling when I first heard her live on that first gig in Calgary. It’s pretty inspiring. Also, the guitar doesn’t have a very clearly defined role in her music–on some recordings there isn’t any guitar at all–so I get to do a lot of different things: take solos, play tight rhythmic stuff, play pedal steel. I have room to experiment.

– What’s your favorite Sara Bareilles song to perform live, and why?

I love playing “1000 Times” because it’s such a beautiful, aching song and because I love playing slide guitar. I wish we played it every night, but I’m not a great judge of what works in the set. Honestly, I think my ideal setlist would have like 20 ballads.

– What’s your favorite moment on a Sara Bareilles tour so far?

Playing at Radio City Music Hall was pretty glorious. I’m from New York, and it was exhilarating to play a room that big in my hometown. It felt like I was at altitude, I had trouble catching my breath. We’re playing at the Theater at Madison Square Garden this summer and I might pass out entirely. Also, the night we played with the Backstreet Boys was really goofy and fun. We were in a giant college gym somewhere and they were doing their thing and were really sweet and I remember thinking about what a cool, weird life I’ve found myself in.

– What are you listening to these days?

I’ve been listening to Frank Sinatra at the Sands a lot…it was recorded in 1966 in Vegas and he’s playing with The Count Basie Orchestra and the arrangements are by Quincy Jones. I love it so much. Also my friend Grey turned me onto this guy Lee Fields, a soul singer in his sixties who plays with a bunch of young dudes from Brooklyn. He has a song called “Could Have Been” that wrecks me.

– Do you have any side projects?

Yeah. I just finished a record of my own. It’s called “Glacier” and it’s all instrumental: two guitars, bass and drums. My guitar is kind of like the singer, if that makes sense. I also play in Chris Morrissey’s band and with a lot of other songwriters in New York. I feel very lucky to play with everybody I get to play with and to have the life I have.


Check out Rich’s official website & social links, and don’t forget to check out his new record “Glacier” :

We’d like to thank Rich for taking the time to answer our questions!

  1 comment for “Interview with the band #4 – Rich Hinman

  1. Jeb Hoge
    June 10, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    “Sinatra At The Sands” is an AMAZING record. Listening to that is like going on vacation in a time machine.

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