Musician Profile: Mike Richards

Musician Profile: Mike Richards

When passing by Augie’s Mussel House on most evenings, you will hear the sound of Mike Richards on the guitar, singing songs we all know and love. Most would never guess that he started out in music as a shy kid, recording in his room without an audience. Growing up, Mike recalls how all he would ask for Christmas every year were stacks of blank cassette tapes to record songs on.

Around the age of 14, his friend asked for some help singing “Hotel California,” as well as having Mike play the guitar on stage with him—this was his first taste of performing for others. From there, he and his friends began busking on King Street as a way of spreading their art and making some extra money until he turned 18. This led to his life as a full time singer-songwriter and performer.

While we normally see Mike performing solo with his guitar, he also plays the bass, violin, piano, clarinet, saxophone, harmonica, drums and a mean kazoo. He says his musical style has been heavily influenced by John Mayer and Incubus—a singer and a band not commonly put together in the same sentence.

You can find Mike playing in Old Town most nights, but he is also available for private parties. Coming up next is the release of his new single, “Love Drunk,” from his album “XYO.”Personally, I have a love for “When You Sing,” which is a song he wrote specifically about his hometown of Alexandria. Next time you see him, make a request with a shot of Jameson!

To know when and where Mike will be playing or to book him for a private event, visit

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