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Playing Around: Jason Riggs 

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Jason Riggs is a passionate man. The singer-songwriter from Albuquerque is a minstrel, traveling around the southwest in his pickup truck singing about life and love to whoever cares to listen. The troubadour life began when Riggs was laid off from his "soul-sucking" job at a semi-conductor plant. He decided that he had had enough with the day jobs and set off to find fame and fortune through his music. He created his own recording label and produced a debut CD, These Wheels.

The album is heavily influenced by the everyday-man sound of John Mellencamp (pre- and post-Cougar), the youthful passion of Bruce Springsteen and the romanticism of Johnny Cash. These Wheels highlights Riggs' own emotional fervor, with every single song dwelling on past loves, past adventures, past relationships or future pain. The CD focuses more on lyricism than instrumentation, with most songs heavy on the words but backed by acoustic melodies. Kiren Bahm adds a striking violin solo on "Every Word," and Andrew Fietek's organ, accordion and mandolin appear throughout. Riggs plays his own guitars, and Roger Jameson and Kenn Rodriguez help out on bass and drums, respectively.

Riggs' travels ended up in Pueblo, which he now calls home. He'll be setting out again on his "Acoustic ... and Alone" tour, playing coffeehouses throughout the area until February. The tour begins with his performance Friday night at Starbucks. Call 265-9291 to find out more.

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