Jim Ritchey’s road to success in Nashville

Jim "Jimmy " Ritchey

Jim “Jimmy ” Ritchey

Jimmy Ritchey, co-writer for Jake Owen’s “The One That Got Away” which reached Number 1 on Country Music Radio just days ago is no stranger to the airwaves. He has collaborated with and composed songs for George Strait, Mark Chesnutt, Tommy Shane Steiner and recently as producer for Greg Bates who also has the skyrocketing hit song ” I Did It For The Girl ” to his credit. 

A consummate professional musician, Jim Ritchey can play several instruments and sing quite well of course, but it is the guitar that is his first love. Playing since just a young boy Jim Ritchey was in high demand as a concert lead guitarist for countless Country acts who toured the Pacific Northwest where he spent his youth. Making a decision nearly two decades ago to pursue his dreams of Country Music, Jimmy realized there was no better place to call home than Nashville Tennessee. Since his arrival all those years ago Jimmy has traveled a hard road up to the top – wearing many hats as musician, singer, writer,  engineer and producer. He is comfortable being the type of artist who can change with every day and each opprtunity that may come his way. His clients are now becoming the ” who’s who ” of  Country Music and his services are in high demand.

But with all this success, Jim has not allowed pressure or fame to change him at the core level. I know this because this writer was fortunate to have watched Jim Ritchey grow up and become the local phenomenon who the folks in my home state, my home of Lewis County Washington came to know and admire. He was always a nice kid who got along with everyone and talked to others, especially older players with respect. He would ask how a song or guitar riff would go, say thank you and then just play it correctly the first time. Yes, he was just that good! It was really no wonder that Jimmy should go off to Music City and make it big. We all knew and expected he would do that someday but as our own James Dean Fisher of DGT who is also a resident of Nashville has pointed out, the hopes and dreams arrive daily, and many leave discouraged. It takes old fashioned determination and hard work to stick it out and get  where Jimmy is today. Anything he may own, and any status  achieved was done so with blisters on the fingers and oftentimes a lack of sleep!

When he comes home to see his family and friends you can always find him at the local Jam or benefit concert just sitting in, being one of the boys. There is never any trace of ego with Jim Ritchey on stage. He plays from the heart and damn…does he play! It can be Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country or Acoustic Folk;  he does it all tastefully as the skilled master he has become. What more of a compliment would an artist in the recording studio want than a man of Jim Ritchey’s experience into their song or album?  He’s been there out in the trenches paying his dues and learning his craft, yet Jim Ritchey never forgets the long hard road leading him to where he is today. His ability to put himself in the shoes of the singer, band or songwriter gives him an edge. An edge only someone who has actually done it all, not studied it as a science or theory from a textbook would be able to provide. And you know, the best is yet to come!


12 Responses to “Jim Ritchey’s road to success in Nashville”

  1. I have known Jimmy for over 30 years, and have been amazed at his talent from the first time I met him. I love to follow his success stories. Jim never comes to town without looking in on all of his old friends and checking how things are going at home. I my eyes Jimmy is One Cool and True Friend.

  2. Every word is true, Jimmy is a very solid man, never comes to town without checking in, looking forward to the 21st, I got videos !!!

  3. Steve Parton Says:

    I got to play with Jimmy when he was 19 and I was in my thirties. he would suggest I do something different and I would think whose he think he is telling me what to do. But when I did it, I realized he knew exactly what the tune required and I quickly learned to respect his ear. I’m proud to say I played with him.

    • Steve ; When Jim and I have been on stage together there’s no time to be in awe of him and he doesn’t need or want that. He just plays with his heart and soul. It’s so easy to forget his other accomplishments when he’s just jamming and being a regular guy. Love him don’t we!

  4. Ivonna Anderson (Vonnie) Says:

    I have know Jimmy Ritchey for about 25 years. He played gigs with my ex-husband Paul Anderson. I knew Jimmy had a gift in music. And his personality was as sweet as his music. I am so glad to see how well Jimmy has done in music. Congratulations Jimmy and God Bless you.

  5. Never heard of this gentleman until getting this post from bass player Steve Ledford who has traveled with many a country star …..well, I have now and if Steve and all the rest of you thinks he is wonderful…..well I have no choice, I’ll pay attention from now on to see what this fella is gonna do next! Thanks Steve for being so proud of him that you posted!

    • Linda thank you so much for taking the time to read this Blog. Jimmy is a very special friend and a musician – producer whom I admire and love working with. You’ve got to know what the road feels like before you can write about it or make a good record. At least that’s what I think. Stay tuned now that you’ve found us and check out some of our previous works and the current issue of damngoodtunes.com

  6. Darin Foxx Says:

    Many years back my brother and one of my best friends worked as roadies for this country band out of Cleveland, Ohio called Kid Lonesome. My brother, Mike Foxx, asked me if I wanted to work with them and I said yes. That’s when I met Jimmy. Jimmy was great to work for and a great person. So many memories of touring with Jimmy and that small band from Cleveland, I remember the band was set to play in Music city and Jimmy and I drove together down for the show, well I drove and just listened to Jimmys story’s.

    • Darin; Thank you for writing! I look forward to working with Jimmy in the studio this Sunday. He’s putting a guitar track down for me and then taking it all back to Nashville for mastering. Stay in touch and read our magazine when you have the time. I will remind Jim that I heard from you.


      Bruce Maier

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