Harrison country artist Todd Richard is beating back the pandemic blues with a song that he hopes will become an anthem for healthcare workers.
“Last year when everything went sideways and folks starting doing the 7 p.m. applause for healthcare workers, it was really hitting me what it must be like for the women and men working in health care going face-to-face with COVID,” Richard said.
In mid-April he found himself watching the news and thinking about the pandemic. Then, words started flowing for a possible new song.
“Green and Blue” is what came out of it: a thank you to the real life heroes, the “angels in green and blue,” as the song calls them.
After his night of writing, Richard contacted co-writers Anthony Fiddler and Doug Folkins with his idea.
“They both were hesitant,” Richard said. “They straight up said they were purposely trying to stay away from the subject of the pandemic and stick with more positive, upbeat songs.
“I explained to them that I didn’t want it to be a negative song,” Richard said. “I wanted it to be a song that could do many things.”
The song paints a picture of the challenges healthcare workers deal with in the face of COVID-19, and shares Richard’s thanks for their efforts.
“Upon finishing and listening to the demo, I was certain we had something really powerful,” Richard said.
Of course, getting that demo looked a little different because of the pandemic that inspired the music.
Music production had been moving towards remote recording before COVID, but the pandemic amplified the need for performers to record separately.
For example, Bruce Bouton, of the Garth Brooks Band, recorded his steel guitar part for the song in Nashville, and sent the recording to Richard’s producer in Vancouver to be incorporated into the song.
Richard did need to record his vocals on site, however.
“I would enter the vocal book through the side entrance and would talk with the producer through my headphones only,” he explained.
Now that the song is complete, Richard is working to tackle another pandemic challenge: creating the music video.
Richard said he has been busy on social media asking healthcare workers to send in pictures of themselves in full PPE.
“My hope is that when folks listen to the lyrics and emotion in the song, see the faces of these workers — from not just Canada but worldwide — that it will put a face to these frontline workers and really hammer home their sacrifice,” Richard said.
“Green and Blue” will be available for pre-order on iTunes starting Feb. 19, and will officially release on all digital platforms on March 1.