The band, bonded by Converse sneakers, will play Arden on Nov. 3.
A meeting at a festival in upstate New York sparked the friendship between Rosie Newton and Richie Stearn. In a twist of fate, a pair of sneakers helped to strengthen their bond.
“He left an impression on me because he was wearing Converse, Newton said. “I had never seen an adult wear Converse before.”
These days, Stearn and Newton play as a dynamic duo in an outfit simply called Richie & Rosie. Their style is rooted in Americana, and they released their latest album in 2017, titled “Nowhere in Time.”
Richie & Rosie will return to the Arden Gild Hall on Saturday, Nov. 3, opening for folk/soul artist Kaia Kater.
Newton dished on some of his unique footwear adventures, receiving gifts from fans and the importance of listening.
What does Rosie bring to the table for you, off the stage?
She’s super energetic and positive, and motivated. She gets really excited working on new things; and she’s an incredible listener. During conversation or playing music, she really pays attention to what’s going on around her. She stays in the present moment a lot.
Do you still wear Converse?
I put them on about two minutes ago.
What color are they?
They’re a brown leather, with a little ladder pattern of brown over the white edges, where it meets the rubber. And the laces are yellow.
Converse is pretty iconic with bands. What’s kept you wearing them so long?
I liked them when I was I a kid. But then I didn’t really have them until about 20 years ago. I was demolishing an old house, pulling down a plaster and lath wall. Somebody had thrown some Converse sneakers into the wall behind the plaster. They were covered with dirt.
I washed them off and they were like a perfectly brand-new pair of Converse; they fit me. I wore them for about three years and then they got stuck in a giant mud hole I was trying to walk through. They came off my feet and I left them in the ground. It was such a strange journey for those shoes. But they were so comfortable. Then, when I was touring with Natalie Merchant in about 2000, we were going through the Mall of America, and there were these really nice Converse in the window and she bought them for me. I wore those for about the next 10 years. Then one of my fans gave me these not too long ago.
Where do you think that kind of loyalty comes from, because you can’t buy it?
True, you can’t buy it. I’ve been doing this for a long time, man. I’ve been playing on the road with one band or another, starting with The Horse Flies back in 1980. We just have these sort of diehard fans who’ve followed us. They went from The Horse Flies to when I was in Donna the Buffalo; then they followed me to this Richie and Rosie thing. There’s something about our music that hits a note with them that makes them feel like we’re close. That’s always the goal, but you don’t know if it always comes across to people. So when people bring you gifts like that, you definitely feel like they care.