Zachary Richard is one of the most versatile and talented singer/songwriters in the American musical lexicon. While he is widely credited with revitalizing Creole and Zydeco music, his songwriting is deep and varied, ranging through blues, rock, country, and other less defined sound-scapes. Zachary is the author of 3 books of poetry and a producer of documentary films. He is a man of deep conscience; an activist dedicated to the preservation of diversity in ecology and his Acadian cultural heritage.
A native of Southwest Louisiana, Richard was exposed to music at an early age as a member of the Bishop’s Boys Choir. Soon he found rock and roll, and at age 13 he picked up a guitar and started learning that music inside and out. His early bands included his cousin Michael Doucet, who would prove to be a lifelong collaborator. Upon graduating from college, Richard moved to New York, and quickly landed a recording deal with Elektra Records. The master tapes, however, were lost in the merger between Elektra, Asylum, and Warner Bros, and were not released until 2000.
Richard moved to Montreal in 1976, and was embraced by the Francophone community there. His music flourished, as he released seven albums in five years, each meeting with critical acclaim and commercial success. He moved back to Louisiana in 1981, and began recording songs in English. After releasing two records on Rounder, he signed with A&M records, and gained a wider international audience for his music. He has spent the last two decades recording in both French and English, touring extensively in this country and others.
An inveterate environmentalist, Richard is active in telling the story of his native land through documentaries. In collaboration with Louisiana Public Broadcasting, he produced, narrated and scored Against the Tide, the story of the Cajun people of Louisiana which was awarded Best Historical Documentary by the National Educational Television Association (NETA) in 2000. A French version, Contre vents, contre marées received the Prix Historia from the L’institut d’Histoire de l’Amérique Française in 2003. He has worked on several other documentaries since then.