The prestigious Great American Song Contest has five thousand entries per year from all over the world. Of those five thousand, only fifty-five are selected as award winners. In 2014, two of those fifty-five awards went to Richard and Maureen Hall. They call their music Psychedelic Folk. Their duo is called Bliss Hippy.
Bliss Hippy began in 1990 in the Missouri Ozarks in Rolla, MO as "Sidio and Hall", and consists of Richard and Maureen Hall, with various other musicians serving as enablers for the duo over the years. Shortly after their marriage in 1993, Richard and Maureen released there first album "Sidiosynchrasies and Hallucinations" in 1994. In addition to Richard and Maureen, the largely acoustic album, included bassist and cellist Greg Spillman and the late great Blake Travis on Conga, with special guest appearances from friends Luce and Richie Myers. The album consists of original songs ranging from haunting, beautiful, and inspiring such as "Ice Cube's Chance in Hell" and "Anyone who Hears"; to irreverent and silly, such as "SPAM", "Road Kill Blues", and "Life's Just Something to Do (while you're drinking beer)"
The band took a musical hiatus for many years, but began to write, sing, and perform with conviction again in 2011. By popular demand, bliss hippy found themselves back in the studio for the first time in 19 years with a whole new set of original songs. While still acoustically focused, the musical intensity has grown, largely due to the amazing electrical guitar stylings of Joe Dunlap as well as the solid rhythm provided by bassist Tristan Dunlap and Josh Goodridge on Djembe and a variety of other percussion instruments. Once again Luce and Richie Myers made special appearances on the album, along with bowed bass player Peter Price. Though the duo's song writing has matured, the general sublime and silly river stills runs through it from "All that really matters" and "Believe" representing the sublime to "Dog Fur" and "Drinking with Jesus" representing something else. The record also includes the band's popular anthem "God's for Everybody", a novel and driving cover of Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" emphasizing the last two, rarely heard verses, and even some hillbilly Hindu in the southern gospel song based on a Hindu Puja "Sri Ram Jai Ram"
When they aren't playing music, Richard hangs out at Missouri University of Science and Technology where he is a Professor of Information Science and Technology and Maureen enjoys her semi-retirement as a Doctor of Chiropractic and Medical Acupuncture. Much of the rest of the time Maureen and Richard find themselves walking through the Ozarks woods or floating on Ozark streams, often bringing a banjo and fiddle along to serenade nature, as they age peacefully and happily.
To find more information on the band's live performance schedule, other recordings, videos, contact information, and band trivia visit: blisshippy.com
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