Richard Marx brings acoustic love songs to Ridgefield Playhouse

Singer-songwriter-producer Richard Marx is coming back for a return engagement at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Feb. 20 with an intimate acoustic set of his hit love songs like “Right Here Waiting for You,” “Endless Summer Nights,” and “Hold On to the Nights.” In nearly 30 years in the music business, Marx has sold over 30 million albums, toured extensively and written songs with many other well-known musicians from Keith Urban to Sara Bareilles. Preceding the show will be a complimentary tasting of Freixenet Prosecco, ICE and Italian Rosé wines in the lobby. We chatted with Richard about his acoustic tour and newest album, “Limitless,” which dropped Feb. 7.

Andrea Valluzzo: This album was a bit of a surprise to you. Why?

Richard Marx: Only in that I didn’t really have a particular intention of making an album. It wasn’t that I never intended to make another album, it’s just that I’m so busy touring and enjoying my life offstage. The idea of making another album didn’t occur to me really until I’d written a few songs. I felt like I really wanted people to hear these songs and it coincided with a deal I made with BMG. Initially, they were going to partner with me for my back catalog of masters but then they heard these new songs and they said, ‘Well, we love these songs, we’d love to do a new album with you if you’re up for it.’ So then it was off to the races and that was just a very fun experiment to put an album together.

AV: After touring so much, what was it like to refocus on writing?

RM: I never stopped writing. I write pretty much something every day whether it’s just a little snippet of a melody, a concept or a lyric couplet so it wasn’t like getting back to songwriting, it was really more getting back to finishing songs. I have all these hundreds if not thousands of pieces of songs in my phone or on my computer that I’m always thinking that someday I’ll take the time to finish that song or maybe play it for a collaborator. I had to be diligent about what kind of album I wanted to make and get serious about finishing some of these songs and I’m thrilled that I did because I really do love this collection of songs.

AV: What made you decide to do an acoustic tour?

RM: I started the solo acoustic shows about seven or eight years ago. It became something that went from just an experiment and an occasional thing to the bulk of my touring. I really just did it sort of as a dare, my former agent suggested it. He said, ‘Is it that you’re not talented enough or you’re just chickensh*t?’ So I put a show together and I can’t remember the last time I was that nervous after so many years performing but I’d never done a whole show just alone. Within a couple of songs, I realized that it was going to change my life. It’s completely taught me how to find a way to connect with the audience in a way I never had before. I became addicted to it. It’s really an opportunity for me to hang out with my fans and even in some cases people that are there somewhat reluctantly like husbands or boyfriends and the best thing is when I win them over. The best way to do that sometimes is in such an intimate setting where I can talk, tell stories and be the goofball that I am.