In baseball, a play scored 3-UA is one in which the first baseman fields the ball and takes the play himself. While this one player receives the credit for making the “unassisted” out, there is a whole lot more that goes into making such a play possible. The pitcher needs to force the batter to hit a ground ball, and the right-fielder must provide backup to ensure the ball does not get past the first-baseman. The second-baseman should move over to cover first base, and even the shortstop needs to think one step ahead and cover second base in the event that there is a passed ball and the runner advances. The teamwork that is so palpable on the baseball field is symbolic of the collaboration that so many of us seek in our pursuits, our pastimes, and our personal lives. This teamwork is what has made Milwaukee’s own groove rock band possible in the first place, and it is the message that the music of Three Unassisted has been bringing to fans for years.
Brothers Will and Mike Richter have a reputation for making the Lake County music scene a bit louder, for lack of a better word. Since 2004, the Richters have taken the stage with bands such as The Allies, Ceasefire, Ink Silk Aliquots, OUTDrejas, and their most reputable project to date, Forty Cents Flat. But in the spring of 2014, they began looking for yet another musical outlet.
Singer/songwriter Will Richter has always struggled with the fine art of conforming to a genre. His resume consists mostly of stints with punk rock and ska acts, but a combination of his affinity for blues riffs, a dusty, neglected acoustic guitar, and one of the most defining time periods of his life inspired Will to begin writing more redemptive, intuitive, lyrically-driven songs. His passion for baseball and the origins of his name (William Richter III, after his father and paternal grandfather) pushed him to begin writing solo songs under the moniker “Three Unassisted,” and it stuck as the band’s first EP neared completion. Each song on “Wake Me at the End of the Line” was written over the course of at least one month, and the lyrics were a result of the experiences that both brothers had faced in Milwaukee, Chicago, Homewood, Antioch, Lake Geneva, and every road and train stop in between. He presented these songs to Mike, and a brand new project was born.
Mike Richter’s abilities can hardly be overstated. Since the inception of his first project, Ceasefire, he has seamlessly transitioned into various roles as both a musician and producer. Mike has spent the last four years developing into a renaissance man of the local music scene, playing bass, providing lead vocals, and asserting his role as a rhythmically-intact drummer. He produced Forty Cents Flat’s debut album on a shoestring budget and with limited resources, so when the time came to record these brand new songs, he naturally confronted the challenge. The result was a series of songs, chords, and harmonies designed to provide an effective soundtrack for the brothers’ road trips and weekends away from home.
Long-Time percussionist Mark Gesior was added to the 3-UA line up in June of 2015 to begin the transition from a strictly studio endeavor to a high-energy and vibrant live show. After playing the kit for less than a year, Gesior began to breathe new life into these songs while playing an integral role in the instigation of jam breakdowns and crescendo-ed intros. Mark’s enthusiasm and focus behind the kit continues to provide the strong backbone that Three Unassisted’s unbridled writing style demands.
Tom Moscinski’s impeccable fluidity behind the keys made him an obvious choice when the trio began seeking ways to round out their sound. Tom had spent years lending his efforts to Chicago-area jam band, Zaramela, but his new life in Milwaukee brought with it a new set of challenges that pushed him to amicably part ways from the band. Tom was quickly added to the Three Unassisted roster to further push their melody to a shimmering new level. He brings a veteran’s knowledge to the songwriting process while continually pushing the bounds of groove with his mastery of the piano and trumpet.
The addition of Kenny Jones came in the summer of 2016, shortly after the valedictorian multi-instrumentalist graduated from VanderCook University in Chicago, IL and returned to the northern suburbs. His experience with Forty Cents Flat helped him to quickly adapt to working with the Richters, and his dulcet saxophone helped to enhance the sound of Three Unassisted. Kenny’s extensive knowledge of music theory makes him a master of a wide variety of instruments, and his dexterity on the guitar helps to further prove his value as a member. “K-Bone” Jones has dramatically transformed the sound of the band, and his knowledge and ability will continue to make him an essential part of an ever-growing project.
The songs from this side project were written to reflect the intrapersonal communication that both Will and Mike had been feeling since the release of their first collaborative album, Forty Cents Flat’s “On The Ride Home.” From the angsty, Funky Bunch-meets-Beastie Boys rap rhythms in “Paying with Pennies” to the infectious, compensatory lyrics in “Long Time Coming,” Three Unassisted hopes to provide a sound as versatile, energetic, and motivating as their name delineates. The fire within is provided not by the Butane, but by living for and doing what one loves. Yet the songs suggest that even when we think we are “unassisted,” we can so often credit those closest to us with the successes we gain. “Wake Me at the End of the Line” is an EP that shows the Richters are finally doing just that. This time around, they have the support of a full team, and they could not be happier about it.
Keep your ears peeled for their upcoming album, Supercell, which will hit stores this fall.
released January 13, 2014
Lead, Rhythm, and Acoustic Guitar
Lead and Backup Vocals
Lead and Backup Vocals
Produced, Mixed, and Mastered by Michael Richter
Three Unassisted is:
Will Richter: Guitar and Vocals
Michael Richter: Bass and Vocals
Tom Moscinski: Piano and Trumpet
Mark Gesior: Drums
Kenny Jones: Saxophone and Rhythm Guitars
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