...Richard's love of music and desire to make music began very early in life. He got his first guitar and wrote the first of many songs at the age of eight. Over the years Richard has written many songs in various genres, but all his recorded music is in the Native American genre. Along with the guitar, Richard plays piano/keyboards and Native American flutes. Richard's first album, The Sacred Journey, is somewhat like a book. Each song, like a chapter. It is a story---a true story about the first Americans. It is a story that continues---a story of tragedy and injustice, but it is also a story of endurance and beauty, of strength and courage. The Native American people, their history, culture, art and spirit are to be recognized and acknowledged. This is the purpose of "The Sacred Journey". The Sacred Journey was nominated for a NAMMY Award in the Native Heart category in 2008. Richard recorded 2 more albums before teaming up with guitarist Rick McKee in 2009. They recorded an instrumental called Healing Spirit and then in October of 2013 they released a second album together called Heart of the Buffalo. The title sog won an ISMA award for best folk recording. The album also won a Nammy for best historical recording later that year. Richard is also a flute maker. Together with his Uncle David Stepp, Richard has been producing quality Native American style flutes called Sunturtle flutes. Recently David passed away, leaving the SunTurtle brand to Richard. Now with more determination than ever, being inspired by his Uncle, Richard strives to improve SunTurtle flutes, both in aesthetics and sound quality.
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Rick McKee is a member of the Keetoowah tribe and lives in Miami, Oklahoma. He's been involved with music for most of his life. During the late 1970's and 1980"s Rick and his family traveled the country performing gospel music at churches. In the early 1990's Rick became employed by an agency that provided care and training for individuals with developmental disabilities. During that time he became friends with one of his co-workers, Richard Stepp. Years later the two of them began playing and recording music together. Their 2nd album, Heart of the Buffalo was nominated for Best Folk and Best Historical album at the 2014 Native American Music Awards (NAMMYS). It won the Best Historical recording. Currently, Rick and Richard are working on new music, with plans to release a new album this Summer (2018).