Richard Swift Dies: Producer-Musician Who Played With The Black Keys & The Shins Was 41


Richard Swift, a producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist who played with groups including the Black Keys and the Shins, died today. He was 41.

The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach confirmed the news on social media:

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Today the world lost one of the most talented musicians I know. He’s now with his Mom and Sister. I will miss you my friend.

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A California native born on March 16, 1977, Swift made a handful of solo records in the 2000s and produced albums for such acts as Gardens & Villa, Sylvie Lewis, Damien Jurado and later Guster.

He went on to play keyboards and percussion from 2011-16 with the Shins, James Mercer’s group whose beautifully infectious “New Slang” had been featured in Zach Braff’s Garden State, and was the bassist and sang backup on the Black Keys’ 2014-15 arena tour. He also drummed with Auerbach’s other band the Arcs.

Swift, who also was a short-film maker, had his music featured in films including 2013’s Drinking Buddies and such TV shows as HBO’s Eastbound & Down and Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories on Adult Swim. He also founded and was the engineer at National Freedom, a recording studio in central Oregon.

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