Brian Ritchie (born 21 November 1960) was the bass guitarist for the alternative rock band Violent Femmes. His distinct sound comes from using Ernie Ball acoustic bass guitars, which is very uncommon in rock music. He is also one of the more high-profile users of the relatively new Barker Bass.
In addition to his bass playing, Ritchie is proficient at the shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute. He acquired a Jun Shihan (shakuhachi teaching license) in March 2003 and his professional name is "Tairaku" ("big music" in Japanese).
Since 1998, he has collaborated with American shakuhachi maker Ken LaCosse developing a wide bore style of shakuhachi called Taimu.
At Day on the Meadow on July 2nd, 2006 in San Jose, CA
In 2007 Ritchie produced and toured with the Italian punk/folk band The Zen Circus, which changed its name to The Zen Circus And Brian Ritchie. The first international album of the band, Villa Inferno was released in 2008 for the Italian record label Unhip Records. In 2008 he and his wife Dr Varuni Kulasekera moved to Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, where he has guested in a band called The Green Mist.
In 2009 he curated the first Mona Foma festival in Hobart, Tasmania.
In 2010 he toured as bassist with the Australian surf instrumental band called The Break, composed of ex-Midnight Oil members Rob Hirst, Jim Moginie and Martin Rotsey