Early in Richard's career a promoter pinned the name "Necessary Alternative" on Richard as a way to fit him into his concert series. The "necessary" designated Richard's performance as one not to be missed, while the "alternative" signified the variety of tunes contained in Richard's extensive repertoire of music.
As a youngster, Richard embraced the music of diverse artists as J.S. Bach, The Beatles, Flatt & Scruggs, John Fahey and Leo Kottke, as well as Arlo Guthrie, Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode. Unable to focus on one genre, Richard developed his own voice that grew to encompass the expanse of his influences. From the early 1980's and the release of his first album, "Somewhere in Between", Richard has continued on his journey of arranging and composing music that often defies one specific genre. Comments Option Magazine, “He seems to embody the traditional values of the guitar and shows what can be accomplished when you do.”
That's the beauty of his performances, recordings, and educational materials. Richard is a little folk and traditional, a bit of blues and bluegrass, some classic pop and ragtime, European classical and somewhere in between. So remarks 20th Century Guitar Magazine, "A powerhouse of eclectic guitar styles and genres, Gilewitz wears his influences well."