As someone whose formative musical years were filled with the music of The Levellers, The Men They Couldn’t Hang and The Pogues, and from there a further wealth of fire-brand troubadours from Billy Bragg back to Ewan MacColl, my first reaction upon hearing River Drivers is …”why have I not heard this band before?” But then, I can’t be everywhere and there are only so many songs you can listen to in a day. Though when bands like this slip through your musical net it makes their subsequent capture all the more sweet and the music that they make is sweet indeed.
Resting on aged traditions from both sides of the Atlantic, from the Celtic fringe to the Appalachians, from European folk to American roots, they make rabble rousing music, and deliver passionate narratives that tell of past wrongs and the struggles of the everyday folk in the face of adversity, rebel songs that bind us together in common cause.
Children’s March is a fist in the air, man the barricades anthem and Going Once is a lament for a mother who looses everything to the unscrupulous, faceless, financial machine, made all the more poignant when you realise that Martha, the women in question was in fact the grandmother of the person singing it.
Both songs are the perfect combination of history lesson and sweet, dextrous and intricate music and in these ever darkening times this combination of education and celebration is exactly what we need to bring us together in the face of the gathering clouds of intolerance and greed. Those who don’t learn from history….
Aug. 08 “Philly Folk Scene” session on WPPM 106.5 FM (3 pm)
Aug. 10 Bethlehem, PA – Musikfest 2019 (9 pm)
Aug. 18 Schwenksville, PA – Philadelphia Folk Festival (4:30 pm)
Sept 13 Philadelphia, PA – 45th Annual Irish Festival (8 pm)
Sept 21 Buckingham, PA – The Peace Fair
Oct. 18 Philadelphia, PA (CD release concert) – TBA
Nov. 02 Waretown, NJ – Albert Music Hall (10 pm)