Roots music finds its roots with the new album from River Drivers in the form of their new album titled ‘Big Oak Road’ out this Friday (October 18, 2019). ‘Big Oak Road’ gives a true grassroots vibe not just for fans of Americana and Appalachian music but for the masses with a single-friendly blend of folk genres with historical accuracy and contemporary creativity. With dabbles of Celtic and Irish tinges added for good measure, River Drivers create a down-home and welcome backwoods mash of olde time party stompers that give you a smile without the hangover.
ABOUT RIVER DRIVERS
River Drivers is a four-piece whose unique passion-infused style of music draws from Celtic, Americana and Appalachian influences and features powerful and distinctive vocals. Their repertoire strikes a fine balance of original songs and more obscure folk songs, resurrected from deep folk vaults.
Anchored by Kevin McCloskey (vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass) and Mindy Murray (vocals, guitar, banjo, bass) with accompaniment by Marian Moran (tin whistle, low whistle, concertina, melodica) and Meagan Ratini (fiddle, Irish flute, tin whistle), their high energy music explores pervasive themes of hard-working men and women and social justice.
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They earlier offered a taster in the high-energy double A-side single ‘Children’s March (Mother Jones) / Going Once’, two tales rooted in U.S. Irish history – stories of what people suffered through and what they did to overcome.
“These songs are about two mothers from two different worlds, who each left Philadelphia with a group of children. In ‘Children’s March’, we see Mother Jones lead a bunch of young maimed and malnourished children from Kensington to New York to confront the wealthy businessmen who owned the factories where they toiled,” says Mindy Murray.
“In ‘Going Once’, Martha has to find a new home for her nine kids after their Torresdale farm is sold at auction for back taxes. This brave woman Martha was my grandmother”.
Influenced by the likes of Billy Bragg, Christy Moore, Ewan MacColl, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Paul McKenna Band and Altan, River Drivers’ distinct flavor of music is a sum of its parts.
Kevin McCloskey’s passion for songs portraying the plight of working men and women was kindled by a childhood of performing Irish standards with his father, Irish tenor Tommy McCloskey. The intensity he brings to his music was shaped by years with the hardcore punk band Wrong Answer.
Mindy Murray’s works are infused with the music of the mountains and the miners, having witnessed firsthand the struggles of day-to-day life in Appalachia during medical school. Years later, she and daughter Meagan Ratini formed the duo, Port Murray. Meagan herself fell into Irish music over many years of mastering instrument after instrument. She became further immersed while helping to run the New Jersey Folk Festival.
Marian’s roots lie in Ardara, County Donegal, an epicenter of Irish traditional music. Whenever she can break away, she steals back to the rugged coastline village to recharge at its nightly sessions and music festivals, eventually bringing River Drivers over to perform.
Featured image by Ron Donocoff.