From Central America to the American South, The Riverbreaks of Washington, DC is an Americana band in more ways than one. The band’s singer Ryan Bailey was raised in Nashville and came of musical age in Chapel Hill, NC, but wrote much of Wildfire in the Costa Rican jungle. He emerged with the songs for Wildfire, an album that sonically combines the best of Americana and indie rock with folk and country influences, but lyrically covers a lot of ground, from celebrating the beauty of nature to heartbreak to deploring the poor treatment of indigenous groups and the drug wars. The Riverbreaks will release Wildfire on February 1, 2013 and celebrate it with a performance that evening at the renowned Kennedy Center in their home base of Washington, DC. They’ll also rock the Living Room in New York on January 2nd, Black Cat in DC on February 16th and Local 506 in Chapel Hill February 17th. The album is already getting action at college radio stations in Philadephia and Chicago as well as spins on AAA powerhouses like KVMR.
Listen to songs from Wildfire: http://theriverbreaks.bandcamp.com/album/wildfire-preview-full-length-release-fall-2012
Informal video for “American Sun” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQX2TtnSabo
The album was produced by Chris Stamey, who is a critically acclaimed member of the dB’s and producer of bands including Whiskeytown, Lost in the Trees, Megafaun, The Rosebuds, Le Tigre, and Alejandro Escovedo. Working with Stamey seemed natural to The Riverbreaks, as members Ryan, Jesse, Neela, and Andrew attended UNC Chapel Hill, where Stamey’s studio is located. As they delved into the music scene there, all roads led back to Chris as a musician, songwriter and producer. Special guests on the album include Caitlin Cary (Whiskeytown, Tres Chicas), Mitch Easter (Lets Active, REM producer) and Logan Matheny (Roman Candle – a major influence on The Riverbreaks) among others.
Wildfire is the second album for The Riverbreaks. The band released its debut album Get You Right in spring 2011, and shortly thereafter began working on Wildfire, which it recorded in the spring and summer of 2012. It is a rich album, full of songs with a strong narrative. “Some of the lyrics took shape when I started thinking about the parallels in the southern US and South America – in both places indigenous groups have been marginalized and there are similar agricultural, natural and spiritual elements,” Ryan commented. “For example, one night after going to a ‘Corn Festival’ in Costa Rica, where they make beautiful dresses using mosaics of multi-colored corn, I dreamed the melody to ‘Corn Blue Night,’ and immediately knew the song took place in Appalachia.”
“Wild Fruit” (the subject of their upcoming video)—is a violin-driven song referencing the Ayoreo people and the destruction of their land. There are also songs with roots deep in the American south. “American Sun” is a highlight: a rollicking organ riff dances through this tune about youth, love and loss featuring a soaring Caitlin Cary harmony. “Paper Moon,” a late addition, was recorded in one take; it combines a crooning vocal and haunting reverb-drenched guitar. “Tell the Girls” is a straight up dance number, building from solo acoustic guitar to a stomping chorus with an indelible hook.
The Riverbreaks prove that while there is no place like home, sometimes an exotic locale lends depth and dimension to songs with deeply personal references. Their combination of gorgeous Americana and indie rock makes Wildfire unforgettable.
The Riverbreaks Live:
Friday, February 1st
6 PM, Free
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
2700 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20566
The Living Room
Saturday, February 2nd
7PM, Suggested Donation
154 Ludlow Street – 212/533-7237
The Black Cat
Saturday, February 16th w/ the North Country
9pm Tickets TBA
1811 14th Street NW – 202/667-4490
Sunday, February 17th
Showtime TBA Tickets TBA
506 West Franklin – 919/942-5506