The spirit of soul permeates like stars at dusk through Mitch Rivers’s folk and americana songs. A lot of that soul stems from his tender vocal delivery. But make no mistake: behind all that pastoral reverie emanating from his music, Rivers is a roving, restless man. His upcoming record mediates between his solitary love for the more placid pastures, and a love for another within the dizzying and sometimes forbidding quality of inner city life.
Rivers isn’t exactly a saint: at age 20, he meandered across Ireland for six months as a busker. His inquisitive thirst for the momentous was initially funneled in punkrockers Joe Madman & The Sidewalkers. Rivers spent his days of youth living life the fullest doing everything that God has forbidden in the process. With an abundance of life experiences in his pocket, however, he gave in more and more to an intrinsic yearning for some calm sanctuary.
Rivers used to wear rock ‘n’ roll like an armor, taking life on heedlessly and unapologetically, rolling with the punches. Joe Madman was a useful caricature of himself in that retrospect. But Rivers became more and more enamored with artists and singers in the vein of Otis Rush, Jonathan Wilson and Patrick Watson. Music from the purest wellsprings of the soul: naked and vulnerable, without the need for excessive theatrics to make a point. The blues still lingers on as a noble guardian over the supple, crystal clear workouts of Rivers and his band.
Mitch Rivers opens up in a huge way as a singer and performer. His honey-sweet falsetto, a notch up from his natural speaking voice, whispers sweet nothings in your ear. Tunes like Sailin’ Home and Good Times are bona fide soul spirituals, giving Rivers free reign to splurge his primal urges on the canvas. Unvarnished, melancholic and
Rivers recorded his EP and his debut album Restless Heart, Heartless Soul at the Electrosaurus Studio of good pal Pablo van der Poel (DeWolff). The record is an ode to that fond sweet spot amidst all the distracting noise and clamor. Even without his armor, Rivers endures his worries and anxieties, because he now willingly submits himself to the deeper, more meaningful relationships.