I listen to a lot of different types of music, but I have to admit that blues is not a genre that is in my playlist. But a couple weeks ago I happened to catch When Rivers Meet (WRM). Husband and wife, Grace and Aaron Bond, have made me wonder what I have been missing all these years. I should not be surprised I like it, as the blues are where a lot of more modern genres like country, rock and hip-hop have their roots.
WRM is out of the UK and came onto the music scene with their first release in April of 2019. Then despite COVID, in November of 2020 they released their debut album “We Fly Free”. It has received high praise from many people across the music industry in both the UK and USA. It reached #9 on Blues Rock Reviews top albums of 2020. They also won all four awards that they were nominated in the UK Blues Awards very recently.
The song that grabbed my attention was WRM’s “Free Man” off of their debut album. The combination of the powerful bluesy voice of Grace Bond combined with the slide guitar sound suck you right in. While having that Americana blues sound, there is no denying the beat and guitar sound reminiscent of bands like ZZ Top.
In addition to vocals, Grace plays the electric mandolin and violin. Aaron also does vocals and plays lead guitar. Joining them for this album were Adam Bowers on bass, drums, organ and piano as well as Robin Breeze also on bass organ and piano.
Even though Grace is the primary vocalist on this album, she is not the only one with great vocals. From the perfect harmonies of Grace and Aaron in “Bury My Body” to Aaron’s booming lead in “Breaker of Chains” his vocals help to make this debut album a large success.
There is a different sound to all of their songs. For example “We Fly Free” starts out with a strong drum and guitar that fade to the background to spotlight Grace’s voice. But then they jump back in with that powerful beat at the chorus. On the other hand, “Friend of Mine” has a deceptively quieter tone but showcases more of the incredible vocal range of Grace.
The only complaint I have about this band and their debut album is that unless I go to the UK I won’t be able to see them perform live. My hopes are that will change in the future as they get more popular. Until then I will keep their debut album on my playlist and anxiously wait for what comes next. If you like their music, follow them on social media to keep informed on what’s coming next.
For those of you that may not get the reference “Shaken Not Stirred”, it is a line used in a lot of James Bond 007 movies. When I think of those movies, I think of that tag line. Now when I think of blues music, I will think of When Rivers Meet.