The river to the ocean goes,
a fortune for the undertow.
None of this is going my way.
There is nothing left to throw
of Ginger, lemon, indigo,
coriander stem and rose of hay.
Strength and courage overrides
the privileged and weary eyes
of river poet search naivete.
Pick up here and chase the ride.
The river empties to the tide.
All of this is coming your way .
“Find The River” – R.E.M.
As humans, we are taught early in life to gauge success with tangible tools of measurement – grades, height, wealth, etc. But these measurements rarely take into account the intangible – emotions, happiness, satisfaction, love and friendship. Even music sets a structure of time, rhythm and beat. But the very best music makes us feel something else, something transcendent and beautiful. Today marks the end of the 5th season of Great River Radio. On our best days, we hope you discovered a song or two that made your heart swoon or allowed you to be lost in the moment – if just for a minute or two – during a busy day.
The constant, reliable flow of a river can also conjure up feelings of solace and grace, transporting us to places unexpected. But this spring we are again reminded that rivers can devastate and destroy, too. Perhaps, that is why so many artists are drawn to the river metaphor. Rivers represent a life cycle – often unpredictable – of birth, baptism, life, death and rebirth. Rivers run deep symbolism. For the last five years we have started most of our shows with a “river song.” Not surprisingly, we have had many wonderful songs to choose from. So, to celebrate the close of our fifth year, Great River Radio is pleased to present a very special afternoon of river songs.
Today you will hear deep south river songs by Bessie Smith, Aaron Neville and The Bottle Rockets. Great River Radio favorites Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, Uncle Tupelo, Cloud Cult and The Decemberists will offer their take on the river song. And we’ll have river tracks from such diverse artists as Los Lobos, Brian Eno, Mavis Staples, Carrie Rodriguez, Robert Johnson and Richard Thompson. An eclectic mix to be sure. But would you expect anything less from the Great River Radio music staff?
As always, we are grateful that so many of you are able to tune into Great River Radio – either live or via the website. Please take a moment to join us today for our final show of the season. And have a great summer!
Peace … like a river.
Brian and Dan
Going Down To The River-Fred McDowell
Backwater Blues-Bessie Smith
Louisiana 1927-Aaron Neville
Get Down River-The Bottle Rockets
A River Runs Through It-Mark Isham
I Follow Rivers-Lykke Li
By This River-Brian Eno
Big River-Johnny Cash
Big Sun Falling In The River-Richard Thompson
Green River-M. Ward
Down On The Riverbed-Los Lobos
High Water-Uncle Tupelo
Down By The Water-The Decemberists
Find The River-REM
Wide River To Cross-Carrie Rodriguez
River Knows Your Name-John Hiatt
Black River-Amos Lee
Harlem River Blues-Justin Townes Earle
Travelling Riverside Blues-Robert Johnson
Many Rivers To Cross-The Walkmen
Ballad Of Easy Rider-The Byrds
Watching The River Flow-Bob Dylan
When Water Comes To Life-Cloud Cult