Song by Susan McKeown.
Colleen Raney: Vocals, Colm MacCárthaigh: Backing vocal and Guitars, Matt Jerrell: Drums. Recorded by Jodan Leff at The Secret Society in Portland, Oregon.
Notes about River
A long time ago, completely out of the blue, I got a cold call from Colleen Raney asking if I'd be able to play as a guest on her second album, Lark. We met and worked on some arrangements, talked about singers and songs we love, and became fast friends. We loved playing together so much that we formed a duo and toured and recorded our own album, "Cuan", which we got to launch in Dublin.
We've been great friends ever since. We don't tour any more, or do gigs, but we somehow manage to regularly be in Maine, Seattle, Dingle, California, or New York at the same time, catch up, and play some great music. It's hard to beat!
In the time since we first met, Colleen has recorded more and more music, and toured with several bands, including the supergroup Solas, I got to see her play with them in Denver, and it was phenomenal. She also tours and plays with her husband Hanz Araki (he's on my album too! and also a friend. Hey look at me with all the cool friends!). She's an incredible singer, bodhrán player, and guitarist.
Colleen has also recorded several more albums. Her two most recent are landmark albums for all of Irish music. "Here this is home" is a masterpiece work that balances incredibly soulful deep and researched singing and song choice with an understated musicianship that really honors the tradition. "Standing in Doorways" is a ground-breaking concept album that uses Colleen's mastery of the music to push new boundaries and redraw the canvas of folk music in old shapes but new tones.
As if all of this wasn't enough, Colleen is a hard-working full time flower farmer in Maine, and an excellent graphic design artist. I'm incredibly lucky to have Colleen on-board for "Time Again", and she's done all of the design for "Time Again", sings backing vocals, and she's also been the main vocal coach and vocal producer.
So it's hard to do better for the first bonus track than an incredible song from Colleen Raney. "River" is one of our favorites, written by Susan McKeown, and it ties together a lot of things that have meaning to us. It was written by Susan to honor the Irish peace process, but borrows from the words of Chief Seattle, where we've both spent a lot of our lives. And as I wrote last week, Susan helped me with my own song-writing.
We came up with this sort of Bossa-nova version that holds back, to let Colleen's voice fly, and it's always been a crowd favorite. I absolutely love it. One of my favorite memories is playing it at about 1AM in the morning at the 11th street bar session in New York, along with Eamon O'Leary and Jefferson Hamer.
For this recording we have Colleen on main vocals, there's me on guitar and backing vocals, Matt Jerrell on drums, and Jordan Leff recorded this track for us at The Secret Society in Portland, Oregon.
We hope you love it too.