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About the River Drivers…
Philadelphia-based Celtic-tinged folk rock collective River Drivers is a four-piece band whose unique passion-infused style of music draws from Celtic, Americana, and Appalachian influences and features powerful and distinctive vocals. Influenced by the likes of Billy Bragg, Christy Moore, Ewan MacColl, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, the Paul McKenna Band and Altan, among many others, their repertoire strikes a fine balance of original songs and more obscure folk songs, resurrected from deep folk vaults.
Anchored by Kevin McCloskey (vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass) and Mindy Murray (vocals, guitar, banjo, bass) with accompaniment by Marian Moran (tin whistle, low whistle, concertina, melodica) and Meagan Ratini (fiddle, Irish flute, tin whistle), their high energy music explores pervasive themes of hard-working people and social justice.
River Drivers’ distinct flavor of music is a sum of its parts. Kevin McCloskey’s passion for songs portraying the plight of working men and women was kindled by a childhood of performing Irish standards with his father, Irish tenor Tommy McCloskey. The intensity he brings to his music was shaped by years with a hardcore punk band.
Mindy Murray’s works are infused with the music of the mountains and the miners, having witnessed firsthand the struggles of day-to-day life in Appalachia during medical school. Years later, she and daughter Meagan Ratini formed the duo Port Murray. Meagan herself fell into Irish music over many years of mastering instrument after instrument. She became further immersed while helping to run the New Jersey Folk Festival.
Marian’s roots lie in Ardara, County Donegal, an epicenter of Irish traditional music. Whenever she can break away, she steals back to the rugged coastline village to recharge at its nightly sessions and music festivals, eventually bringing River Drivers over to perform at its famous Cup of Tae festival.