British husband and wife blues rock duo When Rivers Meet return to the music fold with their highly anticipated sophomore album “Saving Grace” released by One Road Records on Friday19th November 2021. The first single “Testify” taken from the forthcoming album, will be released on Friday 10th September, and will be accompanied with an official music video.
Saving Grace follows hot on the heels from the band’s critically acclaimed debut album We Fly Free that was released in November 2020, and their previous two EPs, The Uprising and Innocence of Youth. The past year has been a non-stop thrill-ride for WRM, who are comprised of Grace Bond (lead vocals, mandolin, violin) and Aaron Bond (guitar, vocals).
WRM set a record first in May 2021, by becoming the first-ever artist or band to win four awards at the UK Blues Awards including “Blues Band of the Year,”“Blues Album of the Year,” “Emerging Blues Artist of the Year,” and “Most Inspirational Online Performance of the Year.” WRM were also voted “Best New Band” by the listeners of Planet Rock at the radio station’s “The Rocks” Awards.
With their highly anticipated sophomore album Saving Grace, WRM have set out to produce a blues rock album with a more upbeat, punchy, and exciting sound.
“Wife-and-husband duo When Rivers Meet are heavy enough to get your attention and quirky enough to hold it.” - Classic Rock
“This is urban blues with the brakes off.” - Vive Le Rock
“They may be a duo, but they sure make a big noise.” - Powerplay
“We were very conscious that our debut album We Fly Free was a step up in production from our two EP releases previously The Uprising EP and Innocence of Youth,” says Grace. “We also wanted to keep a live, authentic vibe to the new album to retain the energetic feel in the music.”
Says Aaron, “We wanted the album to have more of an upbeat rock feel. We knew exactly what we wanted before we set off to record Saving Grace. We set our expectations high. We’re so pleased with the result and just hope everyone else loves it as much as we do!”
As with their debut album, We Fly Free, a lot of care and attention given to the detail, not only went into the song-writing, but also went into the production on each track, and telling a story from start to finish.
“Although we wanted to do something different from our previous work, we still wanted all the same elements that make our music distinctive and recognisable as When Rivers Meet,” says Grace.
As with their previous album and two EPs, the new album Saving Grace was recorded at the Boathouse in Suffolk with producer and engineer, Adam Bowers.
“He just gets everything we do and want,” says Grace. “As Adam says, ‘Bring me a drawing, and I will colour it in’, which is a great analogy of how we work together.”
The new album is mastered by Mike Curtis. Says Aaron, “the mastering is always the most exciting part of the process. We always look forward to receiving the mastered tracks from Mike.”
As with all their previous recordings, Grace, Aaron, and producer Adam have massive input with instrumentation. Aaron plays guitar and sings vocals, Grace sings vocals, plays mandolin and fiddle, while Adam plays bass, drums, and keyboard and pretty much anything else that Grace and Aaron need added including trumpet on specific songs.
“It’s a case of going into the studio with a song,” reflects Grace. “Aaron will play it on guitar, I’ll lay down the vocals, whilst Adam adds the drums. We start to get a feel as to what the song is and what it means, it then grows from there into the direction we think it should go.”
Continues Grace, “Sometimes it can take a while before we get the right feel for example the drums or the tone of the song. But we always have a clear plan for each song going into the studio and a good idea on the feel that we want to create. Our ethos is that we keep it sounding authentic, whether that be vocals, instrumentation, or any effects. It’s always got to sound organic and real.”
After the success of their debut album, We Fly Free, how does the sophomore album Saving Grace differ? “Saving Grace sophomore has a more upbeat rock feeling than We Fly Free,” says Aaron. “We were very conscious when we started to record this album that’s the direction that we wanted to move in, and it was exactly the kind of result that wanted to achieve.”
Continues Aaron, “As well as being inspired by classic blues including John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters, we also draw a lot of influence from classic rock bands that include Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, Cream, and Free. To emulate some of the feel or tone of these legendary blues pioneers and seminal rock bands is something that we strive to do, and hopefully people will hear that in our music and relate to it.”
When Rivers Meet’s passion for blues rock shows through with an underpinning of traditional blues and classic rock. The duo make a concerted effort to keep to a genuine, gritty sound using authentic techniques, including tube tape echo and reverb chambers, which have created a live sound that keeps a truly vintage vibe that not only has energy but is also a true representation of the ever evolving sound this duo produces.
WRM show great delight that a Hammond organ has been introduced into some of the tracks on this album. This classic blues rock feel will transport you back in time while also inducing a contemporary When Rivers Meet twist.
Grace Bond – Vocals, Mandolin, Violin Aaron Bond – Vocal, Guitar Adam Bowers – Bass, Drums, Keys, Trumpet
Engineered, Produced, Mixed by Adam Bowers Mastered by Mike Curtis Recorded in Boathouse Studio, Suffolk
All songs written by Grace & Aaron Bond Except * written by Grace & Aaron Bond and Adam Bowers
The new album is released on WRM’S independent label: One Road Records
TRACK BY TRACK
Can’t Fight This Feeling Everybody goes through life and sometimes not being able to control their feelings about whatever they are passionate about. This song is very much about that undying passion and how it can catch you out and leave you hanging on a wire. We really had no choice but to open with I Can’t Fight This Feeling, it cried out to be number one on the album. We wanted a strong classic rock energy for this song. The humbuckers on Aaron custom made Fender Telecaster took a thrashing!
Never Coming Home This song has a classic late 60’s early 70’s feel of freedom and reform. Where a door to the old way of thinking has been shut for good and a new wave can be born from its ashes. We love classic rock and Never Coming Home for us ticks all the boxes. We used a vintage vox to achieve this guitar tone. With all our music we always like to add a modern twist to what we create, whether it be melody or lyrically, but we never forget our roots and inspirations incorporating slide mandolin as one of our WRM key elements.
He’ll Drive You Crazy This is the first song on the album that introduces cigar box guitar, which has become a staple part of our sound. Even though there can be a strong unbreakable love for each other, no matter what, you can still drive each other crazy at times. This song has a real heavy rock riff that wants you to really let loose and just go crazy. The chromatic rundown in the chorus is one of our favourite elements along with Grace’s violin solo ripping through a Marshall Valve amp. For the first time on this album, we co-wrote four of the songs with our producer, Adam Bowers.
Don’t Tell Me Goodbye We wanted to write at least one ballad for this album. Tomorrow from our debut record The Uprising EP is still a favourite for our supporters and we wanted to go back to that simplicity for this song. Don’t Tell Me Goodbye has a real heart-wrenching theme running through it. This song starts in a dark place and doesn’t deviate or let go. It’s emotional and it can send a shockwave through your heart, we all at some point in our lives may have to face it. For the first time we added Wurlitzer for a vintage vibe and Aaron plays a gorgeous 335 style custom guitar which really changed up the energy.
Do You Remember My Name? This song is dedicated to all those that you’ve met that don’t believe in you or what you’re trying to do, until you’re really doing it. There may have been many times that you hear people say, “you can’t do this, you can’t do that”. And now, suddenly, out of nowhere, they start to see you for who you really are, and now you can bet for sure that they will truly remember your name! Slide mandolin adds a strong melody through this song which really adds a dynamic feel.
Have No Doubt About It This song is dedicated to that one person who does believe in you, what you’re trying to do and of course who you are! For all the naysayers out there, you can believe that there is one person in the world that has got your back. For that one person ‘have no doubt about it’ can only be described as a testimony for faith and a true belief in someone. The violin is such an emotive instrument as soon as we wrote this song, we knew it would feature strongly.
Eye Of A Hurricane (Friend Of Mine Pt. 2) This is the second part to our song Friend Of Mine from our debut album We Fly Free. We were passionate about making plenty of connections throughout this album to the last one, and this song is the bridge that joins them. Aaron takes lead vocal while Grace adds angelic tones to the chorus. This album features more of Grace on violin with an emotional instrumental running through a valve amp. It’s a real anthem, which is directly the production opposite of Friend Of Mine on our We Fly Free album, which was just one voice, and an atmospheric cigar box guitar riff.
Testify A real anthem or as we call it ”banger” with killer vocals. Testify is just purely and simply British Rock and Blues played through vintage Vox valves. It stamps all over you and then imprints itself upon you to the very core of your soul! Playing violin to this amount of intensity is seriously fun. We love to rock out and this is the perfect song to do it to. Testify!
Shoot The Breeze A good honest down and dirty 12-bar blues that could have come from the very fiery depths of hell. A riff that we know can get into your head and never leave. Shoot the Breeze is about being seduced by the very essence of life itself. What’s going to happen next? Have you seen it all before?
Lost & Found This song is about survival and being on the run from whatever might be chasing you down, do you have an angel on your shoulder? Can you escape? This song has a real feel of anticipation running throughout. A slide guitar driven song that has real attitude, we used Marshall tones for this song to capture exactly the right vibe. All you can ever do is just run for your life…
Talking In My Sleep We really wanted to do a simple number with just two voices and an acoustic guitar that was full of deep feelings and hope of a better tomorrow. We know that our love for rock and blues is ingrained within us, but every now and then we love nothing more than to just kick back and sing a beautiful harmony that really touches us within.
Make A Grown Man Cry This is a real heavy rock out track that has its roots deeply bedded into the soul of anyone that has gone through tough times! The last song on the album had to be something that was far out there. One of the real highlights of creating this album was to do some things that might not have been done before, we’re all for experimenting and pushing the envelope. One of those things was the Drums. On this song they were tracked on a wooden platform about 30 feet up, in an old Oak tree. Pretty wild, hey? You can even hear the birds singing at the very start of the song.